Download Back Roads Audiobook

Back Roads Audiobook, by Tawni O’Dell Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Tawni O’Dell Narrator: Andrew Eiden Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2015 ISBN: 9781504618502
1.33 out of 51.33 out of 51.33 out of 51.33 out of 51.33 out of 5 1.33 (1 ratings) (rate this audio book)
Regular Price: $22.95 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $12.95$7.95$7.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

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.

Download and start listening now!


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

Listener Reviews

Be the first to write a review about this audiobook!
Write a Review

About the Author

Tawni O’Dell is the New York Times bestselling author of Fragile Beasts, Sister Mine, Coal Run, and Back Roads, which was an Oprah’s Book Club pick and a Book-of-the-Month Club Main Selection. O’Dell’s work has been translated into fifteen languages and published in over forty countries. She was born and raised in the coal-mining region of western Pennsylvania, the territory she writes about with such striking authenticity. She graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in journalism and spent many years living in the Chicago area before moving back to Pennsylvania, where she now lives with her two children.

About the Narrator

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