The Talking Book

Nonprofit Audiobook Publisher of Indie Lit

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By Mark Leidner
Narrated By Luna Cross
Length: 7 hrs and 38 mins
Release Date: 1-14-2018
Print Publisher: Tyrant Books


Under the Sea is Mark Leidner’s debut story collection published by Tyrant Books in 2018 and named a best book of the year by Buzzfeed, Spinoff, and The New Statesman.

In the gripping opener “Bad-Asses,” a naive drug dealer’s stash is stolen, leading her to unleash her inner bad-ass as she tries to recover it. In the bizarre and hilarious “21 Extremely Bad Breakups,” each breakup is more absurd than the last: lovers get side-swiped by speeding busses, play paper-rock-scissors with each others lives, cause an asteroid to destroy the planet, and more. In “Under the Sea,” a woman with one day to live has an affair with a loser she picks up at a video game arcade. In the unbelievably epic “Avern-Y6,” a despondent insect gets shitfaced at the brink of a colony-wide civil war, only to learn he has an role to play in history after all. A social outcast going off on some teens in a bougie café, a depressed man in a physical fight with an interdimensional void, a middle-school student waxing memoiristic about heartbreak, a self-defeating academic sending a career-ending email—indelible characters are the heart of every story’s wild ride in Under the Sea. Leidner gleefully weaves dizzying absurdity with piercing realism, blistering banality with poetic profundity, and balances death and fear with love and awe.


Under the sea



“Equal parts hilarity and horror… virtuosic” – New York Times

“Poetic and extraordinarily strange” – Buzzfeed

“An intriguing literary page-turner” – Curator

“In a literary world of fictional same old, same old, Leidner is a real deal original. In UNDER THE SEA, he leads us through a world of stolen drugs, weird tales about characters named Tzara-9, modern sickness, break-ups and anti-break-ups. There’s only one thing you can say about a writer like this: He’s a total bad-ass.“

Scott McClanahan, author of The Sarah Book

“From the mean streets to the moon, the maze of an ant colony to the maze of elementary school memory, Leidner’s adroitness at showing us who we are, as well as all the wrong mirrors we’ve gazed into, is nothing short of miraculous.”

Kristen Iskandrian, author of Motherest


Mark Leidner is is a Georgia-born writer of books and films. His latest book is 2018’s Under the Sea, and his latest film is the 2019 sci-fi thriller Empathy, Inc. He resides in Atlanta and is @markleidner on twitter and instagram.

2019 Talking Book

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