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Listen to Me

2.89  ·  Rating details ·  2,467 ratings  ·  443 reviews
A modern gothic about a marriage and road trip gone hauntingly awry

Mark and Maggie's annual drive east to visit family has gotten off to a rocky start. By the time they're on the road, it's late, a storm is brewing, and they are no longer speaking to one another. Adding to the stress, Maggie — recently mugged at gunpoint — is lately not herself, and Mark is at a loss abou
Hardcover, 191 pages
Published July 5th 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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Kathy That Enneagram Personality test is absolutely the best and most accurate personality test I have ever taken. After taking it, I read everything I…moreThat Enneagram Personality test is absolutely the best and most accurate personality test I have ever taken. After taking it, I read everything I could get my hands on by authors Don Riso and Russ Hudson. I especially liked "The Wisdom of the Enneagram." It really changed the way I look at life. When I begin to become frustrated with others (or myself), it really helps me to calm down and understand why people do the things they do. (less)

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2.89  · 
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 ·  2,467 ratings  ·  443 reviews

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May 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
this is a hard book to review. like the road trip it recounts, it's less about the journey than the destination. more finely put: the strength of this book is the way its ending changes the reader's perception of everything that's come before, and that revelation isn't an experience i want to take away from another reader.

road trips would probably be one of the correct answers to the family feud prompt: "name something that can cause strain in a relationship." and if the couple in question is a
Jul 05, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: net-galley, fiction
I received a copy of Listen to Me through NetGalley for an honest review. Thank you to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for the opportunity.

Whoever would think that a long-distance car trip with an unbalanced wife, an emotionally removed husband, and a neurotic dog that can't seem to do his business, would be a good idea? Oh, and there's a powerful tri-state tornadic storm in the brew.

Mark and Maggie have reached an impass in their marriage. They can't seem to recognize and to acknowledge the pain and
Larry H
Jan 19, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Living with fear can be utterly debilitating, even when you consider yourself to be a fairly rational, even-tempered person. Maggie, a veterinarian who runs her own clinic, has always been in control of her life, but that control started to dissipate a bit when she was mugged at gunpoint. While that threw her for a bit of a loop, and her husband, Mark, indulged her panic and fears, she finally starts to pull herself back together again, and get back to her usual routines.

When the police come to
Jul 15, 2016 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 07, 2016 rated it it was ok
Nope, no thanks, not for me.

(Full disclosure: I received a free electronic ARC for review through NetGalley. This review contains clearly marked spoilers.)

Mark and Maggie's annual drive east to visit family has gotten off to a rocky start. By the time they're on the road, it's late, a storm is brewing, and they are no longer speaking to one another. Adding to the stress, Maggie — recently mugged at gunpoint — is lately not herself, and Mark is at a loss about what to make of the stranger he call
Maggie is not herself after being assaulted and mugged at gunpoint, her husband, Mark, is concerned she's no longer the same woman he married. He decides they need a change of scenery and should visit his family home in Virginia. They get a late start leaving Chicago and are on the road longer than they had hoped to be. Eventually they're forced to find lodging at a secluded inn where a violent storm has cause the whole area to be without power.

The promotional blurb says "Maggie's paranoia reac
Julie Ehlers
Sep 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literary-fiction
Listen to Me is an excellent psychological thriller and, unlike a lot of books in that genre, it really is psychological. Sure, it has a great premise, dark and creepy, but it mainly takes place in the heads of its two main characters, and that's where the vast majority of the suspense is derived.

Mark and Maggie are a married couple taking a road trip from their home in Chicago to Mark's parents' farm in Virginia. It's a trip that should take about a day, but a line of tornadoes stretching acros
Brandon Forsyth
Oct 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
It's settled: I will now have to read everything Hannah Pittard deems worthy of publishing. Pittard shot to my attention with her debut, THE FATES WILL FIND THEIR WAY, and after reading her next two books, I am in awe of her chameleon-like ability to shift tone and style to fit the narrative she's telling. LISTEN TO ME is unsettling, and yet also playful - two difficult emotions to balance. So much of the book depends on the conclusion, so I don't want to play spoiler here, but suffice it to say ...more
Jun 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: edelweiss
This one was a bit of a surprise to me. I expected it to be more of a thriller. But instead I found an in-depth character study of a man, Mark, and his wife, Maggie. Maggie has recently been mugged and has become paranoid and fearful. She spends too much time on the internet reading stories of the evil men do to others to Mark, who doesn’t want to hear them. She tries to make Mark see the evil in the world. Mark is struggling with the changes that the mugging has brought into their lives. They s ...more
Jun 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
It was a dark and stormy night.

