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Publisher's Summary

2021 Barnes and Noble Best New Books of the Year
2021 Hudson Booksellers Best of the Year

Under the Whispering Door is a contemporary fantasy with TJ Klune's signature "quirk and charm" (PW) about a ghost who refuses to cross over and the ferryman he falls in love with.

When a reaper comes to collect Wallace Price from his own funeral, Wallace suspects he really might be dead.

Instead of leading him directly to the afterlife, the reaper takes him to a small village. On the outskirts, off the path through the woods, tucked between mountains, is a particular tea shop, run by a man named Hugo. Hugo is the tea shop's owner to locals and the ferryman to souls who need to cross over.

But Wallace isn't ready to abandon the life he barely lived. With Hugo's help, he finally starts to learn about all the things he missed in life.

When the Manager, a curious and powerful being, arrives at the tea shop and gives Wallace one week to cross over, Wallace sets about living a lifetime in seven days.

By turns heartwarming and heartbreaking, this absorbing tale of grief and hope is told with TJ Klune's signature warmth, humor, and extraordinary empathy.

A Macmillan Audio production from Tor Books

©2021 TJ Klune (P)2021 Macmillan Audio

Critic Reviews

New York Times, USA Today, and Indie Best seller

An Indie Next Pick!

“There is so much to enjoy in Under the Whispering Door, but what I cherish the most is its compassion for the little things — a touch, a glance, a precious piece of dialogue — healing me, telling me that for all the strangenesses I hold, I am valued, valid — and maybe even worthy of love.” (Ryka Aoki, Light from Uncommon Stars)

“A warm hug of a book about a Grinch of a man who dies and a ferryman, who helps the dead in their journey onwards. Under the Whispering Door is a kind book, full of faith in the goodness of people, full of kind people showing how compassion is a strength. It broke my heart with its unflinching understanding that grief never goes away, never empties, only settles into the room of your soul like a strange souvenir. And then it healed me in the next breath.” (Cassandra Khaw, author of Nothing But Blackened Teeth) 

What listeners say about Under the Whispering Door

Average Customer Ratings
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Couldn’t stop listening!

I don’t normally write reviews. But for this book I had to. Admittedly I recently lost someone unexpectedly. The subject matter was close to home. That said I couldn’t put this book down so to speak. Couldn’t press pause. I was awake all night listening. Not just because Of recent events. This book has a fresh take On the afterlife. The writing is brilliant, funny, and will make you cry In all the right ways. I don’t know if the author intends to write a sequel but if they do I will definitely be reading it. This book is worth every star I gave it and more.

13 people found this helpful

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Lovely, simply lovely

I found this book hopeful. I know that sounds a bit strange. In the last 3 years I’ve lost several people. I’m an atheist so the thought of a god and heaven/hell doesn’t move me, but this book touched me and opened me to other possibilities at the end of life. I can picture family members and friends hanging out in the tea shop waiting to go on to what’s next.

Kirt Graves, as always, is excellent. He’s one of those narrators I actively search for when looking for a new book to listen to.

T.J. Klune has done it again. Loved this book and will definitely recommend it to all my friends and family.

12 people found this helpful

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Heart wrenching, beautiful, couldn’t put it down

Seriously sobbing my eyes out while writing this. This book was such a wonderful ode to grief and the sad, furious, sometimes funny, always necessary role that it plays in our lives.

8 people found this helpful

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Death is only the beginning....

Under the Whispering Door is one of those stories that can resonate with everyone. We have all lost someone we love; we have all been faced with the grief and even if it seems like all is lost there is another side to the pain and suffering. For me Wallace's story was a way for the living to see that death really is only the beginning. We don't know what comes next and we never will until it is our time but no matter what you believe or don't believe in there is something waiting for us when it is our time.

Hugo, Mai, and Grandad Nelson even Apollo's story was a huge part of Wallace's journey. I loved them all equally and in vastly different ways. Although Mai probably stole my heart a wee bit more than everyone else. She was the best friend, the confidant and the person that Wallace gravitated to when his feelings were becoming too much for him. Mai was a bit like the glue that held them all together even if it was in her own quirky way.

