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Publisher's Summary

The long-awaited new novel from one of America's most highly regarded contemporary writers, The Committed follows the Sympathizer as he arrives in Paris as a refugee. There he and his blood brother, Bon, try to escape their pasts and prepare for their futures by turning their hands to capitalism in one of its purest forms: drug dealing. No longer in physical danger, but still inwardly tortured by his re-education at the hands of his former best friend, and struggling to assimilate into a dominant culture, the Sympathizer is both charmed and disturbed by Paris. As he falls in with a group of left-wing intellectuals and politicians who frequent dinner parties given by his French Vietnamese 'aunt', he finds not just stimulation for his mind but also customers for his merchandise - but the new life he is making has dangers he has not foreseen, from the oppression of the state, to the self-torture of addiction, to the seemingly unresolvable paradox of how he can reunite his two closest friends, men whose worldviews put them in absolute opposition.

Both literary thriller and brilliant novel of ideas, The Committed is a blistering portrayal of commitment and betrayal that will cement Viet Thanh Nguyen's position in the firmament of American letters.

Recorded by arrangement with Grove Press, an imprint of Grove Atlantic, Inc. Epigraph by Rithy Panh with Christophe Bataille, excerpted from The Elimination, translated by John Cullen. Copyright © 2014 by Rithy Panh. Reprinted by permission of Other Press. "Seasons in the Sun." Written by Jacques Brel and Rod McKuen. Published by Edward B. Marks Music Company (BMI). All rights administered by Round Hill Carlin, LLC. "Et Moi, Et Moi, Et Moi." Words and Music by Jacques Dutronc and Jacques Lanzmann. Copyright (c) 1966 Alpha Editions Musicales. Copyright Renewed. All Rights Administered by BMG Rights Management (US) LLC. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission. Reprinted by Permission of Hal Leonard LLC. 

©2021 Viet Thanh Nguyen (P)2021 Audible, Inc

Critic Reviews

"Call The Committed many things. A white hot literary thriller disguised as a searing novel of ideas. An unflinching look at redemption and damnation. An unblinking examination of the dangers of belief, and the need to believe. A sequel that goes toe to toe with the original then surpasses it. A masterwork." (Marlon James, Booker Prize-winning author of A Brief History of Seven Killings)

"Here it is, with perfect timing, a novel that anyone who is part of a colonising or colonised nation - and that includes, of course, America - should read.... Nguyen is a craftsman...and then there's the sharp humour.... Like The Sympathizer, it amounts to much more than the sum of its parts. These two novels constitute a powerful challenge to an enduring narrative of colonialism and neo-colonialism. One waits to see what Nguyen, and the man of two faces, will do next." (The Guardian)

"If The Sympathizer was ostensibly a spy novel, then The Committed is a gangland thriller.... Two contemporary classics for your bedside table." (The Telegraph, five star review)

What listeners say about The Committed

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  • Diogo M. Liberal
  • 09-22-21

A very boring book

The book is the continuation of the Sympathizer. It dwells deeply in many concepts and intelectual fantasies of a dual minded man who goes through a lot of stories with some irony and humor. The story is predictable however and more focused in the intelectual milieu of '80s Paris. The author goes into long reflections on books and intelectual theories that serve to create a rather quaint view of the reality. The storyline is slow and the pace of the book is much worse than the previous one. Had to strugle in some partes, in spite of very decent narration. Most surely will not read the 3rd instalment.

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  • Biggus Dickus
  • 09-05-21

Thoroughly Enjoyed

first time reading the author but he has an incredible style and a very intriguing cast of characters.

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  • Mr. Rowan Somerville
  • 06-15-21

A masterpiece

Utterly wonderful. Extraordinary novel. A total utter masterpiece. Also the narration by Francois Chau is intelligent, sympathetic, frankly bloody brilliant. Please note I have nothing to do with the publisher or anyone in this book it is just a great work of art beautifully read. I’ve also been reading it in a traditional way and I realise how much having it read by Francois chao helps And brings a great deal to the experience. Never had a better experience on audible… I’m sorry to say (I’m a writer) it’s actually better than reading it

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  • Stan
  • 08-13-21

Intellectual and gritty

This is a very good book. The sequel to The Sympathizer, it is more philosophical and intellectual than the earlier novel.

Still gritty and very masculine, for quite a while it seems like the heavy intellectualism was making the protagonist rather two-dimensional, though the ideas were interesting enough to keep me going.

Then racism erupts beyond intellectual observation into a visceral argument between the protagonist and a wealthy left politician. Amongst the “gangster action” and underpinning the novel is the discussion of racism and colonialism. Indeed, it is the undercurrent of all.

There is the occasional flash of intellectual humour. As a few people raise glasses to toast, the Boss says “Molotov!” His secretary corrects him and says “The Jews say mazeltov.” I prefer “Molotov” says the Boss, who runs a small and violent drug ring. It’s that kind of book.

Being a sequel, the question arises for the author and the assiduous reader, about how much backstory to put into the second book. There is quite a bit. In the end, I accepted that and thought it gave depth without being burdensome. I prefer The Sympathizer, however.

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  • Quartstance
  • 07-20-21

A mumbling corpse could have narrated this with more energy

Cancelling my membership, I’m so tired of good books being ruined by terrible narrators. This is flat and lifeless, a couple misrepresentation of the book. I wanted an audiobook, not a sleep remedy.