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Florida  By  cover art

Florida

By: Lauren Groff
Narrated by: Lauren Groff
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Publisher's Summary

New York Times best seller Lauren Groff returns with a new book as bold and consuming as her novel Fates and Furies. 

Lauren Groff is "a writer of rare gifts"*, and Florida - her first new book since her "clear the ground triumph"* Fates and Furies - is an electrifying, expanding listen. 

Over a decade ago, Groff moved to her adopted home state of Florida. The stories in this collection span characters, towns, decades, even centuries, but Florida - its landscape, climate, history, and state of mind - becomes its gravitational center. Storms, snakes, and sinkholes lurk at the edge of everyday life, but the greater threats and mysteries are of a human, emotional, and psychological nature. 

Groff's evocative storytelling and knife-sharp intelligence first transport the listener, then jolt us alert with a crackle of wit, a wave of sadness, a flash of cruelty, as she writes about loneliness, rage, family, and the passage of time. With shocking accuracy and effect, Groff pinpoints the moments and decisions and connections behind human pleasure and pain, hope and despair, love and fury - the moments that make us alive. Vigorous, startling, precise, and moving, Florida is a magnificent achievement. 

(*The New York Times, Washington Post

©2018 Lauren Groff (P)2018 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"Lauren Groff is a great storyteller.... Florida is restorative fiction for these urgent times. Its final gestures, even the most ominous...lean toward love and the promise of good people, in not just this state but the world." (New York Times)

"Something untameable lurks restlessly beneath the surface of this book. Groff’s incomparable prose pulsates with peril; its beauty, like that of the titular state itself, lies in a certain wild lushness." (Financial Times)

"These new stories are tight and contained, and they pulse with menace and feral energy." (Wall Street Journal)

Editor's Pick

Exploring Florida as a state of mind
"As an almost lifelong New Jerseyan, Florida has always seemed a mystifying place—one that caters to extremes—and Lauren Groff’s new aptly titled book never loses sight of that dynamism. Her characters, like their vibrant settings, are entropic, overgrown, and saturated with the small dissatisfactions that make for great drama. The short story cycle format works too. To listen to her perform this collection is to meet many different people, see many different states, all in one."
Michael D., Audible Editor

More from the same

What listeners say about Florida

Average Customer Ratings
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Don't buy the audiobook

I don't think this is a book for me, so I'm not gonna tell people not to read it. I am going to tell you that the audiobook version is frustratingly bad. The chapters are seemingly placed at random intervals throughout the short stories. Some end halfway through a sentence without any explanation as to why. On top of that, it's impossible to tell when any of the short stories will end, since every chapter is approximately the same length. If this book interests you, read it yourself, don't listen to it on Audible.

36 people found this helpful

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Thufferin thuccotash!

Why oh why do authors narrate their own books? There are so many fantastically talented people out there with voices that perfectly fit the idea the author is trying to convey. Just pick one and sit back and relax.

Lauren Groff, God bless her, has a lisp on her S's that doesn't make her any less of a person, and by Chapter 30 or so you kinda (sorta) get used to it, but man does it distract from listening. Once you notice the impediment it's all that you hear. Ugh..

As for as my ratings of two's across the boards, I have to say some of that was my fault. I've lived in Florida for the past 5 years, and whenever I move to a new place I like to get a sense of the history and the culture. I saw the Florida Panther on the cover and scanned the review. To me I thought this was going to be about Florida's colorful history.

But unfortunately the stories have little to do with my adoptive home state. They honestly could happen anywhere, and then Ms. Groff throws in a token mention of a hurricane or a gator just to keep with the theme.

If you want books outlining some of the color of the Sunshine State, check out the library of Carl Hiaasen. If you want dreamy narrating, poetic writing, and a mish-mosh of short stories that could take place anywhere, pick up this little book.

33 people found this helpful

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Terrible narration

I loved the excerpt of this book in The New Yorker, but Ms. Groff’s narration of her book of short stories was impossible to listen to. Uncertain, inconsistent, she sounded cheerful at the wrong moments, and drew out words in a silly way, as though this was a poetry reading. It was distracting and a real shame, as the raw material of the book (as I remember it) was quite good. My advice: Don’t download; buy the book.

13 people found this helpful

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Listening to this again

I don't always like it when the author narrates but in Florida, Lauren Groff is perfect. I'm listening to this book a second time which I've never done before.

7 people found this helpful

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Beware author readers

I knew it was a mistake to purchase this! Audible books are beautiful when performed by a pro. This author is no pro and I can only assume is motivated by greed. I am always reading and have for years now purchased both the audible and the text so that I never even drive to the grocery store without my book playing. Many times I have put a book down while reading so that I could listen to a passage on Audible because the reader is so good that I know it will be beautiful. But authors who read their own works as a commercial endeavor just don't pass muster. I'm giving up on this half way through, a practice that I try to avoid at all costs. Moving on.

4 people found this helpful

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Experience Groff's vignettes w/ her narration

I'm a big Groff fan and have been since I was captivated by her lyrical, rich prose when reading Fates & Furies. I saw her speak on her book tour for Florida, and she mentioned that she felt it was her responsibility to write something very much in and of this world. And through this series, we see characters grapple with climate change, politics, gentrification, sexual violence, but it is often just a piece of the narrative. She's subtle in writing stories about the people, but illuminating the context in which they live while exploring their lives. I can be particular about what types of books I prefer to read vs. listen to, but I think the shorter vignette style works well in audio form and there is something intimate about hearing it in Groff's voice. But the prose is superb, so I've also picked up a physical copy so I can read and appreciate the particularly good bits of writing.

4 people found this helpful

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She really understands North Florida

Lauren Groff's Florida is not Disney World or Ft Lauderdale. It is an earthy, scary place and Ms Groff has taken the time to understand its contradictions. Her portrayal of a woman's decent into homelessness was heartbreaking and the best I've read.

2 people found this helpful

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Couldn't listen for long

Bought it for the title for some local color. Narration was awful..really put me off - sorry.

2 people found this helpful

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SEXUAL EQUALITY

“Florida” is a series of well written short stories. The binding theme of the author’s stories is her view of life. As Lauren Groff makes clear in her former book, “Fates and Furies”, there is little difference between the sexes. Women may give birth, but children are children who need care. The truth is men, more often than women, physically leave their children. Most women stay. Groff suggests it is not necessarily because women want to stay but they have fewer alternatives.

Groff infers women most often stay, but not because of a maternal instinct. A woman can choose to abandon their children just like men, but they may have grown to love their children. On the other hand, they may fear the social recrimination if they leave like fathers. Emotional human attachment is important in every story Groff writes. She is not suggesting either men or women are incapable of real love of each other and their children. She is arguing there are no intellectual, or emotional differences between the sexes.

1 person found this helpful

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languid, succinct, melancholy, wonderful

great narration, couldn't get enough. languid pace to the stories but the succinct prose keep pulling you along. melancholy like a hot summer afternoon

1 person found this helpful