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Publisher's Summary

"Narrator Kirt Groves provides an excellently distinct cast of voices."- Locus

A Man Called Ove meets The Good Place in Under the Whispering Door, a delightful queer love story from TJ Klune, author of the New York Times and USA Today bestseller The House in the Cerulean Sea.

Welcome to Charon's Crossing.

The tea is hot, the scones are fresh, and the dead are just passing through.

When a reaper comes to collect Wallace from his own funeral, Wallace begins to suspect he might be dead.

And when Hugo, the owner of a peculiar tea shop, promises to help him cross over, Wallace decides he’s definitely dead.

But even in death he’s not ready to abandon the life he barely lived, so when Wallace is given one week to cross over, he sets about living a lifetime in seven days.

Hilarious, haunting, and kind, Under the Whispering Door is an uplifting story about a life spent at the office and a death spent building a home.

"Graves matches his narrative pace to the measured unwinding of the story's layers, focused but unhurried, in the same way that Hugo brews his therapeutic cups of tea." —AudioFile

A Macmillan Audio production from Tor Books

©2021 TJ Klune (P)2021 Macmillan Audio

What the critics say

A NEW YORK TIMES, USA TODAY AND INDIE BESTSELLER
An Indie Next Pick!
 

“There is so much to enjoy in Under the Whispering Door, but what I cherish the most is its compassion for the little things — a touch, a glance, a precious piece of dialogue — healing me, telling me that for all the strangenesses I hold, I am valued, valid — and maybe even worthy of love.” (Ryka Aoki, Light from Uncommon Stars)

"Narrator Kirt Groves provides an excellently distinct cast of voices."- Locus 

"A warm hug of a book about a Grinch of a man who dies and a ferryman, who helps the dead in their journey onwards. Under the Whispering Door is a kind book, full of faith in the goodness of people, full of kind people showing how compassion is a strength. It broke my heart with its unflinching understanding that grief never goes away, never empties, only settles into the room of your soul like a strange souvenir. And then it healed me in the next breath.” —Cassandra Khaw, author of Nothing But Blackened Teeth

What listeners say about Under the Whispering Door

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

It was enjoyable

After finishing House in the Cerulean Sea, I immediately pre-ordered this book and waited many months for it.
Many of the characters had the same charm I fell in love with in HCS, but I found the story to be a bit… lacking. I wasn’t dying to finish it, and the romance part let me down a bit. I felt like it didn’t develop enough throughout the book before they were ‘madly in love’
There were moments I found myself laughing while doing the dishes and like I mentioned, the characters were lovely. Though I do not see myself doing another listen anytime soon.

2 people found this helpful

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just wow

I adore this book. it made me weep in the best way possible. worth it!

1 person found this helpful

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Such a unique listen

I am a die hard thriller, mystery lover. This was a big change but it really intrigued me and it was awesome. I loved the concept! Such a delightful change to routine and logic. Characters were so personal and the concept fresh. My only sort of hmmmm….wish the voices weren’t all by author (I believe). Didn’t suit the characters except maybe Wallace and Nelson. Not the worst but a small slight. But it’s his book so it’s his call.

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Definitely Not like his last novel....

If you loved House in the Cerulean Sea you may not find this as appealing. I finished this book, it look me months, and I ended up loathing Wallace and disliking the other characters. I am sure it is me, not the author, but the humour was heavy handed, the sarcasm seemed misplaced, in just did not strike any chords with me. And there was some very manipulative scenes, just written to make the reader emote, but again - so heavy handed.

But 5 Stars for the narration.

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Heartwarming, lovely listen

I thought this was a really sweet story, I really enjoyed it and loved all the characters. I don't think it made me quite so emotional as some reviewers, but I still enjoyed it a lot. It had a similar feeling to HCS, which was also a sweet story that I love listening too when I want something that is a feel good story - not too deep - just lovely :)

I enjoyed the Narrator as well, I have another series of books with Kirt's narration so it took a few chapters to reassociate the voices with new characters but that's totally ok.

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Lovely

Made me cry a lot, at many different times, in the best way possible. I'm not sure "lawyer" was the best choice of former occupation for Wallace but it's fine, I mostly ignored that.

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Enchanting & intimate

Magical character development of very lovable folx. Unexpected personalities sprinkle the book. Surrealist intimacy. Gets one to ponder the poignant questions of life while being uplifting throughout. Wonderful book!!!

The reader has believable character voices and a variety of intonations.

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Beautiful, heartbreaking, hopeful

Loved this story, perfect narration. Kicked me in the feelings, but left me feeling hopeful, and wanting to appreciate the small things.

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I'm not crying, you're crying

simply amazing. touching. gay. everything perfect. I love this narrator. my pillow is soaked and I need to get some sleep from bingeing the last few chapters.

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Incredible

Only Klune can make me care so much about an asshole from the very beginning. This book was a riot, a gut-punch, a warm cup of tea. I so highly recommend it!

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  • Kye
  • 2021-09-23

Couldn’t stop listening!

I don’t normally write reviews. But for this book I had to. Admittedly I recently lost someone unexpectedly. The subject matter was close to home. That said I couldn’t put this book down so to speak. Couldn’t press pause. I was awake all night listening. Not just because Of recent events. This book has a fresh take On the afterlife. The writing is brilliant, funny, and will make you cry In all the right ways. I don’t know if the author intends to write a sequel but if they do I will definitely be reading it. This book is worth every star I gave it and more.

