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Summary

Witty, haunting and kind, Under the Whispering Door is a gift for troubled times. T. J. Klune brings us a warm hug of a story about a man who spent his life at the office - and his afterlife building a home.

From the author of joyous New York Times best seller The House in the Cerulean Sea.

Welcome to Charon's Crossing. The tea is hot, the scones are fresh and the dead are just passing through.

When a reaper comes to collect Wallace from his own sparsely attended funeral, Wallace is outraged. But he begins to suspect she’s right and he is in fact dead. Then when Hugo, owner of a most peculiar tea shop, promises to help him cross over, Wallace reluctantly accepts the truth. 

Yet even in death, he refuses to abandon his life - even though Wallace spent all of it working, correcting colleagues and hectoring employees. He’d had no time for frivolities like fun and friends. But as Wallace drinks tea with Hugo and talks to his customers, he wonders if he was missing something. 

The feeling grows as he shares jokes with the resident ghost, manifests embarrassing footwear and notices the stars. So when he’s given one week to pass through the door to the other side, Wallace sets about living a lifetime in just seven days.

Fans of A Man Called Ove and The Good Place will fall for this queer love story by T. J. Klune.

©2021 Macmillan Audio (P)2021 Macmillan Publishers International Ltd

What listeners say about Under the Whispering Door

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Moving on, Acceptance and a good Story

This is the first book I've gotten from Audible and I've gotta say: it was worth it, way beyond worth it if I am being honest.
Let's get down to brass tacks and then I'll get to more personal rambles.

Story:
The actual story of Under the Whispering Door is really good. It's touching, helpful and filled with a warmth that I haven't been able to find in a lot of books. It touches on very deep themes, with respect and reverence for what they mean for both the characters and what they might mean to the audience. The love that blossoms between the characters, whilst at first can seem a bit rushed, I think fits, within the context of the story told. It's believable, and oddly sweet, to see such different characters that are connected by circumstance and later, by fondness.
Some of the elements of otherworldly-ness legitimately made me get out of my seat! The out of place feels natural to the world, but it never feels like it is from the world. The descriptions are thorough and well thought out, whilst leaving enough to the imagination that they don't feel conflicting! Not to mention, some of them feel actually scary at times, which is a good thing!
The pacing is good, and the prose is too, and I loved the characters and their journeys. But the themes, the themes and how they are handled are something special. Something thought out and, gorgeously written, wonderfully touched. It feels like the author really wanted to express things with the utmost respect and care, and I think they succeeded.

Performance:
It was great! Well, this is one of my first audio-books, so take that info and do what you will with it, but it was truly great! The characters felt emotive and alive, the voices were distinct and even the narration had an incredible amount of character! It was incredibly fun and relaxing to listen to the performance, and I loved it! So why 4 stars?
For just a few, not at all jarring, but still noticeable things. Sometimes, when starting a character's lines, the reader would take a bit to get into a character voice, even trudging on another's tone. Some emotions at times felt just slightly off from the described text, and I don't know what was up with the word "stag" but something definitely was.
None of this is a deal breaker, and aside from the few and far between occasions those things happened, the reader was fantastic!

On a personal note:
I cried. Multiple times. Maybe others won't, books are individual experiences, but I did cry so much. I lost a lot of things recently, and have been grieving said losses, and I was, am, getting better. But this book...
Under the Whispering Door reaffirmed things that I needed to here. Right place, right time, I suppose. But this book, it told me how to grieve again. How to move on, how to accept the good and the bad one did, and move on. It told a story of grief, and great sorrow, but more importantly, a story of great love and the peace of moving on. Of moving beyond what you did, what the universe did. To accept what might come next, to face it head on. I couldn't not give this book 5 stars. It means too much to me. I know it isn't much, especially for a review, but this? This book is special.

1 person found this helpful

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Best narrator ever

Kirt Graves is the only narrator I recognise by name. He is phenomenal and I like everything he brings into each of his performances. I think his talent shines better in the first person narration narratives, same way Klune’s does.

I liked this book, although I liked it the least out of all the Klune books I’ve read before.

1 person found this helpful

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Beautiful, life affirming

Such a wonderful, gentle book, full of genuinely funny moments, tender friendships and a wonderful love story. Brilliantly performed.

1 person found this helpful

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Heartwarming

so many laugh out moments shared with so many heartbreaking ones. Definitely one of my favourite reads this year out of dozens of books, please, please give it a chance.

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Beautiful and Rich Characters

I loved this book. It was like listening to a family of strangers getting to know each other. The characters came to life as the author breathed a depth and richness into them. A heartening book that holds some deeper questions. Lovely to read LGBTQ2+ characters with depth and a meaningful storylines.

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Great book, great narratiom

book is great, the story is great, and the narration was amazing, made the story far better!

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nice one

a beautiful take on life and death and the impossible feelings around it. really enjoyed it. if I had to mention one off thing, it would be that around half way through it started to bug me that every statement is backed up with "i supposed you do" and "no i don't suppose you do" or something similar, and that however much Hugo is portrayed as this dashing man of wisdom, he really doesn't have a clue of what's going on.

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Utterly wonderful and totally soul destroying

I bought this based on having read The House in the Cerulean Sea, which I absolutely loved. There are some similar elements in this story but the plot is very different. you may well guess at some of the outcomes but the journey is heart-rending.
I'll admit that, if this had been a paper copy, it would have been in the fridge a few times!
It is a beautiful story, told with hope and compassion. The main character's journey was possibly a little too quick - but other than that it was a fantastic 'read'.
Just stock up on the tissues.

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I absolutely adore this book

I recently listened to The House In The Cerulean Sea, by this author & thought it was incredible. This book is as good. The writing is just so beautiful & the narration brings every character to life. I wholeheartedly suggest that, if you want something that is quirky, funny, heartwarming & heartbreaking, then listen to this book. You will not be disappointed.

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Absolutely loved this book

Listening to this book had me spellbound. Kirk Graves voice gave a sense of cinematography in the brain. I invested in every character and wanted to know each of them personally. It’s enticing, rich, diverse, enraging and beautiful. I would listen to this again and again. Simply brilliant