• The Boys

  • A Novel
  • By: Katie Hafner
  • Narrated by: BJ Harrison
  • Length: 7 hrs and 19 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (79 ratings)

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The Boys  By  cover art

The Boys

By: Katie Hafner
Narrated by: BJ Harrison
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Publisher's Summary

"A brilliant, thoughtful novel that comes with perhaps the greatest shocker in recent literature (no spoiler alert). A superb meditation on loneliness and community."—Gary Shteyngart, New York Times bestselling author of Our Country Friends 

A tour-de-force novel about love, the yearning for connection, and the ways in which childhood trauma plays out in adult life. 

When introverted Ethan Fawcett marries Barb, he has every reason to believe he will be delivered from a lifetime of solitude. One day Barb brings home two young brothers, Tommy and Sam, for them to foster, and when the pandemic hits, Ethan becomes obsessed with providing a perfect life for the boys. Instead of bringing Barb and Ethan closer together, though, the boys become a wedge in their relationship, as Ethan is unable to share with Barb a secret that has been haunting him since childhood. Then Ethan takes Tommy and Sam on a biking trip in Italy, and it becomes clear just how unusual Ethan and his children are—and what it will take for Ethan to repair his marriage. 

This hauntingly beautiful debut novel—a bold and original high-wire feat—is filled with humor and surprise.

©2022 Katie Hafner (P)2022 Spiegel & Grau by OrangeSky Audio

What listeners say about The Boys

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
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Surprising, Gentle and Satisfying

I so enjoyed the beginning of the story that when the twist arrived, I was put off at first. But I pushed on and soon realized that the quiet precision of the writing was unchanged. The characters are drawn with an illuminating softness, like an Edward Hopper painting or a comfortable old t-shirt. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

1 person found this helpful

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Great novel and narration!

Amazing performance. BJ Harrison brought the characters to life. I can’t wait until the author Katie Hafner writes her second novel.

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Such A Cool Plot!

At moments, I I did find myself wishing Ms Hafner would move the plot along a bit, yet in hindsight, her development is necessary for her wonderful plotline. Mid-novel, the point-of-view changes which initially causes confusion, but once I realized Ethan was no longer the narrator, I began to thoroughly enjoy what Ms Hafner creatively built in the first 3rd of the novel. The denoumont brought a smile to my face-enjoy this super first novel by an author I look forward to reading again.

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suspension of disbelief has to be pretty willing

a well-executed novel surrounding a pretty silly premise. enjoyable read, I stayed with it to the end as long as I didn't think about it too much. narration is almost too smooth, but again, good enough

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Speed it up

I had to speed the narrator up to 1.8x to make the book enjoyable he was to slow.

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Original and Eccentric

“The Boys” was well-written, creative and thoughtful. The plot revolves around Ethan and Barb, an odd couple that find each other at a start-up company, hit it off over diner food, then ultimately marry and take in the two boys of the title. While the plot startles, much of the book’s beauty is in its depiction of contemporary life, post-Covid society and the risks people take. There are some neat psychological insights about loss and loneliness. The narrator was very good, although a couple of times he forgot to use his “Barb” voice, so I got confused as to who was speaking. Overall, this was an original and satisfying story.

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Give me Mr. Roger’s

Seriously, the narrator was pathetic. I could not put up with his driveling voice & coupled with the sophomoric tone of this novel—I was gagging on the syrup!

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Relatable and thought-provoking

Ethan Fawcett, while somewhat of a quiet loner, grew into a very relatable man who ultimately had to cope with loneliness. The arc is beautiful, well-written, and the twist had excellently subtle foreshadowing. Props to Katie Hafner for a beautiful tale and to her husband for informative pandemic tweets and his promotion of her book.