Listen to a Clip from the Star-Studded Audio Book for George Saunders’ Novel

Nick Offerman, Carrie Brownstein, Don Cheadle, Julianne Moore (and basically the cast of your dreams) read ‘Lincoln in the Bardo’

George Saunders’ soon-to-be-released and highly anticipated first novel, Lincoln in the Bardo, is shaping up to be a high water mark in the annals of audio books. The recently announced 166-member cast features Nick Offerman, Ben Stiller, Don Cheadle, Julianne Moore, Mary Karr, Maranda July, Jeff Tweedy, and Saunders himself, among many others. In fact, Random House, the novel’s publisher, has already submitted the list to Guinness World Records for the most narrators within a single audio book — a rather specific, but apparently legitimate, record category.

Narrted from a cacophony of decidedly biased — and often conflicting — perspectives, Lincoln in the Bardo tracks the eponymous president at the onset of the Civil War as he confronts the death of his young son, Willie. In the audio book excerpt below, the narrators disjointedly debate Lincoln’s stoic, or less than stoic, comportment as he crosses a room to examine Willie’s coffin. Unsurprisingly, the intercut, and often playful exchanges seem to indicate the novel retains the enrapturing dynamism of Saunders’ masterful short fiction. Not to mention a wonderful sampling of Nick Offerman’s voice.

Listen here:

Here’s an even longer list of the audio book’s known cast members:

  • Nick Offerman as HANS VOLLMAN
  • David Sedaris as ROGER BEVINS III
  • Carrie Brownstein as ISABELLE PERKINS
  • George Saunders as THE REVEREND EVERLY THOMAS
  • Miranda July as MRS. ELIZABETH CRAWFORD
  • Lena Dunham as ELISE TRAYNOR
  • Ben Stiller as JACK MANDERS
  • Julianne Moore as JANE ELLIS
  • Susan Sarandon as MRS. ABIGAIL BLASS
  • Bradley Whitford as LT. CECIL STONE
  • Bill Hader as EDDIE BARON
  • Megan Mullally as BETSY BARON
  • Rainn Wilson as PERCIVAL “DASH” COLLIER
  • Jeff Tweedy as CAPTAIN WILLIAM PRINCE
  • Kat Dennings as MISS TAMARA DOOLITTLE
  • Jeffrey Tambor as PROFESSOR EDMUND BLOOMER
  • Mike O’Brien as LAWRENCE T. DECROIX
  • Keegan-Michael Key as ELSON FARWELL
  • Don Cheadle as THOMAS HAVENS
  • Patrick Wilson as STANLEY “PERFESSER” LIPPERT
  • Kirby Heyborne as WILLIE LINCOLN
  • Mary Karr as MRS. ROSE MILLAND
  • Cassandra Campbell as Your Narrator

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