Hear LeVar Burton read his novel Aftermath for the first time

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Hachette Audio LeVar Burton

Book aficionado, actor, director, and novelist LeVar Burton is doing something new with one of his old projects.

He's taking Aftermath, his speculative fiction novel from 1997, and turning it into a new audiobook — and EW has your first listen.

When Burton released the book in the late '90s, it was set in the future — 2019. It followed a group of people that just might be able to save humanity following catastrophic events, including a destructive earthquake, racial strife (the fictional Black president was assassinated in 2012), and war.

EW's sneak peek from Aftermath is Burton's new author's note, where he comments on some of the themes and offers reflection on recent historical events. Looking back on his novel, Burton said he was "astonished by similarities between" his "timeline and unfolding events." He also notes he wrote the book as "a cautionary tale."

Hear it below:

The former Reading Rainbow host launched the LeVar Burton Book Club this past May via the "social reading app" Fable, with selections handpicked by the actor. He has also hosted the Levar Burton Reads podcast since 2017.

He opened up to EW about his love of reading earlier this year, crediting his mother for instilling in him a "passion" for the written word.

"I feel like I come by this passion honestly," he said. "My mother was an English teacher. Her example and her insistence that reading, and the written word, be a consistent part of our lives when my sisters and I were growing up, not only shaped my attitude towards reading but really fostered a discovery of worlds that were inaccessible to me previously."

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