Audiobooks From Slate logo

A New Way to Get Audiobooks

Lower prices and no subscription fees. Listen in your podcast player. And every purchase helps power independent journalism.

Listen in these apps:

  • Apple Podcasts
  • Google Podcasts
  • Overcast
  • Pocket Casts
  • iTunes
  • Podcast Addict

Buy

image for Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty

Audiobook

Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty

$19.95

List price: $27.50

A grand, devastating portrait of three generations of the Sackler family, famed for their philanthropy, whose fortune was built by Valium and whose reputation was destroyed by OxyContin, by the prize-winning, bestselling author of Say Nothing

The Sackler name adorns the walls of many storied institutions—Harvard, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Oxford, the Louvre. They are one of the richest families in the world, known for their lavish donations to the arts and the sciences. The source of the family fortune was vague, however, until it emerged that the Sacklers were responsible for making and marketing a blockbuster painkiller that was the catalyst for the opioid crisis.

Empire of Pain begins with the story of three doctor brothers, Raymond, Mortimer and the incalculably energetic Arthur, who weathered the poverty of the Great Depression and appalling anti-Semitism. Working at a barbaric mental institution, Arthur saw a better way and conducted groundbreaking research into drug treatments. He also had a genius for marketing, especially for pharmaceuticals, and bought a small ad firm.

Arthur devised the marketing for Valium, and built the first great Sackler fortune. He purchased a drug manufacturer, Purdue Frederick, which would be run by Raymond and Mortimer. The brothers began collecting art, and wives, and grand residences in exotic locales. Their children and grandchildren grew up in luxury.

Forty years later, Raymond’s son Richard ran the family-owned Purdue. The template Arthur Sackler created to sell Valium—co-opting doctors, influencing the FDA, downplaying the drug’s addictiveness—was employed to launch a far more potent product: OxyContin. The drug went on to generate some thirty-five billion dollars in revenue, and to launch a public health crisis in which hundreds of thousands would die.

This is the saga of three generations of a single family and the mark they would leave on the world, a tale that moves from the bustling streets of early twentieth-century Brooklyn to the seaside palaces of Greenwich, Connecticut, and Cap d’Antibes to the corridors of power in Washington, D.C. Empire of Pain chronicles the multiple investigations of the Sacklers and their company, and the scorched-earth legal tactics that the family has used to evade accountability. The history of the Sackler dynasty is rife with drama—baroque personal lives; bitter disputes over estates; fistfights in boardrooms; glittering art collections; Machiavellian courtroom maneuvers; and the calculated use of money to burnish reputations and crush the less powerful.

Empire of Pain is a masterpiece of narrative reporting and writing, exhaustively documented and ferociously compelling. It is a portrait of the excesses of America’s second Gilded Age, a study of impunity among the super elite and a relentless investigation of the naked greed and indifference to human suffering that built one of the world’s great fortunes.

ISBN: 9780593162392
By: Patrick Radden Keefe
Read by:
Published: Apr 13, 2021

image for A World Without Email: Reimagining Work in an Age of Communication Overload

Audiobook

A World Without Email: Reimagining Work in an Age of Communication Overload

$15.99

New York Times bestseller!

From New York Times bestselling author Cal Newport comes a bold vision for liberating workers from the tyranny of the inbox–and unleashing a new era of productivity.

Modern knowledge workers communicate constantly. Their days are defined by a relentless barrage of incoming messages and back-and-forth digital conversations–a state of constant, anxious chatter in which nobody can disconnect, and so nobody has the cognitive bandwidth to perform substantive work. There was a time when tools like email felt cutting edge, but a thorough review of current evidence reveals that the “hyperactive hive mind” workflow they helped create has become a productivity disaster, reducing profitability and perhaps even slowing overall economic growth. Equally worrisome, it makes us miserable. Humans are simply not wired for constant digital communication.

We have become so used to an inbox-driven workday that it’s hard to imagine alternatives. But they do exist. Drawing on years of investigative reporting, author and computer science professor Cal Newport makes the case that our current approach to work is broken, then lays out a series of principles and concrete instructions for fixing it. In A World without Email, he argues for a workplace in which clear processes–not haphazard messaging–define how tasks are identified, assigned and reviewed. Each person works on fewer things (but does them better), and aggressive investment in support reduces the ever-increasing burden of administrative tasks. Above all else, important communication is streamlined, and inboxes and chat channels are no longer central to how work unfolds.

