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  • Wellness

  • A Novel (Oprah's Book Club)
  • Written by: Nathan Hill
  • Narrated by: Ari Fliakos
  • Length: 18 hrs and 56 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (21 ratings)

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Wellness cover art

Wellness

Written by: Nathan Hill
Narrated by: Ari Fliakos
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Publisher's Summary

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • OPRAH’S BOOK CLUB PICK • AN NPR BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR • The New York Times best-selling author of The Nix is back with a poignant and witty novel about a modern marriage and the bonds that keep people together. Mining the absurdities of contemporary society, Wellness reimagines the love story with a healthy dose of insight, irony, and heart.

"A stunning novel about the stories that we tell about our lives and our loves, and how we sustain relationships throughout time—it's beyond remarkable, both funny and heartbreaking, sometimes on the same page.”—NPR

When Jack and Elizabeth meet as college students in the gritty '90s Chicago art scene, the two quickly join forces and hold on tight, each eager to claim a place in the thriving underground scene with an appreciative kindred spirit. Fast-forward twenty years to suburban married life, and alongside the challenges of parenting, they encounter the often-baffling pursuits of health and happiness from polyamorous would-be suitors to home-renovation hysteria.

For the first time, Jack and Elizabeth struggle to recognize each other, and the no-longer-youthful dreamers are forced to face their demons, from unfulfilled career ambitions to childhood memories of their own dysfunctional families. In the process, Jack and Elizabeth must undertake separate, personal excavations, or risk losing the best thing in their lives: each other.

©2023 Nathan Hill (P)2023 Random House Audio

What the critics say

"This audiobook's excellence makes its nearly 19-hour time span fly by. Ari Fliakos is superb in this complex yet supremely accessible performance. He lends his skill to the depiction of Jack and Elizabeth's relationship and all its backstories and subplots. No nuance of this novel escapes Fliakos: satirical social commentary, tender love story, hilarious missteps of modern life, heartbreaking loss . . . The full kaleidoscope of the human experience simply sings when rendered by his voice. As the plot leaps across time periods and back, Fliakos's confident pace keeps everything steady. Lively dialogue among the characters is rendered with just the right amount of wit and personality. Hill's often profound words and Fliakos's expert performance combine to make this an outstanding listening experience." (AudioFIle; winner of AudioFile Earphones Award)

“A modern take on love, marriage, and society’s obsession on improving almost every aspect of our lives–and the impact technology and social media has on our culture and in our lives. This brilliant novel will leave you thinking about the truth of your own life and the stories we tell ourselves and each other.”–Oprah Winfrey

"Gorgeous . . . Wellness has an insistent pull . . . The beauty of Hill’s second novel is that every character is at least a little strange and no one is unworthy of sympathy . . . Few recent novels harbor as much love for humanity as this one does."The Washington Post

Wellness is a perfect novel for our age . . . Hill is an immensely talented writer; he has a gift for prose that's elegant but unshowy, and his dialogue consistently rings true-to-life . . . a stunning novel about the stories that we tell about our lives and our loves, and how we sustain relationships throughout time—it's beyond remarkable, both funny and heartbreaking, sometimes on the same page.”—NPR

What listeners say about Wellness

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Favourite book this year!

The author has done a fantastic and fun job of capturing a little bit of many of us in here.
I saw myself, learned something and laughed out loud.

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1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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The performance of this story is incredible

This is not the story I was expecting and, at times, it left my head spinning a bit. But incredibly performed and brought to life. Thought provoking, heartbreaking, and leaves you rooting so much for Jack and Elizabeth.

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My favourite book this year

I don't want to have to write about the book just to give it a rating.

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Drab & Mundane

Waste of a credit! Narrator sounds like he’s speaking at a poet reading with a drab mundane, but performative way of speaking. The story is also pretty boring. Not sure if you can even really call it a story. There is no plot. Just two people going through a mundane way of living. I found myself not even wanting to listen, so I just decided to stop and pick another title. Big relief not to suffer through that anymore. I rarely stop books, but there’s too many better ones out there to spend time, persevering, and struggling through this one!

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