Saturday, August 1, 2009

A Happy Marriage

At one point during the Audiofile Lobsterbake, Ben Cheever came over to me and handed me a book by his friend, novelist Rafael Yglesias. He was very excited about it, hinted that some very solid reviews were forthcoming, and wondered if Blackstone would be interested in pursuing the audio rights. Sure enough, the next day's New York Times Book Review contained a glowing full-page review, and the daily review which followed was equally strong.

To make a long story short, we pursued it and got the rights (not without some competition--the book was selling at #265 on Amazon within a few days!). It's a wonderful story--I'll quote from the Publisher's Weekly review:

As the novel opens in 1975, 21-year-old Enrique Sabas, a high school–dropout literary wunderkind, has just met Margaret Cohen, a vivacious, beautiful budding graphic designer who will become the love of his life. Enrique and Margaret's romantic and sexual misadventures during the first awkward weeks of their courtship are interspersed with scenes from the couple's three decades together before Margaret succumbs to cancer: raising children, losing a parent, the temptation of an easy affair. Margaret's physical decline and Enrique's acknowledgment of guilt, inadequacy and a selfish desire to postpone his loss are described in blunt, heart-wrenching detail, and Enrique's ongoing struggles to define the nature of masculinity, the significance of art and the value of marriage add a philosophical layer to the domestic snapshots.
We are currently consulting with the author about the choice of narrator. We've got some very good ones in mind, so we're confident it will be an engrossing listen.

Update 9/7/09: I've been chosen to narrate (no, I didn't try to skew the submissions--we had several excellent ones and I frankly felt like a runner-up!) so I'll be getting to this later in the month.

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