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The Mars Room

Narrated by: Rachel Kushner
Length: 9 hrs and 41 mins
4.1 out of 5 stars (69 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Random House presents the audiobook edition of The Mars Room, written and read by Rachel Kushner. 

Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2018.

The New York Times best seller.

Romy Hall is at the start of two consecutive life sentences, plus six years, at Stanville Women’s Correctional Facility. Outside is the world from which she has been permanently severed: the San Francisco of her youth, changed almost beyond recognition. The Mars Room strip club where she once gave lap dances for a living. And her seven-year-old son, Jackson, now in the care of Romy’s estranged mother. 

Inside is a new reality to adapt to: thousands of women hustling for the bare essentials needed to survive. The deadpan absurdities of institutional living, which Kushner details with humour and precision. Daily acts of violence by guards and prisoners alike. Allegiances formed over liquor brewed in socks, and stories shared through sewage pipes. 

Romy sees the future stretch out ahead of her in a long, unwavering line - until news from outside brings a ferocious urgency to her existence, challenging her to escape her own destiny and culminating in a climax of almost unbearable intensity. Through Romy - and through a cast of astonishing characters populating The Mars Room - Rachel Kushner presents not just a bold and unsentimental panorama of life on the margins of contemporary America but an excoriating attack on the prison-industrial complex. 

©2018 Rachel Kushner (P)2018 Random House Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

"An unforgettable novel." (Daily Telegraph)

"More knowing about prison life [than Orange Is the New Black]... so powerful." (New York Times)

"One of America's finest writers." (Vogue)

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What listeners say about The Mars Room

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  • 17-06-2019

gritty great read

as usual superb production. but hard hitting and bleak novel author's narration excellent highly recommended

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great book

I really loved this book and the narrator was great. I wasn't ready for it to end!

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It’s was ok.

This book came highly recommended in a book review and I have to say, I wasn’t overly impressed. It was an ok little story, I stuck it out to the end, but I would be hard pressed to recommend it to anyone.

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struggled to finish

I really struggled to finish this. we knew what the outcome was so going into the details that much and back and forth made me start to lose interest

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excellent though imperfect.

superb book written with restraint, candour and heart. The author's narration is wonderful, an honour to have her read her work.

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Pity or blame

Rachel Kushner gives you an insight into the world of women - women who commit crimes - some unspeakable. Women who are incarcerated or on death row and yet the brutality of the system that these woman enter is awful. They don't stand a chance in life and American culture and "justice" receives a lambasting. I still felt pity for "Romy" and for others in that prison. The different narrators also provided insights and perspectives. My only small criticism is that the reader had a very flat and at times monotonous voice that possible did not suit all of the subjects. I would recommend this book - I for one always like to read about experiences I would never enter and the book always held my interest and I found it fascinating.

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