The knowledge sector’s evolution beyond the hyperactive hive mind is inevitable. The question is not whether a world without email is coming (it is), but whether you’ll be ahead of this trend. If you’re a CEO seeking a competitive edge, an entrepreneur convinced your productivity could be higher, or an employee exhausted by your inbox, A World Without Email will convince you that the time has come for bold changes, and will walk you through exactly how to make them happen.

ISBN: 9780525643579
Published: Mar 02, 2021
By: Cal Newport
Read by: Kevin R. Free

image for Mike Nichols: A Life

Audiobook

Mike Nichols: A Life

$19.25

Save 30% off the list price.

An instant New York Times Bestseller!

A magnificent biography of one of the most protean creative forces in American entertainment history, a life of dazzling highs and vertiginous plunges–some of the worst largely unknown until now–by the acclaimed author of Pictures at a Revolution and Five Came Back

Mike Nichols burst onto the scene as a wunderkind: while still in his twenties, he was half of a hit improv duo with Elaine May that was the talk of the country. Next he directed four consecutive hit plays, won back-to-back Tonys, ushered in a new era of Hollywood moviemaking with Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, and followed it with The Graduate, which won him an Oscar and became the third-highest-grossing movie ever. At thirty-five, he lived in a three-story Central Park West penthouse, drove a Rolls-Royce, collected Arabian horses, and counted Jacqueline Kennedy, Elizabeth Taylor, Leonard Bernstein, and Richard Avedon as friends.

Where he arrived is even more astonishing given where he had begun: born Igor Peschkowsky to a Jewish couple in Berlin in 1931, he was sent along with his younger brother to America on a ship in 1939. The young immigrant boy caught very few breaks. He was bullied and ostracized–an allergic reaction had rendered him permanently hairless–and his father died when he was just twelve, leaving his mother alone and overwhelmed.

The gulf between these two sets of facts explains a great deal about Nichols’s transformation from lonely outsider to the center of more than one cultural universe–the acute powers of observation that first made him famous; the nourishment he drew from his creative partnerships, most enduringly with May; his unquenchable drive; his hunger for security and status; and the depressions and self-medications that brought him to terrible lows. It would take decades for him to come to grips with his demons. In an incomparable portrait that follows Nichols from Berlin to New York to Chicago to Hollywood, Mark Harris explores, with brilliantly vivid detail and insight, the life, work, struggle, and passion of an artist and man in constant motion. Among the 250 people Harris interviewed: Elaine May, Meryl Streep, Stephen Sondheim, Robert Redford, Glenn Close, Tom Hanks, Candice Bergen, Emma Thompson, Annette Bening, Natalie Portman, Julia Roberts, Lorne Michaels, and Gloria Steinem.

Mark Harris gives an intimate and evenhanded accounting of success and failure alike; the portrait is not always flattering, but its ultimate impact is to present the full story of one of the most richly interesting, complicated, and consequential figures the worlds of theater and motion pictures have ever seen. It is a triumph of the biographer’s art.

ISBN: 9780593394427
Published: Feb 02, 2021
By: Mark Harris
Read by: George Newbern

©2021 Mark Harris (P)2021 Penguin Audio

image for The Absolute Book: A Novel

Audiobook

The Absolute Book: A Novel

$18.75

Save 25% off the list price.

A bewitching epic fantasy about a revenge killing, a mysterious scroll box that has survived centuries of fires, and the book that changed everything.

“Intricately plotted and gorgeously written, The Absolute Book is a cinematic tale that is by turns dark and dreamlike, yet ultimately hopeful.” –Deborah Harkness, New York Times bestselling author of A Discovery of Witches

Taryn Cornick believes that the past–her sister’s violent death, and her own ill-conceived revenge–is behind her, and she can get on with her life. She has written a successful book about the things that threaten libraries: insects, damp, light, fire, carelessness and uncaring . . . but not all of the attention it brings her is good.

A policeman, Jacob Berger, questions her about a cold case. Then there are questions about a fire in the library at her grandparents’ house and an ancient scroll box known as the Firestarter, as well as threatening phone calls and a mysterious illness. Finally a shadowy young man named Shift appears, forcing Taryn and Jacob toward a reckoning felt in more than one world.

