• The Universe Versus Alex Woods

  • By: Gavin Extence
  • Narrated by: Joe Thomas
  • Length: 10 hrs and 3 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (196 ratings)

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 $22.80

Buy for $22.80

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

A rare meteorite struck Alex Woods when he was 10 years old, leaving scars and marking him for an extraordinary future. The son of a fortune teller, bookish, and an easy target for bullies, Alex hasn't had the easiest childhood. But when he meets curmudgeonly widower Mr. Peterson, he finds an unlikely friend. Someone who teaches him that that you only get one shot at life. That you have to make it count. So when, aged 17, Alex is stopped at customs with 113 grams of marijuana, an urn full of ashes on the front seat, and an entire nation in uproar, he's fairly sure he's done the right thing....

Introducing a bright young voice destined to charm the world, The Universe Versus Alex Woods is a celebration of curious incidents, astronomy and astrology, the works of Kurt Vonnegut and the unexpected connections that form our world. 

©2013 Gavin Extence (P)2013 Hachette Audio

What listeners say about The Universe Versus Alex Woods

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    101
  • 4 Stars
    66
  • 3 Stars
    25
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    2
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    107
  • 4 Stars
    54
  • 3 Stars
    19
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    103
  • 4 Stars
    47
  • 3 Stars
    27
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    2

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

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

expertly written coming of age novel.

solid book about a boy growing up, and then becoming a 17 year old dealing with life, death, friendship, family, being an outcast, being "different"...

really well written, really well read, with thoughtful characters. Alex "Lex" was a thinker, having an unusual mother and no father, and then the "accident" -- i enjoyed his explanations and thoughts processes. he was bright and interesting.

of course i loved the Vonnegut references.

the book themes overall were thought provoking. i enjoyed this.

(ps. doesn't read as a YA novel. i was surprised that this was categorized as such)

4 people found this helpful

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

Boy meets world

Where does The Universe Versus Alex Woods rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This is a simple book about a boy who is "different," and how he finds his way. It is along the lines of "The Case of the Dog in the Night," "Harold Fry," "About a Boy," and "Major Pettigrew's Last Stand," all British coincidently. But all of which gained an international audience, deservedly so. Fans of Kurt Vonnegut will also get a kick out of the all-Kurt Vonnegut book club and how this contributes to Alex's ability to navigate through life.

What other book might you compare The Universe Versus Alex Woods to and why?

Along with the list cited above, I might compare it to "Catcher in the Rye" for the fact that is about a teen, but should be read by YA and adult readers alike. Like RC Pallacio's brilliant book, "Wonder," you get to see the worst--and ultimately--the best in everyday life.

What does Joe Thomas bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

At first, I thought Joe Thomas sounded too mature to narrate a book with a 17-year-old protagonist. But Mr. Thomas has a voice that is very easy to listen to, and I quickly was lost in the narration. He was really the perfect reader, able to capture the perfect, wry tone for those moments of understated humor. He handled tender scenes with a light touch, without getting maudlin. I will look for more of Mr. Thomas's work.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I laughed. I cried. I loved. I am smiling now just thinking about the satisfaction I took in this listen.

Any additional comments?

Time--and a credit--well spent.

3 people found this helpful

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

Not what I expected but great nonetheless

When I first began listening I wasn't sure I wasn't going to enjoy the story or the narrator. I'm not one for dry humor and this was dripping with it. Additionally at first you think the narrator is just doing a deadpan reading of the story. But you soon learn this is indeed the character. Alex is not a poetic, verbose person. By the end of the story you get that you've got insight into a different thought process and it's fascinating. Alex has quite defined ideas of right and wrong and the ways of the world. While you could listen to the story and think "why would he handle the situation that way, most people wouldn't" you realize soon enough that there was no other way for Alex.

I really enjoyed the end of the book. It was a different perspective and I was invested in the characters.

I think people who enjoy investing themselves in a character would enjoy the book. Also those who are interested in exploring morals of right and wrong and the choices we make.

3 people found this helpful

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

' THEORIES OF EVERYTHING .'

What an absolutely beautiful coming-of-age story. Told with intelligence, integrity, humour and straight forward emotion. Mr. Extence represents a teenage 'hero' so accurately from what I remember from my own experiences and those of my two sons. The emotional commitment that the novel ultimately demands is extremely rewarding, for me it was a little reminiscent of 'The Fault in Our Stars' another do not miss novel. The narration is spot on. Thank you Mr Extence for a wonderful few hours that I most assuredly will visit again !

2 people found this helpful

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

read it, listened to it

love love love the story. exceptional writing. the narrator is a a little gruff, but decent on accents. see for yourself. the story and writing are exceptional . I loved this book!

1 person found this helpful

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

Very enjoyable

I enjoyed this quite a bit. The author had a good grasp on the character

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

A wonderful and touching story, perfectly cast.

You don’t have to be a fan of Kurt Vonnegut’s, nor do you have to be a young adult to read this book. It helps if you have read Vonnegut, for tone and context, but if you haven’t this should also be the impetus by which you can begin! I thoroughly enjoyed the narrator, Alex Cross,and Joe Thomas’s rendering of him. In fact, I can’t imagine a better reader to portray this memorable character. The plot is both fresh and unexpected . As a book I am sure it is equally readable, but I highly recommend this audiobook. I laughed out loud…and, equally, cried real tears. An unforgettable literary experience!

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

Enthusiastic, bizarre, touching.

I had no context for this book going into it. How serendipitous that I had just finished reading Breakfast of Champions the same day I started it. The author’s voice is distinct, intelligent and gripping. He takes a very instinctual approach to balancing tragedy with comedy to a very palatable end. Listening to this book I found myself inspired, elated, bewildered, and trembling with a shared sense of humanness. The narrator’s delivery fit the writing style well and I was amused by Mr Peterson’s American accent.

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

😊

This was a good, but sad story. The main issue I have is the “American” accent that is used for one of the main characters.

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

A great book!

What is the right thing to do?
What does one really believe?
How does one live with integrity?
A very well written book. Wonderful chatacters, wry humor, neurology, astrophysics, metaphysics, science fiction, and the human condition.