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The Need

The Need

Scritto da Helen Phillips

Narrato da Alexandra Allwine


The Need

Scritto da Helen Phillips

Narrato da Alexandra Allwine

valutazioni:
3.5/5 (116 valutazioni)
Lunghezza:
6 ore
Pubblicato:
Jul 9, 2019
ISBN:
9781508279778
Formato:
Audiolibro

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Nota del redattore

An ‘Oprah Magazine’ Best of 2019…

“In an ingenious, edgy speculative fiction that finds the monstrous in the notion of domestic tranquillity, Phillips leads us into a fraught daymare in which a young mother’s anxiety — exacerbated by insomnia and her husband’s absence — serves as a parable for all that keeps us up at night,” according to “O, The Oprah Magazine.”

Descrizione

From the award-winning author of The Beautiful Bureaucrat comes a subversive, genre-busting thriller about a woman who grapples with the complex dualities of motherhood — joy and dread, tenderness and anxiety — after confronting a masked intruder in her home.

There were footsteps in the other room....

So begins The Need, a sharp and haunting exploration of the joys and perils of modern motherhood. Molly is a paleobotanist who spends her days working at a fossil quarry where she sometimes unearths artifacts that defy understanding, including a controversial Bible that has recently attracted gawkers and conspiracy theorists. By night, she cares for her two young children — four-year-old Viv and one-year-old Ben — while her musician husband is away on tour. She’s frazzled, sleep-deprived, and it seems the edges of her reality blur more each day.

When she hears an intruder in the house, Molly is desperate to keep her children safe. She confronts the figure in the deer mask — and discovers that this stranger knows everything about Molly and her family. Molly fears the most sinister motives even as she reluctantly, terrifyingly acquiesces to the intruder’s demands. What happens once she learns the true identity of the trespasser is chilling and otherworldy.

With tight, gorgeous prose and the urgent pacing of the best psychological thrillers, Helen Phillips unfurls a story that is at once cerebral and transcendent. The Need toggles between Molly’s surreal work life and her harrowing home life, excavating deep truths about modern motherhood even as it poses provocative questions about the nature of the universe and the ethics of empathy. The hopes and heartaches of parenthood exposed in this audiobook, coupled with the gripping sci-fi speculation, makes for a haunting, propulsive, and unforgettable listen from an author The New York Times calls “breathtaking and wondrous”.

Pubblicato:
Jul 9, 2019
ISBN:
9781508279778
Formato:
Audiolibro

Disponibile anche come...

Disponibile anche come libroLibro

Informazioni sull'autore

Helen Phillips is the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer's Award and the Italo Calvino Prize and more. She is the author of the widely acclaimed The Beautiful Bureaucrat. Her debut collection And Yet They Were Happy was named a notable book by The Story Prize. Her work has appeared in Tin House, Electric Literature, and The New York Times. An assistant professor of creative writing at Brooklyn College, she lives in Brooklyn with her husband and children.


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Cosa pensano gli utenti di The Need

3.4
116 valutazioni / 22 Recensioni
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Recensioni dei lettori

