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  1. 0 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5
    10.9 hrs • 1/1/2007 • Unabridged

    Jan and Antonina Zabinski were Polish Christian zookeepers horrified by Nazi racism, who managed to save over three hundred people. Yet their story has fallen between the seams of history. Drawing on Antonina’s diary and other historical sources, bestselling naturalist Diane Ackerman vividly re-creates Antonina’s life as “the zookeeper’s wife,” responsible for her own family, the zoo animals, and their “guests”: resistance activists and refugee Jews, many of whom Jan had smuggled from the Warsaw Ghetto. Jan led a cell of saboteurs, and the Zabinski’s young son risked his life carrying food to the guests, while also tending to an eccentric array of creatures in the house (pigs, hare, muskrat, foxes, and more). With hidden people having animal names, and pet animals having human names, it’s a small wonder the zoo’s code name became “The House under a Crazy Star.” Yet there is more to this story than a colorful cast. With her exquisite sensitivity to the natural world, Ackerman explores the role of nature in both kindness and savagery, and she unravels the fascinating and disturbing obsession at the core of Nazism: both a worship of nature and its violation, as humans sought to control the genome of the entire planet.

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    The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman

    The Zookeeper’s Wife

    10.9 hrs • 1/1/07 • Unabridged
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  2. 0 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5
    7.4 hrs • 2/14/2017 • Unabridged

    The long-awaited first novel from the author of Tenth of December is a moving and original father-son story featuring none other than Abraham Lincoln, as well as an unforgettable cast of supporting characters, living and dead, historical and invented. February 1862. The Civil War is less than one year old. The fighting has begun in earnest, and the nation has begun to realize it is in for a long, bloody struggle. Meanwhile, President Lincoln’s beloved eleven-year-old son, Willie, lies upstairs in the White House, gravely ill. In a matter of days, despite predictions of a recovery, Willie dies and is laid to rest in a Georgetown cemetery. “My poor boy, he was too good for this earth,” the president says at the time. “God has called him home.” Newspapers report that a grief-stricken Lincoln returns, alone, to the crypt several times to hold his boy’s body. From that seed of historical truth, George Saunders spins an unforgettable story of familial love and loss that breaks free of its realistic, historical framework into a supernatural realm both hilarious and terrifying. Willie Lincoln finds himself in a strange purgatory where ghosts mingle, gripe, commiserate, quarrel, and enact bizarre acts of penance. Within this transitional state—called, in the Tibetan tradition, the bardo—a monumental struggle erupts over young Willie’s soul.Lincoln in the Bardo is an astonishing feat of imagination and a bold step forward from one of the most important and influential writers of his generation. Formally daring, generous in spirit, deeply concerned with matters of the heart, it is a testament to fiction’s ability to speak honestly and powerfully to the things that really matter to us. Saunders has invented a thrilling new form that deploys a kaleidoscopic, theatrical panorama of voices to ask a timeless, profound question: How do we live and love when we know that everything we love must end?The 166-person full cast features award-winning actors and musicians, as well as a number of Saunders’ family, friends, and members of his publishing team, including, in order of their appearance: 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 and Patrick Wilson as STANLEY “PERFESSER” LIPPERT with Kirby Heyborne as WILLIE LINCOLN, Mary Karr as MRS. ROSE MILLAND, and Cassandra Campbell as Your Narrator

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    Lincoln in the Bardo

    7.4 hrs • 2/14/17 • Unabridged
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  3. 1 reviews 0 5 4.5 4 out of 5 stars 4.5/5 (1)
    15.9 hrs • 7/29/2014 • Unabridged