This review is so hard to write because the blurb says it all. For a story such as this the less information the better. It was a true journey of rediscovering yourself even when it seems as if it is too late. It is never too late to make better choices for yourself or the people you love. Wallace & Hugo's story taught me so much and that might seem a bit whimsical, but it is true. You don't always have to perfect or always make the right choices because the right people will be there for you no matter what.

Quick mention of Kirt Graves the narrator because he was phenomenal!! The way he was able to put the emotions into each character when it was an emotional moment, or the way he was able to add the laughter in his voice when something was funny. Just fantastic! Looking forward to hearing more from this narrator very soon!

I've yet to read a T.J. Klune book that wasn't a five star read for me. Last year House in the Cerulean Sea was not only a five star read but it was a contender for my favorite book of 2020 and Under the Whispering Door has been my favorite book of 2021 so far. Every story of Klune's is much more than just a story it is as if he puts his whole heart into the pages and you feel it in the words and the emotions of his characters. OK, I am going to stop now, or I am going to keep raving about the author and the book because honestly it was nothing short of perfection.

7 people found this helpful

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Maddening, Devastating, Funny, poignant, Perfect

Honestly, the headline says it all. Once again, TJ hits it out of the park. The protagonist is unlikely, and his companions are unique. Tj melds them masterfully into a simultaneously heart-rending and heart-warming tale. All of TJ's books are special, and this one is no exception. You will be glad you took the time to listen to this story.

5 people found this helpful

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Wonderful

It was lovely. It was slightly different then his previous work, but still within his writing style. More mature. I enjoyed it a lot.

5 people found this helpful

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Another outstanding book by a beloved author

TJ is a instant buy author for me. No matter the content of the story I know it will be engaging with soul. This was another such book, but a completely new genre & story. This book is unlike any other. I’ll be processing this one for a long time. It had so many layers. Even though the subject material was intense, it was handled in such a way that is was actually… lovely. It’s so weird to describe a book about death that way but I’m failing to produce another word for it.

This book was worth the buy, and Kirt’s narration gave it breath & depth that only added to the story.

5 people found this helpful

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Not as deep and thought provoking as it wants to be

Remember in the early 90s, European artsy movies? Someone would be smoking a cigarette and drinking a coffee and the camera would settle on them for five minutes and it was supposed to be deep. Well this novel has a lot of that “I’m so deep” and I’m really trying to be too. It needed to either lighten up a bit and not try to be so thought provoking or it needed to actually be more real and genuine. As it is “cringy” is where I found myself too often.

4 people found this helpful

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Emotional

I don’t think anyone writes about grief as well as T.J. Klune. A little dark, a little irreverent and the feelings. So many feelings. The characters are wonderful and I was easily wrapped up in each one of their lives. There were many touching phrases that are used in many of T. J.’s books.

Kirt Graves did a wonderful job with the narration and I was happy I chose to listen to this book instead of read it.

4 people found this helpful

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So, so many feels.

Seriously, TJ Klune really knows how to tether you to his stories and make you a part of them. They make you think, how and dream. I really loved this book.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-01-21

Not TJ's best to honest.

Hear me out!!

TJ is one of my favourite authors and forever will be but unfortunately this one was just simply... okay.

I feel once Wallace arrives at the tea shop early in the book, you already know how it's gonna end. What was the role of Alan again? This one didn't seem to capture the same wonderment and sparkle as The Verania series, HOTCS or the Green Creek series.

As always Kirk Graves stands as one of my favorite narrators and if it wasn't for him I don't feel this book would be as anchored.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Martin Moore
  • 09-25-21

Masterpiece!

I am so moved by this experience. Understanding why I am a fan. Tears, laughter, full body resonance and goosebumps! What an experience. The story, the narration, just right. I’m in awe.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-22-21

Excellent read.

I loved this book. The best book that I have read for many years. I laughed and I cried then laughed again. Couldn’t fault it.

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  • Candice
  • 10-02-21

Truly wonderful

After absolutely falling in love with The House in the Cerulean Sea I was excited but nervous to listen to Under the Whispering Door, it did not disappoint!

Another heart warming and soul stirring story.
It exceeded all my expectations and will be another book I listen to for years to come.