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The Life We Bury Audiobook

The Life We Bury

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Publisher's Summary

College student Joe Talbert has the modest goal of completing a writing assignment for an English class. His task is to interview a stranger and write a brief biography of the person. With deadlines looming, Joe heads to a nearby nursing home to find a willing subject. There he meets Carl Iverson, and soon nothing in Joe's life is ever the same. Carl is a dying Vietnam veteran-and a convicted murderer. With only a few months to live, he has been medically paroled to a nursing home after spending thirty years in prison for the crimes of rape and murder.

As Joe writes about Carl's life, especially Carl's valor in Vietnam, he cannot reconcile the heroism of the soldier with the despicable acts of the convict. Aided by his skeptical neighbor, Lila, Joe throws himself into uncovering the truth. Thread by thread, he begins to unravel the tapestry of Carl's conviction. But as he and Lila dig deeper into the circumstances of the crime, the stakes grow higher. Will Joe discover the truth before it's too late to escape the fallout?

©2014 Allen Eskens (P)2015 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"More complications ensue, until the novel's satisfying resolution." ( Publishers Weekly Starred Review)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (27 )
5 star
 (12)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.0 (26 )
5 star
 (10)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.3 (26 )
5 star
 (14)
4 star
 (8)
3 star
 (3)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Mr. Raymond L. Kingdon Cardiff, UK 26/10/2016
    Mr. Raymond L. Kingdon Cardiff, UK 26/10/2016 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    18
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A most enjoyable story."
    What did you like most about The Life We Bury?

    The actual progression of the story with its twists and turns and changes in pace.
    Narration was well-suited and warm; the tone and emphasis just right.


    What did you like best about this story?

    As above: twists and turns.


    Which character – as performed by Zach Villa – was your favourite?

    Characters complementary: wrong to single-out one character.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Not possible.


    Any additional comments?

    On the look out for other works by the same writer and narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    paula 22/06/2016
    paula 22/06/2016 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The life we bury -review"

    This book is an excellent read, captivating the reader from start to finish. I thoroughly enjoyed the narrator however, his woman's voice was a little irritating. I would recommend this to someone who enjoys suspense and action novels with an interesting & compelling narrative.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Colette 24/06/2015
    Colette 24/06/2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    331
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    541
    91
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    29
    14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Compelling story"

    Well written and thought provoking with fully-fleshed out believable characters. An exciting story that gathers momentum relentlessly. Couldn't stop listening.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Lori
    United States
    14/12/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good listen!"

    For a bargain book, this was pretty good. I usually stick with cozy mysteries because I don't like the violence in normal ones, and this one does get pretty graphic. But the mystery was good, kept me listening (on 1.5 speed). I bought the book because it takes place in Minnesota, where I grew up, and where else am I going to read, "The tufts of hair stood out of my head in all directions, like I'd been cowlicked by a drunken heifer" but in a book taking place in the midwest?

    The main character, Joe, was likable from the beginning, he just had this authentic feel to him, and when I found out his backstory, I liked him even more. The same is true with the girl who lived next door to him. They both had some baggage, but neither one of them let it get them down much, or if they did, admitted to themselves they were doing it and accepted that. That was kind of refreshing.

    The relationship between Joe and his brother was really sweet and added a layer to the story that made it all that much more worth listening to.

    The narrator was really good, perfect choice for the voice of Joe.

    160 of 179 people found this review helpful
  • Jan
    Arkansas
    12/01/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Flawless Narration"


    The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens is a great example of a novel enhanced by audible narration. The book is more than it would have been without Zach Villa, who is the voice of the main character, Joe. So impressive.

    This is the story of Joe and his younger autistic brother who grew up with a worthless mother. The alcoholic mother becomes a ball and chain for Joe as he enters his adult life. Joe survives, though not without scars.

    Joe's life is enhanced by meeting a convicted felon who is dying, and who agrees to tell Joe the the events surrounding his incarceration. A story he has never told before.

    The Life We Bury is beautifully written, though predictable as far as a mystery goes. The conclusion, though no surprise, is exactly what the reader hopes it will be.

    128 of 148 people found this review helpful
  • Olivia
    07/04/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Gripping"

    This book covers a lot of ground including alcoholism, autism, rape, murder, prison, cancer, hospice, Vietnam, PTSD, and young love. Suffice it to say I that I was impressed the author managed to fit so much into 8.5 hours of listening time. It's a coming of age story about college student Joe who, while coming to terms with serious family responsibilities, must also undertake what initially seems like a simple college assignment but soon opens a can of worms with enormous implications for a man dying of cancer. Wrong vs. right, death vs. life, guilt vs. innocence, the truth vs. deceit and misinformation, conviction vs. exoneration are some of the many themes that are skillfully interwoven throughout the story. Though much of the material was dark and heavy, the narrative was a also refreshingly light and funny at times.