  • (5/5)
    Mind bending, suspenseful and creepy. Narration is perfect tone for the feeling of the book. I’m still processing the ending...but an excellent, creepy read.
  • (5/5)
    Wonderfully crafted. Loved every minute. Can’t wait to recommend to my friends.
  • (1/5)
    This is my first book by Helen Phillips. I regret to say it will be my last. It has gotten lots of great reviews (4 & 5 Stars) which I had not read. I don't like to know a lot about a book before reading it, so I use other ways of choosing what to read. Maybe I should start reading reviews before reading books! I don't know what genre this novel would fall under, probably "Thriller," but if there is one entitled "Strange", that's where I'd put it. It's mainly about motherhood and since I a mother and grandmother, I thought I'd enjoy and relate to it. But I was drained reading about the exhaustion of this working mother, a paleontologist, with two children. The older was 4-years-old and the younger was a nursing baby. Her husband, a musician, worked when and where he could get a gig, and of course, this novel is set while he is out-of-town.The endless diaper changing, breast feeding, breast pumping, breast leaking, and "coming down" of the milk was very monotonous as was the constant whining of the 4-year-old. It all just made me feel impatient with the situation. There was a lot of repetition throughout the novel.There is a tie to science fiction and it's a very strange, immersive concept. I won't even try to describe it and I don't want to include any spoilers. But it's just plain weird. I did like the very, very short chapters which encouraged me to keep reading until I finished the hardcover version of 258 pages.
  • (4/5)
    I don't feel like I can adequately review this without spoilers. I will say it's completely unexpected and the "intruder" ends up being a huge twist. The main character, Molly, is very well developed. Her insights into motherhood, particularly breastfeeding, were spot on. The storyline is strange. Very strange. That didn't bother me as much as the ending. I found it so clever along the way, but the ending was abrupt and disappointing.
  • (1/5)
    A few days ago, my sister, who generally dislikes fiction, got into my car. The book was in its early stages. This morning, after a few minutes of listening, she looked at me with a puzzled expression. I said, “Parallel universe.” She went on to ask what happened in the book that had been playing on Friday. Again, I said, “Parallel Universe.” On Friday, she had exited just after the intruder had left the main characters house. Which was suspenseful and well-written. We were both on the edge of our seats. At that point, I thought I had stumbled across a true story-teller. I pictured myself binging on her other books until I had read every last word. The story devolved rapidly. Then, it kept devolving. It devolved to the point that I listened only to see how much more ridiculously bad the story would become. It was bad. Really, bad. In fact, the two parts of the book are so different I’d speculate the author had a deadline to meet despite an earth-shattering bout of writers block she suffered partway through.
  • (3/5)
    Very unusual and left me a little puzzled.
  • (1/5)
    This is a pointless book, a complete waste of time.
  • (5/5)
    Like a cross between Us and Annihilation! Very interesting and unique.
  • (5/5)
    This book is VERY aptly named. “The Need” or needs of the main character Molly come across so strongly that the feeling is palpable. It’s not a long book – but everything that she was doing and everything that was happening to her were written with such intensity and power that I found myself putting it down several times in the few hours it took me to read – just because I needed to take a break and back away from the building explosion of emotion.“But then, existing the bathroom, returning to the kitchen, a cosmic precariousness. The anguish of the other was a contaminating force spreading throughout Norma’s house, the hallway, the floor, the ceiling, and Molly found herself polluted, debilitated, by images she could no longer keep out of her head.” Molly’s experience is similar to the way I felt while reading – the words and the feelings they convey just flow from the page with such force that they are almost unshakable.The author uses several techniques to keep the reader off guard and unsettled – timelines go back and forth, Molly is an unreliable narrator, reality and fantasy are interwoven, characters are introduced whose very existence is in doubt… Imagine all of that interspersed with a short novel about a new, exhausted, overworked mother who very much loves her children at the same time she is trying to figure out how her life got this way. “Moment by moment, maddened by them and melted by them, maddened/melted, maddened/melted, maddened/melted.”Molly adores her children, is nearly consumed by not only their day to day needs, but by their very existence, by the responsibility she has as their mother to care, in all senses of the word, for them. When they are safe and with her (and sleeping) – she can finally be at peace. “No safety like this safety. The oxytocin churning through them. If the world must end, let it end now, when we are here, like this. Every single other thing – from the exhaustion of the week to evolution itself – in in the interest of this. This pure lack of desire. The need for absolutely nothing more than this.”Any parent or caregiver who has lived through the awake at night/exhausted during the day cycle of watching small children can relate to Molly’s world. “The house had slipped into its alternate state of being, the sublime calm that envelops a space when its undomesticated residents are, at last, at rest. It was as though the house, too, slept, as though the walls themselves breathed, matching the pace of their breathing to the extra slow in and out of children sleeping, the lungs of the universe.”The book is about life and death and safety and danger and love and grief – all in the most intense formats and sometimes all mixed together. If that sounds confusing (I’m sure it does) – all I can say is that somehow it works. Somehow – this book absolutely sucks the reader in. Molly’s story is one that is incredibly powerful and absolutely unforgettable. “It had always seemed a bit deceitful to Molly, the way we put our children to bed in soft pajamas, give them milk, read them books, locate their stuffed creatures, tell them that all is well, there’s nothing to be scared of, as though sleep isn’t one-sixteenth of death. When they resist the prospect of sleep, of long dark lonely hours, intuiting that this is indeed a rehearsal for death, we murmur to them, we rub their backs, pretending they will never die.”“The Need” is about the most basic needs of the human animal interspersed with the deepest and truest of the complex and incredibly unique emotional needs of we creatures that make up the human race.
  • (4/5)
    (Review of an ARC picked up at a local bookstore.) This is a powerful little novel from the talented Helen Phillips. Not since I read "Room" have I felt such an intense sense of 'mother dread' that only comes from reading great fiction about protecting children, about what it really takes to be there for them as a parent 24 hours a day / 7 days a week.This is unusual speculative fiction, complete with sleep deprivation, breast feeding, a very strange archaeological site, and an especially questionable narrator. Not soon forgotten and a great book to discuss after reading.
  • (4/5)
    Well............what a strange story. Speculative fiction has been hit or miss for me. This one a hit. Every mother who has juggled the many responsibilities in her life, I believe, will find this book meaningful. The less said better here, it's really better to read without any preconceived notions. I do want to say though, that despite the book summary, this is not a thriller. Yes it is intense in parts, but not for the reasons one would think. If you are in the mood for something different, well written, give this one a try. The young daughter in the story is a real hoot which lightened things up a bit.ARC from Netgalley.
  • (4/5)
    I love a story that defies the limitations of genre. I also love stories that seamlessly blend genres. The Need is a story that does both, but could also be viewed as living in multiple genres at the same time while also living fully and only in one genre from one perspective or another from a different perspective.Motherhood, working while raising young children, the otherness of mothers, the fear, the joy... being a woman AND a mother, being a partner AND a mother... giving up your self freely and recklessly to those tiny humans while also clinging to your self, your separateness... duality in its purest form... all these things and more.I couldn't put this down. The short chapters spilled into the next and I just couldn't stop. There were a couple times Molly felt a little "woe is me," so that's why 4 stars instead of 5. Phillips delivers yet again.
  • (5/5)
    A strange intense book about motherhood. I liked it a lot, but it is not what it seems
  • (1/5)
    I really wanted to know how it ended, made it halfway but just couldn't continue. The book was hard to follow and kept repeating.
  • (3/5)

