Download Best Boy: A Novel Audiobook

Best Boy: A Novel Audiobook, by Eli Gottlieb Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Eli Gottlieb Narrator: Bronson Pinchot Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2015 ISBN: 9781504617451
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For fans of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime comes this landmark novel about autism, memory, and, ultimately, redemption.

Sent to a “therapeutic community” for autism at the age of eleven, Todd Aaron, now in his fifties, is the “Old Fox” of Payton Living Center. A joyous man who rereads the encyclopedia compulsively, he is unnerved by the sudden arrivals of a menacing new staffer and a disruptive, brain-injured roommate. His equilibrium is further worsened by Martine, a one-eyed new resident who has romantic intentions and convinces him to go off his meds to feel “normal” again. Undone by these pressures, Todd attempts an escape to return “home” to his younger brother and to a childhood that now inhabits only his dreams.

Written astonishingly in the first-person voice of an autistic, adult man, Best Boy—with its unforgettable portraits of Todd’s beloved mother, whose sweet voice still sings from the grave, and a staffer named Raykene, who says that Todd “reflects the beauty of His creation”—is a piercing, achingly funny, finally shattering novel no reader can ever forget.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “An intimate and convincing portrayal.”

    Alison Lurie, Pulitzer Prize-winning author

  • “This gripping novel…is written with élan, wit, and great empathy.”

    Andrew Solomon, National Book Award–winning author

  • “I’ve fallen in love with Best Boy, touched by its delicacy and fearless truths.”

    Cynthia Ozick, New York Times bestselling author

  • “[An] engrossing novel…Taking us into Todd’s consciousness where emotions are visceral sensations, Gottlieb beautifully illuminates a little-understood world.”


  • “Affecting…Todd’s is an engaging and nuanced consciousness, so vital that the reader feels profound tenderness―and distinct fear―as this sweet man ventures out into the world.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Raw and beautiful…with a mesmerizingly rhythmic narration…What rises and shines from the page is Todd Aaron, a hero of such singular character and clear spirit that you will follow him anywhere…[and] will miss this man deeply when you are done.”

    Washington Post

  • “The story will appeal to a very broad range of readers: it’s a fast read, and the plot is never less than captivating…The conclusion is very satisfying, and Gottlieb’s attention to crafting Todd’s internal monologue is something to behold.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Readers will cheer—and shudder—for intelligent, compassionate Todd as he grows in this powerfully sad slice-of-life title.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “[A] marvelous novel.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Gottlieb merits praise for both the endearing eloquence of Todd’s voice and a deeply sympathetic parable that speaks to a time when rising autism rates and long-lived elders force many to weigh tough options.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “A funny and deeply affecting work.”

  • “In a novel that’s both poignant and humorous, Gottlieb performs a remarkable act of literary ventriloquism to tell the story of a forty-something autistic man.”


  • “Todd Aaron has autism. Delivering the story from his point of view, Bronson Pinchot captures Todd’s flat, heavily medicated affect…Pinchot draws listeners into Todd’s perceptions as he reads…[and] delivers Todd’s edginess…The doctors, nurses, orderlies, and patients are given additional authenticity in Pinchot’s intelligent performance.”


  • An August 2015 LibraryReads Pick
  • A Library Journal Editor’s Pick of Books for Dudes
  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month
  • A Publishers Weekly Pick of the Week
  • Longlisted for the Carnegie Medal for Literature
  • A Library Journal Best Book of 2015
  • A Booklist Editors’ Choice for 2015
  • A BookPage Best Book of 2015

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About the Author

Eli Gottlieb is the author of Best Boy, among other novels. His works have been translated into a dozen languages. He lives in New York City.

About the Narrator

Bronson Pinchot, Audible’s Narrator of the Year for 2010, has won Publishers Weekly Listen-Up Awards, AudioFile Earphones Awards, Audible’s Book of the Year Award, and Audie Awards for several audiobooks, including Matterhorn, Wise Blood, Occupied City, and The Learners. A magna cum laude graduate of Yale, he is an Emmy- and People’s Choice-nominated veteran of movies, television, and Broadway and West End shows. His performance of Malvolio in Twelfth Night was named the highlight of the entire two-year Kennedy Center Shakespeare Festival by the Washington Post. He attended the acting programs at Shakespeare & Company and Circle-in-the-Square, logged in well over 200 episodes of television, starred or costarred in a bouquet of films, plays, musicals, and Shakespeare on Broadway and in London, and developed a passion for Greek revival architecture.