• Night. Sleep. Death. The Stars.

  • A Novel
  • By: Joyce Carol Oates
  • Narrated by: Cheryl Smith
  • Length: 30 hrs and 24 mins
  • 4.0 out of 5 stars (101 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The bonds of family are tested in the wake of a profound tragedy, providing a look at the darker side of our society by one of our most enduringly popular and important writers.

Night. Sleep. Death. The Stars. is a gripping examination of contemporary America through the prism of a family tragedy: When a powerful parent dies, each of his adult children reacts in startling and unexpected ways, and his grieving widow in the most surprising way of all.

Stark and penetrating, Joyce Carol Oates’s latest novel is a vivid exploration of race, psychological trauma, class warfare, grief, and eventual healing, as well as an intimate family novel in the tradition of the author’s best-selling We Were the Mulvaneys

©2020 Joyce Carol Oates (P)2020 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about Night. Sleep. Death. The Stars.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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A New All Time Favorite

Night. Sleep. Death. The Stars. is everything a great book should be. It is the story of a widow whose husband dies tragically and her family. Readers have to stay with this long sombre book, as it tells of widowhood, tells of a tragic death, and includes some rather insufferable (but surprising) characters. Those who have experienced a death in their family may find this resonates deeply There are chapters, paragraphs, and lines that can take your breath away or bring tears. Also some (few) are very funny. The ending is subtly spectacular. You will see everything that makes Joyce Carol Oates today's finest author.

This isn't a book you can go through quickly or with half attention. It's one to read carefully and mull over. The plot includes some events of police brutality and other forms of bigotry/hate as Oates portrays a range of characters we often meet in any given town. But masterfully, the author does not use those as a bandstand of any sort. People who are politically sensitive or wish to ignore those things would perhaps not like the book. But I'm so grateful I didn't miss it. I'm ordering a hard copy to have on my bookshelf and share.

12 people found this helpful

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Bad ending

A lot of the parts I wanted to fast forward through but I kept waiting for something to happen it never did especially at the end

3 people found this helpful

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Lasted about 9 hours

Life is too short for this one. Nine hours in and little to nothing has happened. Too slow. Everything we have learned so far could have been covered in an hour, two hours at the most. Returning this one. On to the next possibility.

Such a shame, I do love a good long book. Good being the critical word in that sentence.

2 people found this helpful

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Very disappointed

The book was so repetitive. I love long novels but this one was way too long and the ending wasn’t worth waiting for! I am not sure I really liked any of the characters....didn’t want to root for any of them except Whitey and he was dead. I’m sorry the book didn’t delve more into the investigation of the death of Whitey. Good character development, I will say that. The narrator took away from the story with her full and very boring performance. All characters sounded the same...bland! No passion in her reading. Not sure I would listen to another book where she was the narrator. I love this author, but was very disappointed with the book!

1 person found this helpful

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Sad and quite boring.

I fast-forwarded through much of this book, and it did not get any better. I had to quit listening so that I wouldn't slit my wrists in despair. NOT a good book if you are stranded with Covid isolation and looking to be heartened.

1 person found this helpful

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Was sadly disappointed

Struggled to finish, felt like the ending was incomplete. So many questions of what is next?

1 person found this helpful

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Way too long

I kept waiting for something to happen. I suffered through the 30 hours. It is truly a strange book

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Fascinating, unpredictable twisting plot

I liked the voice, the underlying racial issues between people of color and the police.
It kept me interested all he way through.
What was hard to be w/ wAs the constant racial prejudices that never got resolved w/ some characters. And the irony of Tom taking matters into his own hands and the settlement. It was a bit sappy but sweet when Hugo showed up. I loved the look into The life of Virgil and I came to love him and understand Josylin mote through him. Overall it was a beautifully woven novel of different people’s lives through a tradgedy.

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Such depth into the soul and the aftermath of grief.

Page turner, raw emotion and great description of the binding individuals’ idiosyncrasies comprising a family.

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May be long, but worth the listen!

This book had so many moments that were so timely. Was not going to get it because it was so many hours, but so glad I did.