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Download Back Roads Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Back Roads, by Tawni O’Dell Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Tawni O’Dell Narrator: Andrew Eide Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Harley Altmyer should be in college drinking Rolling Rock and chasing girls. He should be freed from his closed-minded, stricken coal town, with its lack of jobs and no sense of humor. Instead, he’s constantly reminded of just how messed up his life is.

With his mother in jail for killing his abusive father, Harley is an orphan with the responsibilities of an adult and the fiery, aggressive libido of a teenager. Just nineteen years old, he’s marooned in the Pennsylvania backwoods caring for his three younger sisters, whose feelings about him range from stifling dependence to loathing. And once he develops an obsession with the sexy, melancholic mother of two living down the road, those Victoria’s Secret catalogs just won’t do the trick anymore. He wants Callie Mercer so badly he fears he will explode. But it’s the family secrets, the lies, and the unspoken truths that light the fuse and erupt into a series of staggering surprises, leaving what’s left of his family in tatters. Through every ordeal, the unforgettable Harley could never know that his endearing humor, his love for his sisters, and his bumbling heroics would redeem them all.

Funny and heartbreaking, Tawni O’Dell’s pitch-perfect characters capture the maddening confusion of adolescence and the prickly nature of family with irony and unerring honesty. Back Roads is a riveting novel by a formidable talent.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Back Roads transports us to the hills of western Pennsylvania and introduces a wonderfully touching narrator, Harley Altmyer…This is a fast, furious, funny novel.”

    Margot Livesey, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Tense…deftly captures the voice of a teenage boy who’s in trouble.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “O’Dell’s storytelling has natural flair.”

    Los Angeles Times Book Review

  • “An intense story of family, frailty, and dysfunction…captivatingly told.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “A page-turner…gritty, funny, sexy.”

    Chicago Sun-Times

  • “O’Dell does a wonderful job of making the world of the Altmyers real…a unique voice…a fine effort by a writer of promise.”


  • “Poignant…achingly beautiful prose…Remarkable.”

    San Diego Union

  • “Do not miss this one.”


  • “O’Dell’s scorching tale touches on all the tropes of dysfunctional families, but her characters fight free of stereotypes, taking on an angry, authentic glow.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “The characterizations are vivid, and each family member generates sympathy…An absorbing novel.”

    Library Journal

  • “O’Dell, a native of western Pennsylvania, renders finely detailed characters and settings in a desperate and failed mining town. This is a riveting first novel of violence, incest, murder, and madness.”


  • “A strong, thoughtful first novel that hews to time-honored fiction traditions, rooting a voyage of personal discovery in beautifully rendered particulars of character and place…O’Dell does an impressive job of getting inside the head of a member of the opposite sex, creating a first-person narration of painful veracity…The author’s compassion and love for her characters shines throughout.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • An Oprah’s Book Club Selection
  • A Book-of-the-Month Club Selection
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