• The Midcoast

  • A Novel
  • By: Adam White
  • Narrated by: George Newbern
  • Length: 9 hrs and 47 mins
  • 3.9 out of 5 stars (253 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • “Propulsive . . . An absorbing look at small-town Maine and the thwarted dreams of a family trying to transcend it.”—Lee Cole, The New York Times (Editors’ Choice) 

“I tore through the saga of the Thatch family in two nights. The Midcoast is a reader’s dream—tense, ominous, and deeply wise.”—David Benioff, co-creator of Game of Thrones

It’s spring in the tiny town of Damariscotta, a tourist haven on the coast of Maine known for its oysters and antiques. Andrew, a high school English teacher recently returned to the area, has brought his family to Ed and Steph Thatch’s sprawling riverside estate to attend a reception for the Amherst women’s lacrosse team. Back when they were all teenagers, Andrew never could have predicted that Ed, descended from a long line of lobstermen, or Steph, a decent student until she dropped out to start a family, would ever send a daughter to a place like Amherst. But so the tides have turned, and Andrew’s trying hard to admire, more than envy, the view from Ed’s rolling backyard meadow. 

As Andrew wanders through the Thatches’ house, he stumbles upon a file he’s not supposed to see: photos of a torched body in a burned-out sedan. And when a line of state police cruisers crashes the Thatches’ reception an hour later, Andrew and his neighbors finally begin to see the truth behind Ed and Steph’s remarkable rise. Soon the newspapers are running headlines about the Thatches, and Andrew’s poring over his memories, trying to piece together the story of a family he thought he knew. 

A propulsive drama that cares as deeply about its characters as it does about the crimes they commit, The Midcoast explores the machinations of privilege, the dark recesses of the American dream, and the lies we tell as we try, at all costs, to protect the ones we love.

©2022 Adam White (P)2022 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“Vividly drawn and movingly told, The Midcoast is a searching, honest, and evocative portrait of human relationships, hometown secrets, and the hidden machinations of privilege. Adam White’s debut enthralls, a modern classic from a bold and insightful new voice in fiction.” (Alexandra Kleeman, author of Something New Under the Sun

“I tore through the saga of the Thatch family in two nights, marveling at Adam White’s demonic ease possessing his characters’ souls. The Midcoast is a reader’s dream, a story that skillfully motors from first page to last like a souped-up lobster boat, as tense and ominous as a season of Ozark.” (David Benioff, co-creator of Game of Thrones)

The Midcoast is a brilliant, ferocious debut novel about ambition, class, and crime in coastal Maine. Simultaneously propulsive and nuanced, Adam White brings his powerful gifts to bear on a story that speaks directly to our troubled moment with eloquence and heart. After this, Vacationland will never look the same.” (Andrew Martin, author of Early Work)

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What listeners say about The Midcoast

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • SB
  • 06-08-22

Great Listen

I really enjoyed listening to this story. I thought the narrator was perfect for this particular book, with an easygoing, smooth delivery. I was hooked early on and I liked how the story unfolded. Do not expect a fast-paced thriller or suspenseful mystery. This may not be a book for everyone, but I'm glad I listened to it.

I removed 2 stars for a passage near the end of the story, where the main character laments that he DID NOT have a family member killed in the 9/11 attacks because it would make for much better stories about that day. In context, I think the intent was to convey that a storyteller wants to be part of the story to enrich the storytelling. I found the passage to be offensive, unnecessary, and in really poor taste. It soured me on the book and the author.

6 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Meandering mess

Excruciatingly slow. There's an ok story here somewhere. Not the first time I've been lead astray by the New York Times.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Hoping to get a flavor of mid coast Maine

I thoroughly appreciated the plot and in general the depiction of the fallen family. The Ivy League lacrosse playing narrator however lent primarily tedium to the story. When he shared his inner machinations, I found myself rolling my eyes and thinking how did this dude get 50% of the novel…… clearly the pages were not allocated based on merit. Why even bother to name Dartmouth, Amherst, Exeter etc. None of the narrators humanity came through, not the tension inherent in being a privileged orthopedic doctor’s kid given the most elite education available but who lived amongst working class families etc. instead his pages read like half hearted attempts at inserting himself into the story. Fortunately in the audio format, I could increase the speed of any of “his” chapters. I never did feel immersed into the setting, and that’s too bad as I was intrigued by the title and hoping to get a good picture of working class Midcoast Maine. I really liked the family however as those characters came alive to me and continue to live on in my head. For that, it was worth listening to.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Beautifully developed characters with excellent storytelling woven back and forth in time.

Excellent development of characters and plot. Loved the way that the author began and ended with the same event while weaving back and forth in time, developing the plot line and interconnected events. A very well written story centered around a real life town with accurate details and believable fictitious details.
The narrator was excellent, giving a steady and well read account, letting the drama become a life of its own.
I loved listening to this but plan to also purchase the book. I hope to meet the author at some point.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

So Overhyped

I rarely write reviews and don't like to be a hater, but I want to warn people that this is just not what it's cracked up to be. It was really difficult to care about anyone in this story. The narrator is a blank--I had no idea who this person was and what motivated or moved him. You can't even muster up any real animosity for the antagonist in the novel. The toggle between past & present doesn't work well and serves no purpose. This was hard to even get through, and often I found my mind drifting to other things while listening and then had to go back. Really not worth using an Audile credit.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Vacation land mystery

I really enjoyed the story and the details of the Midcoast setting. It kills me that they couldn't get a reader who could really capture the accent, it really would have added to the sense of place. Otherwise, would recommend!

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

….zzzz….

If there is any drama or tension in this story, it goes missing because of the utterly lackadaisical, complacent tone of the narrator. I only kept listening till the end because a friend had recommended it so highly. He and I will have to agree to disagree. The one thing this does do well is accurately capture the feeling of a midcoast Maine town. Perhaps it is better to read this book than to listen to it, but I’m not altogether convinced of that.

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  • OK
  • 08-28-22

Disappointed

I had high hopes for this - but the barely realized characters, unbelievable and wafer thin plot - was a big let down.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Couldn't get past non consensual sex

I couldn't really listen to this past what can only be described as non consensual sex/date rape with a woman who was incapacitated. Maybe I should have listened longer maybe the author redeems himself. But the writing and scene were so poorly written I didn't stick around to find out. Was the scene actually necessary to the story? Or just gratuitous.

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maybe written For a different generation

I've tried to listen to this it can't hold my attention it's incredibly boring about incredibly boring people being boring