We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.co.uk/access.
Shtum Audiobook

Shtum

Regular Price:£19.99
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • £7.99/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

Ben Jewell has hit a breaking point. His 10-year-old son, Jonah, has severe autism, and Ben and his wife, Emma, are struggling to cope.

When Ben and Emma fake a separation - a strategic decision to further Jonah's case in an upcoming tribunal - Ben and Jonah move in with Georg, Ben's elderly father. In a small house in North London, three generations of men - one who can't talk, two who won't - are thrown together.

As Ben battles single fatherhood, a string of well-meaning social workers and his own demons, he learns some difficult home truths. Jonah, blissful in his innocence, becomes the prism through which all the complicated strands of personal identity, family history and misunderstanding are finally untangled.

Perfect for fans of David Nicholls, The Shock of the Fall and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

©2016 Jem Lester (P)2016 Orion Publishing Group

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.7 (187 )
5 star
 (134)
4 star
 (44)
3 star
 (7)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (1)
Overall
4.6 (180 )
5 star
 (124)
4 star
 (42)
3 star
 (12)
2 star
 (2)
1 star
 (0)
Story
4.7 (179 )
5 star
 (131)
4 star
 (39)
3 star
 (9)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Melanie Preston Lewis London 13/01/2017
    Melanie Preston Lewis London 13/01/2017 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    34
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    100
    77
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderfully uplifting"
    Any additional comments?

    Shtum is a wonderfully uplifting account of one man's struggles with his autistic son, the local authority, his wife, his father and his own demons. Jem Lester has chronicled Ben's story in a moving and eloquent manner. My emotions were put through the wringer, and I veered haphazardly from sorrow to fury via despair with glimmers of hope thrown in. There were a number of occasions when I had to struggle with the lump in my throat. (People look at you weirdly if you're walking the dogs with tears streaming down your face). My initial frustration with Ben turned into hero worship without me even realising it. My love and connection to his father never wavered and though, at first, I was angered by Emma's narcissism, the reveal that she was in fact the most loving and generous of mothers came through loud and clear by the end. Mr Lester has captured our hearts with this, at times, shocking account of Ben's daily routine with his son. I was never in any doubt regarding the depth of his love for Jonah and I'm sure that after reading this book, Jonah will have an army of people rooting for him to find enjoyment and peace. It was only once I'd finished the book did I realise that I'd been holding my breath and crossing my fingers for the entire time. I'm thrilled and privileged to be able to highly recommend this remarkable book. An exquisite reminder of the joy of reading.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jacks247 14/09/2016
    jacks247 14/09/2016 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    48
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    26
    17
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant"

    Forget the synopsis.. Know this will make you laugh and cry. I work with autistic adults and I love the guys I look after, I've been there 16 years and adore them... With all their funny stories and meltdowns. I'm also a mum and this tugged at my heart. Georg is the best character I've ever read. Loved this book

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MAGGS Port Talbot 11/06/2016
    MAGGS Port Talbot 11/06/2016 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    91
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    274
    263
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Shaun - great book, so much going on in the storyline"

    Shaun - great book, so much going on in the storyline.
    There was alcoholism, servers autism, the war & marriage breakdown all wrapped up in this great story.
    Great narration

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    stylo 21/03/2017
    stylo 21/03/2017 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    72
    72
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A book full of unlikeable characters!"
    If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Anyone who enjoys a story packed full of self-pity. Anyone who likes reading about self-absorbed alcoholics or other such self-centred characters.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Jem Lester again?

    Probably not! I had trouble empathising with his characters. It is a mystery how two selfish people, Emma and Ben, ever chose to get married in the first place! There is one exception, Georg the Grandfather is a saint! Having said that, Georg's story at the end of the book felt superfluous. There was repetition within the story that proved plain boring.


    What three words best describe David Thorpe’s voice?

    Bland, average, boring.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment and sadness that some people really are as selfishly, self-absorbed and pathetic as Ben.


    Any additional comments?

    I would not recommend this book - it is not funny!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LIsa H 05/01/2017
    LIsa H 05/01/2017 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Loved loved loved"

    A must read. Beautifully written with a storyline that holds you right to the end. An thorough insight into what it must be like to have a child with special needs. Told from the fathers point of view. Really enjoyed it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mr 23/10/2016
    Mr 23/10/2016 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    23
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant"

    I absolutely loved this book. It made me belly laugh out loud and produced a few tears to!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KEVIN FISHER 14/10/2016
    KEVIN FISHER 14/10/2016 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Magically written."

    As a father of an autistic child (not as severe as Jonah) I found the story both moving and hilarious.
    Congratulations to Jem on representing real autism. No card counting or any other "super power".

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tara 29/09/2016
    Tara 29/09/2016 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    15
    13
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Breathtakingly brilliant."

    Funny, profound, insightful & delightful.
    Exceptionally well read.
    My favourite book for years. Jem Lester - thank you.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MCA 18/09/2016
    MCA 18/09/2016 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I will miss this family"

    I was totally immersed in this book which the reader brought to life so very well. It is very sad in places and funny in others. I've never reviewed a book before (and I have read and listened to lots). I just felt that this one deserved it on every level, performance, the story and the writing and the fact that I will remember it and will miss the characters very much.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Lee Harrigan 05/09/2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    14
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant book. Funny and moving."

    I loved listening to this book and only did so when I could let myself be fully immersed in the story. It completely took me in, emotionally, the characters and the simple funny moments of life it encapsulates. It's a very moving book of a familiar struggle but not written in a 'same old way'. Afterwards you realise why the auther has such an honest insight into caring for someone with autism.
    Although there is sadness in the book. It is ultimately, funny, charming, fulfilling and uplifting.
    Performed very well indeed.
    I would highly recomend this.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.