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Publisher's Summary

One morning, Jessa-Lynn Morton walks into the family taxidermy shop to find that her father has committed suicide, right there on one of the metal tables. Shocked and grieving, Jessa steps up to manage the failing business, while the rest of the Morton family crumbles. Her mother starts sneaking into the shop to make aggressively lewd art with the taxidermied animals. Her brother Milo withdraws, struggling to function. And Brynn, Milo's wife - and the only person Jessa's ever been in love with - walks out without a word. 

As Jessa seeks out less-than-legal ways of generating income, her mother's art escalates - picture a figure of her dead husband and a stuffed buffalo in an uncomfortably sexual pose - and the Mortons reach a tipping point. For the first time, Jessa has no choice but to learn who these people truly are, and ultimately how she fits alongside them. 

Kristen Arnett's debut novel is a darkly funny, heart-wrenching, and eccentric look at loss and love. 

An Esquire Magazine Pick of Most Anticipated Books of 2019
A BuzzFeed Books Pick of 2019 - Books to Keep on Your Radar
A Huffington Post Pick of 2019 - Books We're Looking Forward To
A Boston Globe Pick of Books We Can't Wait to Read
A Bustle Pick of 2019's Books to Add to Your Reading List

©2019 Kristen Arnett (P)2019 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Featured Article: The Best Lesbian Listens by Queer Authors


Get to know lesbian literature’s past and present with these essential listens from the LGBTQIA+ canon. Anyone on the hunt for the best LGBTQIA+ audiobooks knows that it can still be a challenge to find stories centered on lesbian characters and experiences. Discover the best lesbian listens across fiction and nonfiction and in a range of genres and age categories, with one common factor: All of these stories are focused on lesbian characters.

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What listeners say about Mostly Dead Things

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

not funny, not even a little bit believable

not a funny book, self depricating in the worst way. the love angle was weird and forced.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Jo
  • 11-25-19

Save your time and money...

I seldom write reviews, everyone is entitled to an opinion on the books they read but this book is spectacularly bad. I'm not offended by the references to taxidermy, although the gratuitous killing of exotic animals for profit and pleasure is appalling. No where does the main character even reference the fact that the animals are more beautiful and amazing alive than stuffed for her pleasure or to prove her prowess. The sex stuff is even weirder and I sincerely hope the author uses the proceeds from this book to get counseling.

4 people found this helpful

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Animal lovers beware.

I love that this book has a queer main character and a unique story line but I couldn’t finish reading it. Animals are not treated well in this book. I finally stopped reading and left this book unfinished because several beautiful peacocks were killed, in a callus and flippant way. And that was not the first time I nearly stopped reading due to the treatment of animals, it had just been the last straw. Didn’t like the characters and hated the flippant disregard of animals and their treatment. Animals lovers should definitely beware before reading this book.

18 people found this helpful

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Surprisingly Sweet

I enjoyed a lot of things about this book. To name a few:

1. It was queer without the entire storyline having to be about the drama of being queer.
2. It humanized imperfect people. I read, “Normal People,” earlier this year and it felt similar in this vein.
3. It humanized poor people. It explored the complexity of grief and human emotion.

I can’t wait to read more from Kristin Arnett..

2 people found this helpful

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Awesome

This is a fascinating and moving story that captures the intricate nature of family relationships and learning how to let go.

1 person found this helpful

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Buy the hardcover book instead

I think I would’ve liked this much more if the reader didn’t take every word so seriously. Story wise, there was a lot to play around with but I felt the narrator had no interest in trying out any other tone but blasé boredom.

1 person found this helpful

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Unimpressed

Just really unimpressed and story kind hard to understand and felt there was no point to the story

3 people found this helpful

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Ugh.

There was not a single character in this novel that wasn’t trash. Interesting premise, poor character development, subpar narration.

12 people found this helpful

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  • SD
  • 07-25-21

Terrible Reader!

This narrative would have been much better if a different narrator had been chosen. Vilinsky was terrible.

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Great Story, Questionable Narration

I struggled to get through this on audiobook and eventually gave-up and finished it on my Kindle. There is an a misplaced emotional tone to the narration that comes off like a child coming down from a tantrum, suppressing sobs with every sentence that feels extremely disconnected from the emotionally fractured protagonist. It’s extremely distracting and takes away from the cleverness of the prose.