That simple sentence is a set-up of many novels but in Hannah Pittard’s capable hands, it’s just the beginning. The entirety of this taut book focuses on a marriage – that of Maggie, who is suffering from PTSD as a result of a physical assault and her husband Mark, who, despite himself, is losing respect for her inability to solider through.

Mark is on the cusp of an affair; Maggie is having trouble functioning. Together, they take off from Chicago with their trusty
Apr 22, 2019 rated it liked it
I’m not quite sure what to make of this one! I was intrigued by the description but I didn’t feel like the description actually matched the story. I liked the idea of the story and I liked the writing but it just didn’t seem to take off.
Jul 16, 2016 rated it did not like it
Alas, another novel with husband-and-wife main characters, and they are both so un-likable that I couldn't care less what happens to them. In this case, you need characters to do stupid, illogical things in order to have a plot, but I was doing a lot of eye-rolling. They seemed too stupid and self-absorbed to make it through this road trip alive, lol.

I don't think I "got" out of this story what I was supposed to "get" by the "twist" ending, which was ineffective because I'm not sure what exactly
Jul 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am so moved by this book. The most honest account of a marriage that I've read in years. The book is mostly inner dialogue, told between a husband and wife, while driving through a treacherous storm. Darkness, exhaustion, strange towns, big trucks, danger and shadows lurking behind every corner will keep you on your toes while you get to know these characters.

Anxiety, fear, hatred, anger, love and sustainability are themes in the book, yet the bottom line is a beautifully written, deeply movi
switterbug (Betsey)
May 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
This short, compact novel examines the liminal space in a marriage between insular and vast—a troubled couple enclosed in a car, but driving on the endless roads at night during a multistate storm. Maggie and Mark, an educated, financially secure couple, are experiencing bumps in their seven-year marriage since Maggie survived a mugging nine months ago. The trauma caused her to emotionally retreat, and she spent large amounts of time trolling the Internet for disaster/attack stories. Just as she ...more
Leah Bayer
Jul 05, 2016 rated it it was ok
I've read a surprising amount of road trip books this year. I can barely think of any I've read in the past but so far I've tackled I'm Thinking of Ending Things and Binary Star, both of which I've adored. So when I heard the summary of Listen to Me (a modern gothic thriller roadtrip novel???) I was hooked. However, I think the marketing for this is SO misleading. It's the story of a rocky marriage, not a tense thriller.

Sure, there's quite a bit of tension. Maggie, the wife, was violently mugged
Jul 04, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: net-galley
I really wanted to like this book. Everything seemed to be in place for a great story. Two people in a relationship slowly going south, taking a cross country road trip and getting caught in a storm. Then came the creepy-like little motel off the beaten path. It didn't end up being anything like I thought it would be. The blurb made it sound like a bit of a mystery/thriller. I just didn't warm much to the couple. I kept waiting for something to happen and when it finally did it was a bit of a le ...more
I liked the writing. I liked the way the author explained things. For example this particular scene from the book was scary. I don't know whether I'm allowed to mention it but still.

It was a childish habit - checking under all the doors in a public washroom to make sure someone wasn't lurking - because what would Maggie do if she actually found someone? Scream? Fight back? Wilt? Yet she could never resist the urge.

