• The Mutual Friend

  • A Novel
  • By: Carter Bays
  • Narrated by: George Newbern
  • Length: 15 hrs and 56 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (69 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"This is a rare thing: an original, intelligent novel that’s not just a perfect summer beach read, but one that deserves serious awards consideration as well. Put down your phone and pick it up… A major accomplishment.”—Kirkus (starred)

From the co-creator of How I Met Your Mother, a hilarious and thought-provoking debut novel set in New York City, following a sprawling cast of characters as they navigate life, love, loss, ambition, and spirituality—without ever looking up from their phones.

It’s the summer of 2015, and Alice Quick needs to get to work. She’s twenty-eight years old, grieving her mother, barely scraping by as a nanny, and freshly kicked out of her apartment. If she can just get her act together and sign up for the MCAT, she can start chasing her dream of becoming a doctor . . . but in the Age of Distraction, the distractions are so distracting. There’s her tech millionaire brother’s religious awakening. His picture-perfect wife’s emotional breakdown. Her chaotic new roommate’s thirst for adventure. And, of course, there’s the biggest distraction of all: Love.

From within the story of one summer in one woman’s life, an epic tale is unearthed, spanning continents and featuring a tapestry of characters tied to one another by threads both seen and unseen. Filled with all the warmth, humor, and heart that gained How I Met Your Mother its cult following, The Mutual Friend captures in sparkling detail the chaos of contemporary life, a life lived simultaneously in two different worlds—the physical one and the one behind our screens—and reveals how connected we all truly are.

©2022 Carter Bays (P)2022 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

“Funny, sad, and deeply wise, this one-of-a-kind book will renew your faith in humanity—and make you really want to put down your phone.”Real Simple

"The Mutual Friend is GREAT. Carter Bays is one of the funniest people I know. More importantly though, he always finds the heart and truth in all of his humor. I just loved it. Put down the phones. Unless you’re reading The Mutual Friend on it."—Jason Segel

"I love this love story! The dialogue is so good, also it's very funny. What more could I want?"—Mindy Kaling

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What listeners say about The Mutual Friend

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

Great Story but you have to pay attention

this is an awesome story but it jumps to different characters throughout the story. I enjoyed it but just be prepared.

1 person found this helpful

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Best book I’ve listened to in a long while

Much like How I Met Your Mother, author Carter Bays’ most well known work, plot takes a back seat to well drawn characters and an intricate, puzzle-like, but well-grounded look at their relationships and memorable scenes from their lives. Not at all related to the TV show but sharp eyed readers will notice a couple of nods its way. George Newbern provided an excellent narration. Like my favorite episodes of HIMYM, there’s broad humor and witty dialogue mashed together with some surprisingly satisfying feels. Really enjoyed this.

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clever and delightful

Every now and then you come across an author who is able to weave a multi-layer storyline that intrigues and entertains you. I listened to this as an audiobook, and I found reasons to jump in the car in order to keep listening. All of these characters are seriously flawed and utterly likeable!