1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $1.99

Buy for $1.99

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

Touch the past or wash it away? Two sisters have a choice in this unforgettable short story of everyday magic and the power of memory by the Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author Ken Liu.

Gui is a professional cleaner at A Fresh Start, scrubbing away the unpleasant layers of memory that build up on the personal objects of his customers. Memory-blind himself, he can’t feel those wounds. Clara can, and she prefers them irretrievable. Until her sister, Beatrice, ultrasensitive to memory, raises one that could change Clara’s mind. For Gui, the past is gone. For Clara and Beatrice, deciding what to remember reaches to the heart of their shared history.

The Cleaners is part of Faraway, a collection of retold fairy tales that take the happily-ever-after in daring new directions. Whether read or listened to in one sitting, prepare to be charmed, moved, enlightened, and frightened all over again.

©2020 Ken Liu (P)2020 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

What listeners say about The Cleaners

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    117
  • 4 Stars
    109
  • 3 Stars
    83
  • 2 Stars
    34
  • 1 Stars
    8
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    163
  • 4 Stars
    110
  • 3 Stars
    33
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    3
Story
  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    102
  • 4 Stars
    89
  • 3 Stars
    79
  • 2 Stars
    35
  • 1 Stars
    12

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A touching story about family and memory

Giu is a cleaner, the owner of A Fresh Start, and he cleans away the unpleasant memories that have adhered to his customers' personal possessions. Giu has an unusual handicap in this world; he's memory-blind. He's not able to feel or read even his own memories on objects, and that created a challenge for his parents in teaching him their trade. Yet it also gives him certain advantages; he doesn't feel the pains of the bad memories he's scraping away.

Beatrice is hyper-sensitive, and makes a very good living doing forensic readings of memories attached to items involved in legal cases.

Clara has a fairly normal level of memory sensitivity, and after a bad breakup with her former boyfriend, wants to rid their shared items that he left behind of the painful memories. For this, she turns to Giu.

But Clara and Beatrice are sisters, and has an old, four-color pen that holds a memory that's at the heart of what binds them together.

When Beatrice invites Clara to lunch, and hands Clara that pen, Clara experiences that memory again, in full, and has something to think about that might change her mind.

It's an interesting, thoughtful, and touching story.

Recommended.

I bought this audiobook.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Deserves a Whole Novel

I need more time in this universe to truly understand the way memory cleaning works, to get to know the characters more. And I really, really want too! Very intriguing and thought provoking

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Loved It!!

A great story that I'm going to both listen to & read a few times in order to do it justice.
An original idea based on ancient wisdom. Bravo!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Didn’t Like It! 😔

Didn’t like this story. Just did not work for me. At only about 53 minutes, I honestly could not wait for this one to be over….boring. 😒

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

This Beautiful Inquiry into Memory Sticks with You

Ever seen a creative writing prompt, and wondered what it would be like to knock it out of the ballpark?

There may well be no better author than Ken Liu at taking one fantastical, conceptual change to the world in which we live and spinning out of it a beautiful, moving, human story.

The Cleaners adds another home run to Liu's growing bibliography examining things personal and meaningful by making the implicit concrete.

This hour, well-spent and with a well-spoken audio performance, will leave you with a sense of wonder.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Sci-Fi Twist on What Exactly?

I think the intention of this short story is a fairy tale reimagining, but I don’t recognize what the source story is that is being adapted.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

ok

Story was ok I seen this as a high school play some years back liked it better as a play.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Nice

At first, it seemed the story might be a bit depressing, but after I continued, it intrigued me. I like the lesson to be learned about memories and what they can and do mean to a person.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Creative and thought provoking

A very intriguing story and one I wouldn't mind reading a longer version of.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

nah

I struggled reading this. or even listening to it I should say. I was very confused and lo st. And it just wasn't really entertaining for me as a reader. So far from this series I've really enjoyed the one about the evil witches