Acid West: Essays Audiobook, by Joshua Wheeler Play Audiobook Sample

Acid West: Essays Audiobook

Acid West: Essays Audiobook, by Joshua Wheeler Play Audiobook Sample
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Read By: Andrew Eiden Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Listen Time: at 1.0x Speed 8.50 hours at 1.5x Speed 6.38 hours at 2.0x Speed Release Date: April 2018 Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download ISBN: 9781538535851

Quick Stats About this Audiobook

Total Audiobook Chapters:


Longest Chapter Length:

72:35 minutes

Shortest Chapter Length:

25 seconds

Average Chapter Length:

11:52 minutes

Audiobooks by this Author:


Publisher Description

A rollicking debut book of essays that takes listeners on a trip through the muck of American myths that have settled in the desert of our country’s underbelly

Early on July 16, 1945, Joshua Wheeler’s great grandfather awoke to a flash and then a long rumble: the world’s first atomic blast filled the horizon north of his ranch in Alamogordo, New Mexico. Out on the range, the cattle had been bleached white by the fallout.

Acid West, Wheeler’s stunning debut collection of essays, is full of these mutated cows: vestiges of the Old West that have been transformed, suddenly and irrevocably, by innovation. Traversing the New Mexico landscape his family has called home for seven generations, Wheeler excavates and reexamines these oddities, assembling a cabinet of narrative curiosities: a man who steps from the stratosphere and free-falls to the desert; a treasure hunt for buried Atari video games; a village plagued by the legacy of atomic testing; a lonely desert spaceport; a UFO festival during the paranoid Summer of Snowden.

The radical evolution of American identity, from cowboys to drone warriors to space explorers, is a story rooted in southern New Mexico. Acid West illuminates this history, clawing at the bounds of genre to reveal a place that is, for better or worse, home. By turns intimate, absurd, and frightening, Acid West is an enlightening deep-dive into a prophetic desert at the bottom of America.

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“A collection of essays that raids American history, cosmology, family lore, Hollywood, aeronautics, video games, and even the landscape itself in order to fashion for his beloved Southern New Mexico a vision of the world that could not exist without it. And in the thrall of Wheeler’s beautiful, bawdy, and roguishly charming essays, you’re going to believe it.”

— John D’Agata, author of The Making of the American Essay 


  • “Rebelling against the picturesque and celebrating the unglamorous, Joshua Wheeler’s debut essay collection escorts us through an unseen side of New Mexico…both wholly Western and wholly American, filled with possibility and heartbreak, messy with oddity and irony.”

    — O, The Oprah Magazine
  • “Geographers and journalists tend to think of the Southwest as a region, but in truth, it’s more a haphazard assortment of microclimates, environmental and cultural…Joshua Wheeler detours around them all in favor of his native southern New Mexico in the engagingly chatty and seriocomic Acid West.”

    — Los Angeles Times
  • “Wheeler’s essay collection Acid West is alive, unglamorous, funny, visceral, American, a Martin Parr-esque look at a country that has always been in the business of redefining itself.”

    — Literary Hub
  • “Acid West is worth its weight in gold.”

    — Geoff Dyer, Lannan Literary Award-winning author
  • “Wheeler’s essays throb with radioactive resonance and the Technicolor brilliance of a desert sunset.”

    — Claire Vaye Watkins, author of Battleborn


  • An Audible Pick of Most Anticipated Listens for Spring
  • An Oprah’s Book Club Selection
  • A Paris Review Selection of Staff's Favorite Books of 2018

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About Joshua Wheeler

Joshua Wheeler is from Alamogordo, New Mexico. His essays have appeared in many literary journals, including the Iowa Review, Sonora Review, PANK, and the Missouri Review. He has written feature stories for BuzzFeed and Harper’s online and is a coeditor of the anthology We Might as Well Call It the Lyric Essay. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California and New Mexico State University and has an MFA in nonfiction writing from the University of Iowa. He teaches creative writing at Louisiana State University.

About Andrew Eiden

Andrew Eiden, an Earphones Award–winning narrator, is an actor and voice artist. He has been acting since the age of four, working at regional theaters including La Mirada Theatre, the Glendale Center Theatre, and the Pasadena Playhouse. He has starred in dozens of national commercials, guest-spotted on numerous television shows, and has been a series regular on three programs: Discovery Channel’s Outward Bound, Disney Channel’s Movie Surfers, and most notably ABC’s Complete Savages