    The narrator did a really great job - his voice was perfect for the main character and he also seemed to nail the voices of the other characters.

    It was hard to stop listening to and I look forward to more from both the author and narrator!

    66 of 77 people found this review helpful
  • Alice
    Pittsburgh, Pa.
    05/10/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Character driven mystery"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Life We Bury to be better than the print version?

    Each are good, but hearing the story was wonderful because it was in the first person and offered an emotional glimpse into the complex lives of the characters.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Life We Bury?

    The ending, of course, but also Joe's the relationship with his brother. Touching and unique.


    What does Zach Villa bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He provided a real connection to the character, and offered enough diversity of voice that it was clear and easy to get emotionally entrenched in the story. Good job.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Action and mystery based, but very emotional with regard to the characters. It was more a smile often and tears of sentiment.


    Any additional comments?

    Wonderfully crafted and written, with characters I want to see again! Good resolutions, but not trite at all. I'm recommending it to everyone!

    155 of 184 people found this review helpful
  • Eugenia
    Chatsworth, CA, US
    28/11/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good Thriller With Character"

    A very entertaining thriller with terrific subplots of characters. This aspect set it apart from your usual thrillers with wonderful explorations of the lives of the main character, Joe, his mother, his autistic brother (which I thoroughly appreciated), Lila, Virgil and especially, Carl.
    The writing and character development added unexpected layers to an almost formula, but very involving, plot.
    Zach Villa was perfect as the narrator, lending just the right touch of inflections to the various voices.
    And I definitely loved the satisfying ending, which in these times of doom and uncertainty, I sorely needed.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Sara
    19/09/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not Your Average Thriller"

    This fast paced thriller was good because it was multidimensional with characters that were fully developed and explored through the story. So often, thrillers are peopled by cookie cutter characters and purposefully vague storytelling. Eskens does a good job telling a story that holds the interest and for the most part is believable. There were just a few bits that stretched my suspension of disbelief--but not enough to cause me to stop listening.

    To me, the narration was good. The writing engaging. There was moderate amount of discussion and action involving violence and disturbing themes. Recommended if you like cold case style crime solving done by nonprofessional "detectives"/researchers. In the end, an attention grabbing page turner.

    47 of 56 people found this review helpful
  • Raymond
    Madison, WI, United States
    02/01/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "One of the Best I've listened to in 15 years!"
    What did you love best about The Life We Bury?

    The story was compelling. About a dying man who spent 30 years in prison, a student and friend who were driven to investigate and in mortal danger for their efforts, a great narrator who captured all the events of the lives in this complex story. Great listen, great story, very surprising end.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Life We Bury?

    The end was entirely surprising.


    Have you listened to any of Zach Villa’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, but will certainly look for more books by this narrator.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    The emotional build up was amazing. The dying man's honesty, the student's family, mother, brother, revealed the character of this student. The girl friend who came along side the student. All were people with flaws, all were (accept the miserable mother) incredibly honest and likable.


    Any additional comments?

    I've been a listener since Audible came public in 1999 and this is without question one of the best books I've heard.

    12 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • Ted
    Lancaster, PA, United States
    13/12/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Satisfying"

    Okay, I sorta knew from the first where this was going. Who wrote that there are only a handful of really different plots available? So while Eskens takes a predictable road in "The Life We Bury" it's the journey's twists and threats that let this fine writer provide a satisfying trip.

    Here's the kind of escape into narrative that makes Audible books so useful when I'm washing dishes, raking leaves, gym-sweating, or commuting. Zach Villa's brought the story to life by inhabiting each of its characters so credibly.

    16 of 19 people found this review helpful
  • Christi B
    Memphis, TN
    03/12/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Figured it out but couldn't quit listening"

    This was a very well written and captivating story. I found it just reading other reviews and was quite pleased with the choice. The performance of the book was great also. I have to admit that I had the mystery figured out early in the book but it didn't make me want want to stop listening. I can't wait for this authors next piece

    95 of 118 people found this review helpful
  • Marsha Clark
    St. Matthews, SC, US
    16/10/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good, easy read"

    This book had a little bit of romance,, little bit of a twist, good plot and the author was never confusing. Generally a good read, except two dark sub-plots that distrubed me as a reader. It had to be in the story, but was just a little darker than I like to be exposed to. A little foul language which might offend some people.

    130 of 162 people found this review helpful

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