    The #1 New York Times bestseller that Entertainment Weekly called “a surefire hit.”NOW AN HBO® LIMITED SERIES STARRING REESE WITHERSPOON, NICOLE KIDMAN, SHAILENE WOODLEY, ALEXANDER SKARSGÅRD, LAURA DERN, ADAM SCOTT, AND ZOË KRAVITZ FROM THE DIRECTOR OF WILD AND DALLAS BUYERS CLUB, JEAN-MARC VALLÉE, AND WRITER DAVID E. KELLEY Sometimes it’s the little lies that turn out to be the most lethal... A murder…a tragic accident…or just parents behaving badly?   What’s indisputable is that someone is dead. But who did what? Big Little Lies follows three women, each at a crossroads:Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny and biting, passionate, she remembers everything and forgives no one. Her ex-husband and his yogi new wife have moved into her beloved beachside community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline’s youngest (how is this possible?). And to top it all off, Madeline’s teenage daughter seems to be choosing Madeline’s ex-husband over her. (How. Is. This. Possible?).Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare. While she may seem a bit flustered at times, who wouldn’t be, with those rambunctious twin boys? Now that the boys are starting school, Celeste and her husband look set to become the king and queen of the school parent body. But royalty often comes at a price, and Celeste is grappling with how much more she is willing to pay.New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for the nanny. Jane is sad beyond her years and harbors secret doubts about her son. But why? While Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under their wing, none of them realizes how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all.Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.

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    Big Little Lies (Movie Tie-In)

    15.9 hrs • 7/29/14 • Unabridged
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  4. 10.8 hrs • 3/21/2017 • Unabridged

    One decision can end everything … or lead to unlikely redemption. Millions watched the CBS 60 Minutes special on Jack Barsky in 2015. Now, in this fascinating memoir, the Soviet KGB agent tells his story of gut-wrenching choices, appalling betrayals, his turbulent inner world, and the secret life he lived for years without getting caught. On October 8, 1978, a Canadian national by the name of William Dyson stepped off a plane at O’Hare International Airport and proceeded toward customs and immigration. Two days later, William Dyson ceased to exist. The identity was a KGB forgery, used to get one of their own―a young, ambitious East German agent―into the United States. The plan succeeded, and the spy’s new identity was born: Jack Barsky. He would work undercover for the next decade, carrying out secret operations during the Cold War years—until a surprising shift in his allegiance challenged everything he thought he believed. Deep Undercover reveals the secret life of this man without a country and tells the story no one ever expected him to tell.

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    Deep Undercover by Jack Barsky

    Deep Undercover

    By Jack Barsky, with Cindy Coloma
    10.8 hrs • 3/21/17 • Unabridged
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  5. 8.9 hrs • 3/21/2017 • Unabridged

    “My father had more than fifty children.” So begins the haunting memoir of Anna LeBaron, daughter of the notorious polygamist and murderer Ervil LeBaron. With her father wanted by the FBI for killing anyone who tried to leave his cult―a radical branch of Mormonism―Anna and her siblings were constantly on the run with the other sister-wives. Often starving and always desperate, the children lived in terror. Even though there were dozens of them together, Anna always felt alone. She escaped when she was thirteen—but the nightmare was far from over. A shocking true story of murder, fear, and betrayal, The Polygamist’s Daughter is also the heart-cry of a fatherless girl and her search for love, faith, and a safe place to call home.

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    The Polygamist’s Daughter by Anna LeBaron

    The Polygamist’s Daughter

    By Anna LeBaron, with Leslie Wilson
    Read by Anna LeBaron
    8.9 hrs • 3/21/17 • Unabridged
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  6. 7.1 hrs • 3/7/2017 • Unabridged

    Fans of Maria Semple’s Where’d You Go Bernadette and and Celeste Ng’s Everything I Never Told You will delight in Annie Hartnett’s debut, Rabbit Cake, a darkly comic novel about a young girl named Elvis trying to figure out her place in a world without her mother. Twelve-year-old Elvis Babbitt has a head for the facts: she knows science proves yellow is the happiest color, she knows a healthy male giraffe weighs about 3,000 pounds, and she knows that the naked mole rat is the longest living rodent. She knows she should plan to grieve her mother, who has recently drowned while sleepwalking, for exactly eighteen months. But there are things Elvis doesn’t yet know―like how to keep her sister Lizzie from poisoning herself while sleep-eating or why her father has started wearing her mother’s silk bathrobe around the house. Elvis investigates the strange circumstances of her mother’s death and finds comfort, if not answers, in the people (and animals) of Freedom, Alabama. As hilarious a storyteller as she is heartbreakingly honest, Elvis is a truly original voice in this exploration of grief, family, and the endurance of humor after loss.

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    Rabbit Cake by Annie Hartnett

    Rabbit Cake

    7.1 hrs • 3/7/17 • Unabridged
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  7. 8.1 hrs • 2/20/2017 • Unabridged

    Welcome to Gradieshti, a Soviet village awash in gray buildings and ramshackle fences, a home to a large, collective farm and to the most oddball and endearing cast of characters possible. For three years in the 1960s, Vladimir Tsesis―inestimable Soviet doctor and irrepressible jester―was stationed in a village where racing tractor drivers tossed vodka bottles to each other for sport; where farmers and townspeople secretly mocked and tried to endure the Communist way of life; where milk for children, running water, and adequate electricity were rare; where the world’s smallest, motley parade became the country’s longest; and where one compulsively amorous Communist Party leader met a memorable, chilling fate. From a frantic pursuit of calcium-deprived, lunatic Socialist chickens to a father begging on his knees to Soviet officials to obtain antibiotics for his dying child, Vladimir’s tales of Gradieshti are unforgettable. Sometimes hysterical, often moving, always a remarkable and highly entertaining insider’s look at rural life under the old Soviet regime, they are a sobering exposé of the terrible inadequacies of its much-lauded socialist medical system.

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    Communist Daze by Vladimir A. Tsesis, MD

    Communist Daze

    8.1 hrs • 2/20/17 • Unabridged
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  8. 6.7 hrs • 2/14/2017 • Unabridged

    When the Twin Towers suddenly reappear in the badlands of South Dakota twenty years after their fall, nobody can explain their return. To the hundreds, then thousands, then tens of thousands drawn to the “American Stonehenge”—including Parker and Zema, siblings on their way from Los Angeles to visit their mother in Michigan—the Towers seem to sing, even as everybody hears a different song. A rumor overtakes the throng that someone can be seen in the high windows of the southern structure. On the ninety-third floor, Jesse Presley—the stillborn twin of the most famous singer who ever lived—suddenly awakes, driven mad over the hours and days to come by a voice in his head that sounds like his but isn’t, and by the memory of a country where he survived in his brother’s place. Meanwhile, Parker and Zema cross a possessed landscape by a mysterious detour no one knows, charted on a map that no one has seen. Haunting, audacious, and undaunted, Shadowbahn is a winding and reckless ride through intersections of danger, destiny, and the conjoined halves of a ruptured nation.

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    Shadowbahn by Steve Erickson

    Shadowbahn

    6.7 hrs • 2/14/17 • Unabridged
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  9. 11.2 hrs • 2/14/2017 • Unabridged

    At four hundred pounds, Billy Brennan can always count on food. From his earliest memories, he has loved food’s colors, textures, and tastes. The way flavors go off in his mouth. How food keeps his mind still and his bad feelings quiet. Food has always made everything better, until the day Billy’s beloved son Michael takes his own life. In Michael’s memory, Billy determines to make a difference and undertakes a public weight-loss campaign to raise money for suicide prevention—his first step in an ambitious plan to save himself and others. However, Billy’s dramatic crusade appalls his family, who simply want to get on with their lives. Despite his crushing detractors, Billy garners welcome allies: his community, a coworker who lost his father to suicide, and a filmmaker with his own dubious agenda, as well as a secret, miniature kingdom that Billy populates with the sub-quality dolls and soldiers he rescues from disposal at the local toy factory where he works. But it is only if Billy can confront the truth of his pain and suffering and the brokenness around him that he and others will see the change they need. Set in rural, contemporary Ireland, The Weight of Him is an unforgettable, bighearted novel about loss and reliance that moves from tragedy to recrimination to what can be achieved when we truly decide to take a stand.

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    The Weight of Him by Ethel Rohan

    The Weight of Him

    11.2 hrs • 2/14/17 • Unabridged
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  10. 6.3 hrs • 3/14/2017 • Unabridged

    Helen Moran is thirty-two years old, single, childless, college educated, and partially employed as a guardian of troubled young people in New York. She is accepting a furniture delivery in her shared studio apartment when her uncle calls to break the news: Helen’s adoptive brother is dead. According to the Internet, there are six possible reasons why her brother might have killed himself. But Helen knows better: she knows that six reasons is only shorthand for “the abyss.” Helen also knows that she alone is qualified to launch a serious investigation into his death, so she purchases a one-way ticket to Milwaukee. There, as she searches her childhood home and attempts to uncover why someone would choose to die, she will face her estranged family, her brother’s few friends, and the overzealous grief counselor, Chad Lambo; she may also discover what it truly means to be alive. A bleakly comic tour de force that’s by turns poignant, uproariously funny, and viscerally unsettling, this debut novel has shades of Bernhard, Beckett, and Bowles—and it announces the singular voice of Patty Yumi Cottrell.

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    Sorry to Disrupt the Peace by Patty Yumi Cottrell

    Sorry to Disrupt the Peace

    6.3 hrs • 3/14/17 • Unabridged
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  11. 11.5 hrs • 3/7/2017 • Unabridged

    A first-hand account of the Ebola epidemic by an American doctor who has been featured on the front page of the New York Times. Dr. Steven Hatch first came to Liberia in November 2013, to work at a hospital in Monrovia. Six months later, several of the physicians Dr. Hatch had mentored and served with were dead or barely clinging to life, and Ebola had become a world health emergency. Hundreds of victims perished each week; whole families were destroyed in a matter of days; so many died so quickly that the culturally taboo practice of cremation had to be instituted to dispose of the bodies. With little help from the international community and a population ravaged by disease and fear, the war-torn African nation was simply unprepared to deal with the catastrophe. A physician’s memoir about the ravages of a terrible disease and the small hospital that fought to contain it, Inferno is also an explanation of the science and biology of Ebola: how it is transmitted and spreads with such ferocity. And as Dr. Hatch notes, while Ebola is temporarily under control, it will inevitably reemerge—as will other plagues, notably the Zika virus, which the World Health Organization has declared a public health emergency. Inferno is a glimpse into the white-hot center of a crisis that will come again.

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    Inferno by Steven Hatch, MD

    Inferno

    11.5 hrs • 3/7/17 • Unabridged
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  12. 7.3 hrs • 3/7/2017 • Unabridged

    The Nazi regime preached an ideology of physical, mental, and moral purity. But as Norman Ohler reveals in this gripping new history, the Third Reich was saturated with drugs. On the eve of World War II, Germany was a pharmaceutical powerhouse, and companies such as Merck and Bayer cooked up cocaine, opiates, and, most of all, methamphetamines, to be consumed by everyone from factory workers to housewives to millions of German soldiers. In fact, troops regularly took rations of a form of crystal meth—the elevated energy and feelings of invincibility associated with the high even help to explain certain German military victories. Drugs seeped all the way up to the Nazi high command and, especially, to Hitler himself. Over the course of the war, Hitler became increasingly dependent on injections of a cocktail of drugs—including a form of heroin—administered by his personal doctor. While drugs alone cannot explain the Nazis’ toxic racial theories or the events of World War II, Ohler’s investigation makes an overwhelming case that, if drugs are not taken into account, our understanding of the Third Reich is fundamentally incomplete. Carefully researched and rivetingly readable, Blitzed throws surprising light on a history that, until now, has remained in the shadows.

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    Blitzed by Norman Ohler

    Blitzed

    Translated by Shaun Whiteside
    Directed by Claire Bloom
    7.3 hrs • 3/7/17 • Unabridged
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  13. 6.9 hrs • 2/21/2017 • Unabridged

    While Hap, a former 60s activist and self-proclaimed white trash rebel, is recovering from a life-threatening stab wound, Louise Elton comes into Hap and Leonard’s PI office to tell him that the police have killed her son, Jamar. Months earlier, a bully cop pulled over and sexually harassed Jamar’s sister, Charm. The officer followed Charm over the course of the next couple of months, leading Jamar to videotape and take notes on the cop and his partner. The next thing Louise hears, Jamar got in a fight and is killed in the projects by local hoods. It doesn’t add up: he was a straight A student, destined for better things, until he began to ask too many questions about the racist police force. Leonard, a tough black gay Vietnam vet and Republican, joins Hap in the investigation, and they stumble upon the racial divides that have shaped their Eastern Texas town. But if anyone can navigate these pitfalls and bring the killers to justice, it’s Hap and Leonard. Filled with Lansdale’s trademark whip-smart dialogue, colorful characters, and relentless pacing, Rusty Puppy is Joe Lansdale at his page-turning best.

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  14. 14.7 hrs • 2/28/2017 • Unabridged

    The galaxy has seen great empires rise and fall. Planets have shattered and been remade. Amongst the ruins of alien civilizations, building our own from the rubble, humanity still thrives. And there are vast fortunes to be made, if you know where to find them. Captain Rackamore and his crew do. It’s their business to find the tiny, enigmatic worlds which have been hidden away and booby-trapped—and to crack them open for the ancient relics and barely-remembered technologies inside. But while they ply their risky trade with integrity, not everyone is so scrupulous. Adrana and Fura Ness are the newest members of Rackamore’s crew, signed on to save their family from bankruptcy. Only Rackamore has enemies, and there might be more waiting for them in space than adventure and fortune: the fabled and feared Bosa Sennen in particular. Revenger is a science fiction adventure story set in the rubble of our solar system in the dark, distant future—a tale of space pirates, buried treasure, and phantom weapons, of unspeakable hazards and single-minded heroism and of vengeance.

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    Revenger

    14.7 hrs • 2/28/17 • Unabridged
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  15. 13.7 hrs • 3/14/2017 • Unabridged

    A portrait of the artist as a young woman. A novel about not just discovering but inventing oneself. The year is 1995, and email is new. Selin, the daughter of Turkish immigrants, arrives for her freshman year at Harvard. She signs up for classes in subjects she has never heard of, befriends her charismatic and worldly Serbian classmate, Svetlana, and, almost by accident, begins corresponding with Ivan, an older mathematics student from Hungary. Selin may have barely spoken to Ivan, but with each email they exchange, the act of writing seems to take on new and increasingly mysterious meanings. At the end of the school year, Ivan goes to Budapest for the summer, and Selin heads to the Hungarian countryside, to teach English in a program run by one of Ivan’s friends. On the way, she spends two weeks visiting Paris with Svetlana. Selin’s summer in Europe does not resonate with anything she has previously heard about the typical experiences of American college students or indeed of any other kinds of people. For Selin, this is a journey further inside herself: a coming to grips with the ineffable and exhilarating confusion of first love and with the growing consciousness that she is doomed to become a writer. With superlative emotional and intellectual sensitivity, mordant wit, and pitch-perfect style, Batuman dramatizes the uncertainty of life on the cusp of adulthood. Her prose is a rare and inimitable combination of tenderness and wisdom; its logic as natural and inscrutable as that of memory itself. The Idiot is a heroic yet self-effacing reckoning with the terror and joy of becoming a person in a world that is as intoxicating as it is disquieting. Batuman’s fiction is unguarded against both life’s affronts and its beauty—and has at its command the complete range of thinking and feeling which they entail.

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    The Idiot

    13.7 hrs • 3/14/17 • Unabridged
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  16. 7.2 hrs • 3/14/2017 • Unabridged

    A girl, a laptop, and a waddle of penguins. In this witty and genre-defying memoir, a young writer can travel anywhere she wants to finally finish her novel—and ends up on a frozen island at the bottom of the world.  Twenty-seven-year-old Nell Stevens was determined to write a novel, but life kept getting in the way. Then came a game-changing opportunity: she won a fellowship that would let her live, all expenses paid, anywhere in the world to research and write a book. Would she choose a glittering metropolis, a romantic village, an exotic paradise? Not exactly. Nell picked Bleaker Island, a snowy, windswept pile of rock in the Falklands. There, in a guesthouse where she would be the only guest, she could finally rid herself of distractions and write. Before the spring thaw, surely she’d have a novel.     And indeed, other than sheep, penguins, paranoia, and the weather, there aren’t many distractions on Bleaker. Nell gets to work on a charming Dickensian fiction she calls Bleaker House—only to discover that total isolation and 1,085 calories a day are far from ideal conditions for literary production. With deft humor, the memoir traces Nell’s island days and slowly reveals details of the life and people she has left behind in pursuit of her writing. They pop up in her novel, too, and in other fictional pieces that dot the book. It seems that there is nowhere Nell can run—an island or the pages of her notebook—to escape the big questions of love, art and ambition.      Terrifically smart, full of wry writing advice, and with a clever puzzle of a structure, Bleaker House marks the arrival of a fresh new voice in creative nonfiction.

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    Bleaker House

    7.2 hrs • 3/14/17 • Unabridged
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