The Absolute Book is epic, action-packed fantasy in which hidden treasures are recovered, wicked things resurface, birds can talk, and dead sisters are a living force. It is a book of journeys and returns, from contemporary England to Auckland, New Zealand; from a magical fairyland to Purgatory. Above all, it is a declaration of love for stories and the ways in which they shape our worlds and create gods out of mortals.

ISBN: 9780593394946
Published: Feb 09, 2021
By: Elizabeth Knox
Read by: Anne-Marie Duff

©2021 Elizabeth Knox (P)2021 Penguin Audio

image for Fake Accounts

Audiobook

Fake Accounts

$13.99

“This novel made me want to retire from contemporary reality. I loved it.” —Zadie Smith

A woman in a tailspin discovers that her boyfriend is an anonymous online conspiracy theorist in this “incisive” and “funny” debut novel that “brilliantly captures the claustrophobia of lives led online and personae tested in the real world” (Publishers Weekly, starred review).

On the eve of Donald Trump’s inauguration, a young woman snoops through her boyfriend’s phone and makes a startling discovery: he’s an anonymous internet conspiracy theorist, and a popular one at that. Already fluent in internet fakery, irony, and outrage, she’s not exactly shocked by the revelation. Actually, she’s relieved–he was always a little distant–and she plots to end their floundering relationship while on a trip to the Women’s March in DC. But this is only the first in a series of bizarre twists that expose a world whose truths are shaped by online lies.

Suddenly left with no reason to stay in New York and increasingly alienated from her friends and colleagues, our unnamed narrator flees to Berlin, embarking on her own cycles of manipulation in the deceptive spaces of her daily life, from dating apps to expat meetups, open-plan offices to bureaucratic waiting rooms. She begins to think she can’t trust anyone–shouldn’t the feeling be mutual?

Narrated with seductive confidence and subversive wit, Fake Accounts challenges the way current conversations about the self and community, delusions and gaslighting, and fiction and reality play out in the internet age.

ISBN: 9780593414590
Published: Feb 02, 2021
By: Lauren Oyler
Read by: Rebecca Lowman

image for Festival Days

Audiobook

Festival Days

$23.99

A searing and exhilarating new collection from the award-winning author of The Boys of My Youth and In Zanesville, who “honors the beautiful, the sacred, and the comic in life” (Sigrid Nunez, National Book Award-winner for The Friend

When “The Fourth State of Matter,” her now famous piece about a workplace massacre at the University of Iowa was published in The New Yorker, Jo Ann Beard immediately became one of the most influential writers in America, forging a path for a new generation of young authors willing to combine the dexterity of fiction with the rigors of memory and reportage, and in the process extending the range of possibility for the essay form.

Now, with Festival Days, Beard brings us the culmination of her groundbreaking work. In these nine pieces, she captures both the small, luminous moments of daily existence and those instants when life and death hang in the balance, ranging from the death of a beloved dog to a relentlessly readable account of a New York artist trapped inside a burning building, as well as two triumphant, celebrated pieces of short fiction.

Here is an unforgettable collection destined to be embraced and debated by readers and writers, teachers and students. Anchored by the title piece—a searing journey through India that brings into focus questions of mortality and love—Festival Days presents Beard at the height of her powers, using her flawless prose to reveal all that is tender and timeless beneath the way we live now.

By purchasing, you agree to the terms of use and privacy policy.

FAQ

How will I listen to my exclusive podcasts or audiobooks?

You can listen in your preferred podcast app.

Which podcast apps do you support?

We support Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Overcast, Pocketcasts, Podcast Addict, Castbox, BeyondPod, Downcast, PlayerFM, Breaker, and RadioPublic.

We don't yet support Spotify, Stitcher, Podbean, or NPR One.

You’ll also be able to listen to your audiobook or podcast purchase online.

What types of payment do you accept?

You can pay with any major credit cards, as well as Apple Pay on iOS and Google Pay on Android.

Who made this?

Your seamless listening experience is powered by Supporting Cast. Contact help@supportingcast.fm for support.

Wait, I don't understand—I can use a podcast app to listen to an audiobook?

Yup, that’s right! Listen to audiobooks in the same place you spend hours listening to your favorite podcasts. No new apps to download, no subscription fees. You get lower prices, too, because nobody had to build a fancy new app.

I don't see the book I'm looking for.

Browse our catalog to see all books currently on sale.

The store just launched, so please excuse our appearance as we continue to build out the site navigation and shopping cart experience.

Why should I buy my audiobooks from Slate and Supporting Cast?

Learn more about the store here.