In this particular bathroom, Maggie discovered only one pair of feet. They were

Jul 09, 2016 rated it it was ok
The book is about a marriage at its break down/impasse/destruction for a myriad of reasons (fear, infidelity, tragic events) and yet it's also not. This couple over the span of a trip from Chicago to Virginia during a storm (natch) break apart and quarrel yet come back together near-instantly. Each sever is followed closely by a repair. I'm not quite sure what the point was in following them through all of this. Just like the storm they're riding through, it never feels like they're really in tr ...more
Rachel Watkins
Apr 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
In LISTEN TO ME, Pittard takes a slice, a sample from a marriage and examines it under a microscope with great respect for both partners. Totally relatable, sad, and encouraging all at once, I highly recommend this story of a husband and wife on a car trip. Trust me, it's way more than that.
Aug 01, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: did-not-finish
Wow, for such a short novel this thing drags. I keep waiting and waiting for something-anything- to happen. I'm giving up after reading half of it. Way too boring and the characters are annoying.
Shawn Mooney (Shawn The Book Maniac)
Mark and Maggie are a fairly young married couple. It seems like they had a pretty good marriage until recently. Maggie was violently mugged just a few blocks from home several months back; of course, she was traumatized, but seemed to be moving past the worst of it. That is, until another young woman in the neighborhood was murdered, and the police stop by to show Maggie the crime scene photographs, obviously retraumatizing her all to heck. While understanding how that opened everything up agai ...more
Jun 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The latest by Hannah Pittard packs a swift punch. The novel is lean and gets straight to the point. I read it in less than a day, and what a day to read it. The main character, Maggie, is terrified of the world (perhaps rightfully so) after being mugged, and then months later, a college student being killed due to a similar attack. Because of this, she is obsessed with all of the obsessively addicting dark corners of the internet and tales of true crime, convinced tragedy will befall her at any ...more
Chris Blocker
Jul 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hannah Pittard's latest, her third novel, is a very quick read with a straightforward story line. On the surface, this novel has many simple components. The setting takes places mostly in the car. There are primarily two characters: Mark and Maggie. Even the language seems toned back compared to Pittard's previous offerings—here sentences convey a simple meaning and are not dressed in the beauty indicative of Pittard's writing style.

Despite being wrapped in a thin layer, Listen to Me is heavier
Jan 15, 2017 rated it liked it
huh. i'm not entirely sure what to take from this story.

the basic premise is that mark and maggie, a husband and wife are driving east to stay with mark's parents on their farm for a few months. maggie had recently been through a traumatic experience, causing her to become increasingly paranoid and distrustful of others. mark thinks that some time on the farm will help her to relax and begin to recover a bit.

the entirety of the story takes place on the actual journey to this farm. it's a long r
Jun 21, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: c-w-mars
As soon as I read the synopsis for this novel I was immediately intrigued. Sounded right up my ally. I enjoy creepy and eerie in my books and this sounded just like something I would I love. But, I didn't. Love it that is.

Neither of the main characters, married couple Maggie & Mark, are particularly likable. Gerome, their dog and travel companion is the only character I actually cared about. The entire book is basically them on a long car ride, during a storm, and the bickering between them
Lori L (She Treads Softly)
Jul 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Listen to me and I will speak: but first swear, by word
and hand, that you will keep me safe with all your heart.
- Homer, The Iliad

Listen to Me by Hannah Pittard is a highly recommended modern gothic thriller.

Mark and Maggie are a forty-something-year-old couple who are going through a rough time in their relationship. The trouble started after Maggie, a veterinarian, was violently mugged. The aftermath left Maggie with an overwhelming fear, PTSD. She is scared of the evil and violence that can s
Mary Lins
May 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: complete
Hannah Pittard puts the reader right in the car with her characters, Mark and Maggie, in her latest novel, “Listen to Me”. This novel has fewer than 200 pages – perfect for a road trip read. But even if you are just curled up in your favorite reading chair – you can get the claustrophobic feeling of being in the humid and tense car with this couple.

“Listen to Me” is about Mark and Maggie’s marriage, and as anyone who has been there knows, a road-trip can be a stressful situation even when everyt
Jessica Sullivan
May 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
“It was a matter of luck, life was. You could beg all you wanted for protection, you could pray or not pray to a god or to a devil, but what it all came down to was a simple game of chance.”

This taut little domestic novel about a middle-aged couple on a road trip is so ominous and disquieting that it almost reads like a horror story or a psychological thriller.

Tensions are especially high between Maggie and Mark as they set out for his parent’s house several states away. Months after being viole
Ariel (BookHermit)
Sep 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: summer-2016
Road trips certainly don't bring out the best in a couple. Spending hours in a speeding metal box, negotiating exits, pit stops, weather, fellow drivers, it all takes a toll and any tensions in your relationship are fated to flare up like phantom headlights on a dark road.

While reading this book and noting the increasingly misanthropic musings of Mark and Maggie, our white, professional, liberal protagonists, I recalled a certain "creative" translation of a line from the Dhammapada: “We are what
Kasa Cotugno
Maggie and Mark, a 40-something couple, have been together almost a decade, and each feels they know the other very well. Apparently, not so much.

Pritchard has crafted her novel originally, given each of these people an interior life that does not become apparent to the the other. The reader is jolted from time to time by observations by an omniscient narrator, situating these characters in relation to the earth and the cosmos, reminding us of the relative insignificance of two humans to the ov
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