Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

  • by Benjamin Alire Saenz
  • Narrated by Lin-Manuel Miranda
  • 7 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A lyrical novel about family and friendship from critically acclaimed author Benjamin Alire Sáenz.
Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship - the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.


What the Critics Say

“Benjamin Alire Saenz is a writer with a sidewinder punch. Spare sentences connect resonant moments, and then he knocks you down with emotional truth. The story of Ari and Dante’s friendship widens and twists like a river, revealing truths about how hard love is, how family supports us, and how painfully deep you have to go to uncover an authentic self." (Judy Blundell, National Book Award-winning author of What I Saw and How I Lied)
"This book took my breath away. What gorgeous writing, and what a story! I loved both these boys. And their parents! Don't we all wish we had parents like theirs? The ending - and the way it unfolded - was so satisfying. I could go on and on...suffice it to say I will be highly recommending it to one and all. I'm sure I'll reread it myself at some point. I hated having it end." (James Howe, author of Addie on the Inside)
"I’m absolutely blown away. This is Saenz's best work by far.... It’s a beautiful story, so beautifully told and so psychologically acute! Both Ari and Dante are simply great characters who will live on in my memory. Everything about the book is absolutely pitch perfect.... It’s already my favorite book of the year!" (Michael Cart, Booklist)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Beautiful Story, So-So Reading

Would you listen to Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe again? Why?

Yes. The story flows easily, with good humour and raw, meaningful sections that you'd want to listen over and over again.

What other book might you compare Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe to, and why?

"The Perks of Being a Wallflower"
"The Silver Linings Playbook"

Feel-good books that end well.

Did Lin-Manuel Miranda do a good job differentiating each of the characters? How?

I don't think so. He tries really hard to make Dante sound different from Ari, but Dante just sounds like an unattractive, nerdy kid, which isn't totally Dante (since we know that he is beautiful and sophisticated). I know Dante is supposed to have a nasal voice at the beginning because of his allergy, but Benjamin clearly signifies that his allergy is over by that first summer. Plus, Lin-Manuel Miranda doesn't seem to have read and practised the reading beforehand because he mistakes the voice of the characters sometimes.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It made me laugh and cry. Brilliant.

Any additional comments?

I don't think that Lin-Manuel Miranda's narration is ideal. However, this audiobook is worth buying because the story is worth listening to.

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- Elhana

Most wondeful story I've read this year

What did you like most about Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe?

I loved everything about this book, I honestly cannot narrow it down to one thing. It all just worked perfectly.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I loved both Ari and Dante though I think we got to know Ari a little better, he was perhaps the more complicated of the two.

Which character – as performed by Lin-Manuel Miranda – was your favourite?

Lin-Manuel Miranda perfectly got Ari's voice in my opinion. Obviously a lot of the book is from Ari's pov so it was probably this which helped. I thought he was perfect for the narrator and it definitely added more depth to the book.

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- Lis

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-04-2013
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio