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When You Finish Saving the World

When You Finish Saving the World
Written by: Jesse Eisenberg
Narrated by: Jesse Eisenberg
Genres: Genre Fiction | Drama & Plays | Fiction
Published: 4th of August, 2020
Length: 5 Hours 17 Minutes


Listen to Samples:

Audible UK

From playwright, author, and Oscar-nominated actor Jesse Eisenberg, When You Finish Saving the World tells the moving and evocative story of three individuals working to understand each other and themselves: Nathan, a father learning to connect with his newborn son; Rachel, a young college student seeking to find her place in a relationship and in life, before marriage to Nathan; and Ziggy, their son, a teenager hoping to figure out where he came from, and where he’s headed. The shifts between time frames in these characters’ lives span more than a decade and eloquently capture the complexities of growing up, having children, and fitting in.

Eisenberg—the star of The Social Network, The Squid and the Whale, and Zombieland—stars as Nathan; Kaitlin Dever, star of Booksmart and Unbelieveable, is the voice of Rachel; and Finn Wolfhard, star of Stranger Things, plays Ziggy, their son.



Visceral and Raw... and Such a Unique Experience

Review by: Morgan HobbesI saw this one pop up on my Audible searches a few times over the past few days, and each time I saw it, I wasn't sure if it was going to be my type of thing. Today though and intent of expanding my horizons as well as genres I listen to, I grabbed a copy and started in.

The format is unique, at least as far as I know, in that each chapter of this stunning audio drama is told as the character talking about their lives into a recorder. The first set we hear are from Nathan (Jesse Eisenberg) who is recording his thoughts and (lack of) feelings as part of psychology appointments.

He talks of his inability to connect with his newborn son, Ziggy, and how his wife is seemingly more and more distant each day. He has a distinct inability to see or understand emotions from either himself or others, simply working mostly on logic. While not specifically mentioning it, I assume he's been written as being on the autism spectrum which I commend.

The chapters that come next are from his son, Ziggy (Finn Wolfhard), now 15 and living in 2032. Eisenberg does a fantastic job inventing real-sounding slang as you could imagine it would evolve. Ziggy is forced to attend weekly appointments to talk about what led to him punching a friend. Rules and life in 2032 are different from now, but believably so as an extension from our own time. So much so, one side character was referred to as them/they/their instead of the binary him/her and it wasn't until deep into Ziggy's chapters I even noticed they weren't referred to with gendered pronouns. Wolfhard delivered the lines so effortlessly and naturally, I couldn't help but feel I was listening in to a real monologue from the near future.

Finally, we hear from Rachael (Kaitlyn Dever) as a college-age student before she knew Nathan or had a son. Even prior to the tragedy spoken of by Nathan and Ziggy. Her chapters are being spoken into a tape recorder to send to her boyfriend in the military and stationed overseas. Here we get to learn more about her, even sympathise with her situation... as the earlier chapters painted her as someone aloof and unlikeable.

Eisenberg, Wolfhard, and Dever have delivered an absolutely must-listen performance. It feels so real, I couldn't help but continually think I was listening in on real, private conversations. Do yourself a favour and grab a copy today.


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Average Score: 

Reviewed: 2020-08-08

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