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Publisher's Summary

THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER

One of New York Times Book Review's "summer reads guaranteed to make your heart thump and your skin crawl"; An Amazon Best of the Month Pick; Named a must-read summer book by The Washington Post, USA Today, Vulture, BuzzFeed, Forbes, Entertainment Weekly, CNN, New York Post, Good Housekeeping, E!, PopSugar, CrimeReads, Thrillist, and BookRiot

It’s November 1991. Nirvana's in the tape deck, George H. W. Bush is in the White House, and movie-obsessed college student Charlie Jordan is in a car with a man who might be a serial killer.

Josh Baxter, the man behind the wheel, is a virtual stranger to Charlie. They met at the campus ride board, each looking to share the long drive home to Ohio. Both have good reasons for wanting to get away. For Charlie, it’s guilt and grief over the shocking murder of her best friend, who became the third victim of the man known as the Campus Killer. For Josh, it’s to help care for his sick father - or so he says. 

The longer she sits in the passenger seat, the more Charlie notices there’s something suspicious about Josh, from the holes in his story about his father to how he doesn’t want her to see inside the trunk. As they travel an empty, twisty highway in the dead of night, an increasingly anxious Charlie begins to think she’s sharing a car with the Campus Killer. Is Josh truly dangerous? Or is Charlie’s jittery mistrust merely a figment of her movie-fueled imagination?

One thing is certain - Charlie has nowhere to run and no way to call for help. Trapped in a terrifying game of cat and mouse played out on pitch-black roads and in neon-lit parking lots, Charlie knows the only way to win is to survive the night.

©2021 Riley Sager (P)2021 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"This tale almost reads as an allegory for the lofty demands set upon women, particularly during the young adult years, albeit with an R.L. Stine ‘Fear Street’ feel, mixed with Hitchcockian noir and all the top music numbers of the nineties.... And it wouldn’t be a Sager novel without an ode to films woven throughout, plus multiple twists along the way....The novel satisfies like a summer blockbuster, nearly demands you stay until the final scenes and the lights come up.” (USA Today)

“A fast-paced, twisty thriller.... A first-rate read.... But then, with four final pages, Sager reveals a final surprise that is stunning yet somehow feels exactly right.” (Associated Press)

“With every mile, the tension rises toward a deliciously unbearable pitch.” (Good Housekeeping)

What listeners say about Survive the Night

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Terrible narration

I really looked forward to this story.....even pre-ordered it. what a disappointment. The narration was just completely wrong for this character. what a drama queen.

13 people found this helpful

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All in a Day’s Work

I started listening this morning for a six mile run— I pushed on with house and yard work, still listening. I found more and more to do just to keep going with the book. Finally tonight, with an hour and forty minutes left, I went on a bike ride— I just could not stop listening. Great story.

12 people found this helpful

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Wasn’t for me

The story was a bit ridiculous with her “hallucinations“ and seemed to drag on a bit much. Several parts were just stupid where you’ll think what the heck is she is doing: more than one occasion she tells herself she should run from him and the next scene she’s getting back in the car with him. Occasionally the narrator would take these very audible, deep breaths that were distracting, but I did like her voice. I would not recommend this book to my friends.

11 people found this helpful

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Mediocore B Movie horror

The narration is awful. Over pronounced and the male character voices are unbelievably cliche.
As for the story, Sager excels at coming up with compelling premises and settings, but the execution always falls short of the bullseye. Overwritten in places and lacking overall horror and dread, Survive the Night also boasts one of the most boring and irritating protagonists.

10 people found this helpful

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Hate to say it, but it was a huge let down.

I have been anticipating Sager's next book for months. I was hoping it would be more thrilling than his last...it wasn't. The premise is strong, and I like the idea of the 90's setting, but ultimately it just drags on. It is painfully slow and the narrator does nothing to help you stay engaged in the story. Imagine someone who just took an ambien telling you about a "scary" lifetime movie . Ultimately, even if you can get past the pace and narration, the story just lacks originality and excitement for 7 out of 9 hours, and the other 2 hours aren't enough to make up for it.

I wanted so badly for this to be as good as Sager's first few books, but this was easily my least favorite of all. :'(

9 people found this helpful

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Read a Different Book by the Author

I’ve read other titles by Riley Sager that I enjoyed, however, this was not one of them. I found the main character annoying and often had to stop myself from rolling my eyes at many situations and conversations.

Positives? The narrator does a great job. She is what got me to the end.. and the last 15 minutes are the best part of the book.
Also, you could make a drinking game out of listening! Take a shot for every time the phrase “movie in my mind” is used.. you’ll thank me later.

Like I said, I’ve enjoyed other works by Sager, I would recommend for you to check those out instead.

5 people found this helpful

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Officially DONE With Riley Sager

This book has not a single redeeming quality.
The entire set up lacks credulity and the main character is so vapid, flat, and lifeless that I honestly didn’t care what happened to her or the gentleman driving.
And my gosh, those ridiculous “ I don’t know if I’m hallucinating or if this is reality” thing is so absurd. Honestly, it’s insulting to anyone who actually struggles with real PTSD and it’s accompanying symptoms (trust me this is NOT how symptoms manifest).
Furthermore, someone whose good friend was just murdered isn’t going to just hop in a car and take her chances a short time later.
No woman would have ever put herself in this position and furthermore, if things were so dire that she had no choice but to accept this ride, she would have jumped out of that car during any of the multiple opportunities she had to do so.
I love “The Last Time I Lied” and have continued to purchase Mr Sager’s books in the hope that maybe THIS time we’ll get another winner.
Well, Lock Every Door was a joke, Final Girls was so stupid and disappointing I vowed not to make the mistake again (plus the whole book was like a Xanax advert).
Then “Home Before Dark” came out and the plot line was my DREAM set up for a book.
Once again, by the third chapter I realized I’d been suckered again.
Well, this is the last RS review I’ll ever write. Because I am done done done.
This author is officially incapable of delivering a truly scary or interestingly thrilling book with characters that actually HAVE character.
The narration has never been an issue with any of these books; it is always reasonably good. The writing is so terrible is just doesn’t matter.
Save your $$$ and purchase Alex Michaelides, Ruth Ware, Ragnar Jonasson, or Louise Douglas instead...

3 people found this helpful

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Not my favorite from Riley Sager

Very slow start, and middle, but gets good at the very end. If it was written by anybody else, I Wouldn't have kept going. Definitely not my favorite, but the end was Good.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

went from promising to disappointing

The first half of the book was interesting when you think the killer is one person but then when you find out it's definitely not them then I becomes obvious who it is since there's only 5 characters in this book and one of them is dead. That would have been fine if the notice was some big twist or something but more like just cause he didn't like the victim. Also, whenever the narrator does make voices it's not very convincing, I prefer a cast or at least a man to read the male parts.

2 people found this helpful

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Ridiculous.

One of the stupidest books I've ever listened to. The premise was silly, the hallucinations were silly, the whole resolution was silly. None of it makes any sense. It's slightly predictable and lacks believable motivation for the actions of the characters. I think I'm done with this author. Each book just gets worse than the one before.

1 person found this helpful