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

    I am still trying to track the story line...I just don’t know what the fuck happened.

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

  • (4/5)

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

    It's a good book overall but hard to follow at times.

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

  • (1/5)

    2 persone l'hanno trovata utile

    I tried to follow the storyline. I even pushed through and finished the book, but I'm so confused!

    2 persone l'hanno trovata utile

  • (4/5)

    2 persone l'hanno trovata utile

    This is the first fiction audiobook I've read, and I could not have chosen a better first one. The lyrical, suspenseful prose grips you and never lets go until the last page (or spoken sentence, for that matter).

    2 persone l'hanno trovata utile

  • (5/5)

    5 persone l'hanno trovata utile

    Helen Phillps has a wonderfully creative mind. I discovered The Need via its inclusion in my Scribd recommended reading feed. I was wholly captivated from word one of this extraordinary book. It was that good.

    5 persone l'hanno trovata utile

  • (4/5)

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

    Dark, ambiguous ...and mesmeric. Comparable to “I’m Thinking of Ending Things.”

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

  • (3/5)

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

    The Short of It:I’d be lying if I said I fully understood everything that went on in this novel.The Rest of It:Molly is a scientist. I believe a paleobotonist if I’m remembering correctly. She spends her day analyzing fossils and giving tours to people curious about her team’s findings. Of late, some strange things have shown up in the pit, including an alternative Bible where God is a “she”, a shiny penny, and some pottery pieces. These items are odd enough to draw an interesting crowd. Religious fanatics begin to show up along with dozens of pieces of hate mail.When not at work, Molly is completely overwhelmed by motherhood. One morning, while her husband is away on business, she finds herself scrambling for safety within her own home when an intruder shows up and threatens the well-being of herself and her two young children. An intruder, wearing a deer’s head mask.This is a bizarre read. It’s labeled as speculative fiction and I would agree with that. I honestly did not know what the heck was going on. Is Molly out of her mind? Is she dead? Dreaming? On drugs? What? In a short amount of time, the identity of the intruder is revealed and then it gets REALLY weird.Without giving anything away, I will say that if the point of the novel is to emphasize how motherhood can completely overtake you and change you both physically and mentally, then Helen Phillips accomplished that. Molly’s adventures in motherhood completely drain her. She is literally sucked dry by her breastfeeding son, and her daughter’s astute observations of what is going on serve to remind Molly just how much her brain has turned to mush since becoming a mother. This part, is very accurate.But the rest of the story is very Twilight Zone-ish and odd. Some of it was disturbing to read only because it made me uncomfortable. Much of it is raw and blunt. The scientific element was interesting but not fully explored. I hesitate to say that this would be a good book for a club to discuss because I can see many hating it. Especially those who have never been a mom. But, it’s odd enough and pieced together in such a way that it warrants a discussion. In that sense, it would be great book to discuss.Have any of you read it? From the cover, I thought the story would be about alien plants. Seriously.For more reviews, visit my blog: Book Chatter.

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

  • (3/5)

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

    This is a bizarre one and one that left me wondering what really happened. In it, Molly is a paleobotanist, excavating a site behind a defunct gas station where a large number of plant fossils are being found, including some new discoveries. She's also finding some newer, odder artifacts -- items that are just slightly off, like an Altoids box that is shaped differently or little army men with tails. She also finds a Bible in which only one detail is changed, and that is causing an influx of visitors, which is helping to finance the work. Molly also has two small children and a husband who travels for work. While she does have a full-time babysitter, she feels isolated and overwhelmed by her two children. She's not sleeping well and she's worried that she's overreacting when she hears someone in the house one night. She hides with her children, until she decides she was imagining things, but later that evening her daughter asks about the man in the house and soon after she finds a menacing note in her daughter's favorite picture book.This is playing with two different premises, that an overwhelmed Molly is slowly losing hold of what is real and the idea of an alternate universe, accessible through the dig site, and how the things leaking through are altering the world Molly exists in. It's a lot, and because Phillips is keeping her options open, neither possibility is fully realized. It's certainly a book for those who like things odd and ambiguous. And also for those who are fine with a lot of details of life with very young children.

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile