The Measure

The Measure

by Nikki Erlick

Narrated by Julia Whelan

Unabridged — 10 hours, 57 minutes

The Measure

The Measure

by Nikki Erlick

Narrated by Julia Whelan

Unabridged — 10 hours, 57 minutes

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Overview

Notes From Your Bookseller

Just in case you missed it the first time around, this genre-bending novel is back to invite you to question what it means to measure your own life and find out if you'd have the courage to go and make it count.

"Perfect for book clubs."¿Marie Claire

The Midnight Library meets The Immortalists in this spirit-lifting, high-concept blockbuster debut.

Would you choose to know how long you'll live?

It seems like any other day. You wake up, pour a cup of coffee, and head out.

But today, when you open your front door, waiting for you is a small wooden box. This box holds your fate inside: the answer to the exact number of years you will live.

From suburban doorsteps to desert tents, every person on every continent receives the same box. In an instant, the world is thrust into a collective frenzy. Where did these boxes come from? What do they mean? Is there truth to what they promise?

As society comes together and pulls apart, everyone faces the same shocking choice: Do they wish to know how long they'll live? And, if so, what will they do with that knowledge?

The Measure charts the dawn of this new world through an unforgettable cast of characters whose decisions and fates interweave with one another: best friends whose dreams are forever entwined, pen pals finding refuge in the unknown, a couple who thought they didn't have to rush, a doctor who cannot save himself, and a politician whose box becomes the powder keg that ultimately changes everything.

Enchanting and deeply uplifting, The Measure is a sweeping, ambitious, invigorating story about family, friendship, hope, and destiny that encourages us to live life to the fullest.


Editorial Reviews

Library Journal - Audio

★ 08/01/2022

What if you woke one morning to find the measure of your life sitting in a box on your doorstep? In Erlick's debut novel, every adult in the world receives these inexplicable, indestructible omens and faces unimaginable decisions. Some gain a new lease on life; others take it as a death sentence. The novel focuses on eight individuals, seemingly set apart yet indelibly intertwined, who must decide whether they want to live a long life or a deep one. Erlick compellingly and captivatingly explores each facet of human nature, from hatred to heartbreak to hope. Narrator Julia Whelan's placid tone is enchanting and sincere, drawing listeners into the character-driven narrative, and her steady pace will contrast and compound their urgent need to know what comes next. VERDICT The original and inspiring premise will appeal to listeners seeking magical realism blended with uplifting, emotionally intense literary fiction. Recommended for fans of Emily St. John Mandel and Chloe Benjamin.—Lauren Hackert

JUNE 2022 - AudioFile

Golden Voice narrator Julia Whelan gives a thoughtful performance of a novel that focuses on a fundamental question: Would you want to know how long you’re going to live? One night a box is delivered to everyone age 22 and older. The box contains a length of string that tells the recipient how much longer they will live. Would you open the box? Whelan introduces listeners to characters who have diverse reactions to that question. She provides a sense of intimacy to their stories as she calmly explores the dramatic ways the world changes for each one. Whelan shares the intensity of their emotions and the camaraderie that develops, especially among the “short stringers.” Whelan offers a compelling performance of a thought-provoking debut novel. J.E.M. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2022, Portland, Maine

Publishers Weekly

05/23/2022

How would people behave if they knew the length of their lives, asks the moving but predictable debut novel from Erlick. One night, mysterious wooden boxes appear outside every door on Earth, each holding a string, the length of which corresponds to how long its recipient will live, which the recipients begin to figure out and share on social media. Erlick introduces seemingly unconnected characters as they grapple with the news. There’s Hank, a physician who joins a support group for “short-stringers”; Jack, the long-stringed scion of a Kennedy-like political family; and Maura and Nina, a couple two years into their relationship, whose contentment is ruptured when they find that Maura’s string is half the length of Nina’s. Some people, like Nina’s sister, Amie, choose not to look at their strings at all, but even conscious abstainers cannot deny the strings’ devastating impact. Then, a charismatic and villainous presidential candidate looks to capitalize on an older generation’s fears over the short-stringers and the hell they could raise. Late-breaking connections between the characters feel more schematic than revelatory, and details of diverse supporting players such as Jack’s Latino college roommate, who “couldn’t afford to be seen as failure,” read like paint-by-numbers. Still, the scenes of grief and love are poignant. There’s plenty of drama, but overall, it’s a bit too anodyne. Agent: Cindy Uh, CAA. (July)

From the Publisher

Perfect for book clubs, Erlick's The Measure is equal parts charming and thought-provoking. It takes a philosophical question—what if everybody on earth knew exactly how long they had left to live?—and explores, with compassion and pragmatism, how the implications would trickle down into every area of modern life, from politics to intimacy.” — Marie Claire

“Despite its chilling premise, Erlick’s novel is an escape from—rather than a window into—our own terrifying reality.”  — New York Times

“So often, high-concept novels are all conceit, no heart, but Nikki Erlick gives us both in spades, a fascinating and timely setup buttressed by a compelling cast of characters finding their hard way through unprecedented times. It makes The Measure a heartfelt parable for our own unprecedented times but also its opposite: a lesson in what doesn’t change even when everything else does.” — Laurie Frankel, New York Times bestselling author of One Two Three

“A compelling, heart-breaking story of life and love with a perfect, elegant premise.” — Bridget Collins, bestselling author of The Binding

“One of the most life-affirming novels I’ve read in a long while, The Measure is exactly what our world needs right now.”
Christina Dalcher, bestselling author of Vox

The Measure is utterly original and wonderfully mysterious. Through Erlick’s deft prose and clever logic, I threw away all disbelief and fully plunged into the unsettling but life-affirming world she creates.” — Jessica Anya Blau, author of Mary Jane

The Measure is an utterly original and hugely compelling story, which drew me in from the very first page with its beautiful writing. Weeks after reading it, I’m still thinking about this smart, uplifting novel and its wonderful characters.” — Freya Sampson, author of The Last Chance Library

"Nikki Erlick has created an irresistible hook about a question that everyone asks but no-one ever wants to answer. With thoughtful and compelling detail, she crafts a strange—and strangely familiar—world full of new moral and political conundrums. And while the novel is full of ideas, The Measure has a strong emotional heart—with an array of characters exploring their frightening, but sometimes beautiful new worlds. Ultimately, The Measure is about the power of human resilience, a new world where people get to choose their own kind of freedom." — Luke Allnutt, author of We Own the Sky

“A brilliant concept cleverly executed. I couldn’t stop reading.” — Christina Sweeney-Baird, author of The End of Men

"I doubt I will ever use the term 'life-affirming' when describing a novel again. No other book could ever measure up to what Erlick has done with this tender, original and gripping debut. I cannot think of a reader of any genre who would not find something to love in The Measure." — Bookreporter.com

The Measure is equal parts charming and thought-provoking. It takes a philosophical question—what if everybody on earth knew exactly how long they had left to live?—and explores, with compassion and pragmatism, how the implications would trickle down into every area of modern life, from politics to intimacy.” — Marie Claire

“Despite its chilling premise, Erlick’s novel is an escape from — rather than a window into — our own terrifying reality.”  — New York Times

"I doubt I will ever use the term 'life-affirming' when describing a novel again. No other book could ever measure up to what Erlick has done with this tender, original and gripping debut. I cannot think of a reader of any genre who would not find something to love in The Measure." — The Bookreporter

“So often, high-concept novels are all conceit, no heart, but Nikki Erlick gives us both in spades, a fascinating and timely setup buttressed by a compelling cast of characters finding their hard way through unprecedented times. It makes The Measure a heartfelt parable for our own unprecedented times but also its opposite: a lesson in what doesn’t change even when everything else does.”  — Laurie Frankel, New York Times bestselling author of One Two Three

“What an incredible book! It’s truly original with an intriguing premise that’s beautifully executed. I loved the fact that it was written from so many POVs, each adding depth and perspective to the overall narrative which made it a rich and satisfying read. I found it gripping, poignant, and intensely thought-provoking.” — Ruth Hogan, bestselling author of The Keeper of Lost Things

Marie Claire

Perfect for book clubs, Erlick's The Measure is equal parts charming and thought-provoking. It takes a philosophical question—what if everybody on earth knew exactly how long they had left to live?—and explores, with compassion and pragmatism, how the implications would trickle down into every area of modern life, from politics to intimacy.

Laurie Frankel

So often, high-concept novels are all conceit, no heart, but Nikki Erlick gives us both in spades, a fascinating and timely setup buttressed by a compelling cast of characters finding their hard way through unprecedented times. It makes The Measure a heartfelt parable for our own unprecedented times but also its opposite: a lesson in what doesn’t change even when everything else does.

Bridget Collins

A compelling, heart-breaking story of life and love with a perfect, elegant premise.

Christina Dalcher

One of the most life-affirming novels I’ve read in a long while, The Measure is exactly what our world needs right now.”

Luke Allnutt

"Nikki Erlick has created an irresistible hook about a question that everyone asks but no-one ever wants to answer. With thoughtful and compelling detail, she crafts a strange—and strangely familiar—world full of new moral and political conundrums. And while the novel is full of ideas, The Measure has a strong emotional heart—with an array of characters exploring their frightening, but sometimes beautiful new worlds. Ultimately, The Measure is about the power of human resilience, a new world where people get to choose their own kind of freedom."

Freya Sampson

The Measure is an utterly original and hugely compelling story, which drew me in from the very first page with its beautiful writing. Weeks after reading it, I’m still thinking about this smart, uplifting novel and its wonderful characters.

Ruth Hogan

What an incredible book! It’s truly original with an intriguing premise that’s beautifully executed. I loved the fact that it was written from so many POVs, each adding depth and perspective to the overall narrative which made it a rich and satisfying read. I found it gripping, poignant, and intensely thought-provoking.

Jessica Anya Blau

The Measure is utterly original and wonderfully mysterious. Through Erlick’s deft prose and clever logic, I threw away all disbelief and fully plunged into the unsettling but life-affirming world she creates.

Christina Sweeney-Baird

A brilliant concept cleverly executed. I couldn’t stop reading.

Library Journal

12/01/2021

One day, everyone on Earth receives a small wooden box bearing the inscription "The measure of your life lies within" and containing a length of string—with different lengths for different recipients. Terrified to contemplate how much time they have to live, people fall back frantically on past belief or forge bold new connections as debuter Erlick considers how best to live life. With a 150,000-copy first printing.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940172991028
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 06/28/2022
Edition description: Unabridged
Sales rank: 200,309
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