Read by Jon Cryer
Approx. 5 hours
Nick is one of the chosen few at his high school: intelligent, popular, and wealthy. People think his life is pretty easy. Except for one thing. Nick has never told anyone about his father's violent temper.
When Nick meets Caitlin, he thinks she is the answer to all his problems. Caitlin is everything Nick has ever wanted--beautiful, talented, and in love with him. But then everything changes, and Nick must face the fact that he has gotten more from his father than green eyes and money.
Jon Cryer attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and has since worked in virtually every part of the entertainment industry from television and radio to Broadway and feature films. Some of his film credits include Pretty in Pink, Holy Man and No Small Affair. Some of his television credits include, doing voice work for Disney's Hercules and appearing in sitcoms like Dharma and Greg. Mr. Cryer also read Chet Gecko- Private Eye for Listening Library.
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It was only a slap. Well, maybe more than one. And maybe Nick used his fist at the end when the anger got out of control. But his girlfriend Caitlin deserved it--hadn't she defied him by singing in the school talent show when he had forbidden her to display herself like that? Even though he'd told her that everybody would laugh at her because she couldn't sing and was a fat slob? Both were lies. Because Caitlin was so beautiful, the only person who understood him. Out of his desperate need for her came all the mean words and the hitting. But now Caitlin's family has procured a restraining order to keep Nick away, and the judge has sentenced him to Mario Ortega's Family Violence class, to sit around every week with six other angry guys who hit their girlfriends. And to write a journal explaining how he got into this mess.
Other teen novels--most strikingly Dreamland by Sarah Dessen--have shown dating violence from the point of view of a young girl trapped in an abusive relationship, but in Breathing Underwater, first-time novelist Alex Flinn tackles the difficult task of making us understand, if not sympathize with, the motivation of a violent young man. The story, like Rob Thomas's stylistically similar Rats Saw God, proceeds in two different time frames: the journal in which Nick relives the course of his tender but stormy love affair with Caitlin and the time after the restraining order, in which a desperate and friendless Nick struggles to understand and overcome his anger. This extraordinarily moving novel is highly relevant reading for all young men in our violence-prone society. (Ages 13 and older) --Patty CampbellAbout the Author:
Alex Flinn studied theater, opera, and law before writing her first novel, Breathing Underwater. She was a Publishers Weekly "Flying Starts" featured author in June 2001. Ms. Flinn lives in Miami with her husband, Gene, daughters, Katie and Meredith, and her dog, cat, and five turtles.
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