18 people found this helpful

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  • DDB
  • 2021-09-23

Lovely, simply lovely

I found this book hopeful. I know that sounds a bit strange. In the last 3 years I’ve lost several people. I’m an atheist so the thought of a god and heaven/hell doesn’t move me, but this book touched me and opened me to other possibilities at the end of life. I can picture family members and friends hanging out in the tea shop waiting to go on to what’s next.

Kirt Graves, as always, is excellent. He’s one of those narrators I actively search for when looking for a new book to listen to.

T.J. Klune has done it again. Loved this book and will definitely recommend it to all my friends and family.

18 people found this helpful

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  • J E S S I
  • 2021-09-27

Death is only the beginning....

Under the Whispering Door is one of those stories that can resonate with everyone. We have all lost someone we love; we have all been faced with the grief and even if it seems like all is lost there is another side to the pain and suffering. For me Wallace's story was a way for the living to see that death really is only the beginning. We don't know what comes next and we never will until it is our time but no matter what you believe or don't believe in there is something waiting for us when it is our time.

Hugo, Mai, and Grandad Nelson even Apollo's story was a huge part of Wallace's journey. I loved them all equally and in vastly different ways. Although Mai probably stole my heart a wee bit more than everyone else. She was the best friend, the confidant and the person that Wallace gravitated to when his feelings were becoming too much for him. Mai was a bit like the glue that held them all together even if it was in her own quirky way.

This review is so hard to write because the blurb says it all. For a story such as this the less information the better. It was a true journey of rediscovering yourself even when it seems as if it is too late. It is never too late to make better choices for yourself or the people you love. Wallace & Hugo's story taught me so much and that might seem a bit whimsical, but it is true. You don't always have to perfect or always make the right choices because the right people will be there for you no matter what.

Quick mention of Kirt Graves the narrator because he was phenomenal!! The way he was able to put the emotions into each character when it was an emotional moment, or the way he was able to add the laughter in his voice when something was funny. Just fantastic! Looking forward to hearing more from this narrator very soon!

I've yet to read a T.J. Klune book that wasn't a five star read for me. Last year House in the Cerulean Sea was not only a five star read but it was a contender for my favorite book of 2020 and Under the Whispering Door has been my favorite book of 2021 so far. Every story of Klune's is much more than just a story it is as if he puts his whole heart into the pages and you feel it in the words and the emotions of his characters. OK, I am going to stop now, or I am going to keep raving about the author and the book because honestly it was nothing short of perfection.

12 people found this helpful

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  • Katherine fross
  • 2021-09-22

Heart wrenching, beautiful, couldn’t put it down

Seriously sobbing my eyes out while writing this. This book was such a wonderful ode to grief and the sad, furious, sometimes funny, always necessary role that it plays in our lives.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Chris Snyder
  • 2021-09-27

Maddening, Devastating, Funny, poignant, Perfect

Honestly, the headline says it all. Once again, TJ hits it out of the park. The protagonist is unlikely, and his companions are unique. Tj melds them masterfully into a simultaneously heart-rending and heart-warming tale. All of TJ's books are special, and this one is no exception. You will be glad you took the time to listen to this story.

9 people found this helpful

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  • i love this game so much you will once you start playing it!
  • 2021-10-02

Not as deep and thought provoking as it wants to be

Remember in the early 90s, European artsy movies? Someone would be smoking a cigarette and drinking a coffee and the camera would settle on them for five minutes and it was supposed to be deep. Well this novel has a lot of that “I’m so deep” and I’m really trying to be too. It needed to either lighten up a bit and not try to be so thought provoking or it needed to actually be more real and genuine. As it is “cringy” is where I found myself too often.

8 people found this helpful

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  • BookTea
  • 2021-09-27

Wonderful

It was lovely. It was slightly different then his previous work, but still within his writing style. More mature. I enjoyed it a lot.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Outlaw
  • 2021-09-26

Another outstanding book by a beloved author

TJ is a instant buy author for me. No matter the content of the story I know it will be engaging with soul. This was another such book, but a completely new genre & story. This book is unlike any other. I’ll be processing this one for a long time. It had so many layers. Even though the subject material was intense, it was handled in such a way that is was actually… lovely. It’s so weird to describe a book about death that way but I’m failing to produce another word for it.

This book was worth the buy, and Kirt’s narration gave it breath & depth that only added to the story.

7 people found this helpful

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  • SilkeeeeeeReads
  • 2021-09-24

Emotional

I don’t think anyone writes about grief as well as T.J. Klune. A little dark, a little irreverent and the feelings. So many feelings. The characters are wonderful and I was easily wrapped up in each one of their lives. There were many touching phrases that are used in many of T. J.’s books.

Kirt Graves did a wonderful job with the narration and I was happy I chose to listen to this book instead of read it.

6 people found this helpful

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  • BRITTANY
  • 2021-09-23

So, so many feels.

Seriously, TJ Klune really knows how to tether you to his stories and make you a part of them. They make you think, how and dream. I really loved this book.

5 people found this helpful