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Extended Audio Sample Closing Time: A Memoir, by Joe Queenan Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (323 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Joe Queenan Narrator: Johnny Heller Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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A deeply funny and affecting memoir about a great escape from a childhood of poverty

Joe Queenan’s acerbic riffs on movies, sports, books, politics, and many of the least forgivable phenomena of pop culture have made him one of the most popular humorists and commentators of our time. In Closing Time, Queenan turns his sights on a more serious and personal topic: his childhood in a Philadelphia housing project in the early 1960s. By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, Closing Time recounts Queenan’s Irish Catholic upbringing in a family dominated by his erratic father, a violent yet oddly charming emotional terrorist whose alcoholism fuels a limitless torrent of self-pity, railing, destruction, and late-night chats with the Lord Himself. With the help of a series of mentors and surrogate fathers, and armed with his own furious love of books and music, Joe begins the long flight away from the dismal confines of his neighborhood—with a brief misbegotten stop at a seminary—and into the wider world.

Queenan’s unforgettable account of the damage done to children by parents without futures and of the grace children find to move beyond these experiences will appeal to fans of Augusten Burroughs and Mary Karr and will take its place as an autobiography in the classic American tradition.

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Florence | 2/18/2014

    " I enjoyed every word of this bittersweet memoir. Plagued by a brutal, alcoholic father, and a childhood lived in humiliating povery, Queenan, the survivor, kept his spirit alive. If you are from Philadelphia, this book will bring back a lot of memories both good and bad. I learned that working class Olney was a hotbed of Nazi sympathy and many other salient facts. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Joanne | 2/10/2014

    " Of the hundreds of memoirs I have read, this memoir is certainly one of the best. It is the very well-written, heartbreaking, and at times, uproariously funny account of Joe Queenan's childhood growing up in the poor and downtrodden neighborhood's of 1950's and 60's Philadelphia. The story centers around the author's extremely difficult relationship with his alcoholic and incredibly abusive father. Although the story of the alcoholic, abusive, constantly unemployed, and down-on-his-luck father has been told many times before, it is Queenan's gift for story telling and language that makes this book stand out. Queenan decides at an early age to escape the doldrums of Philly and the terror of his drunken father and sets about it in a most determined way by seeking out jobs, books, education, friends, and experiences that take him away from his miserable home life (including a stint in a theological school embracing a youthful flirtation with piousness and becoming a priest). The stories of the many characters he meets along the way are interesting and often laugh-out-loud funny. Along with the New York Time Book Review Notable Books of 2009, I highly recommend this book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Jeanette Burchaski | 1/31/2014

    " I started reading this book a long time ago. I really thought it was going to be good. Unfortunately, Joe Queenan could not hold my interest. Last ...moreI started reading this book a long time ago. I really thought it was going to be good. Unfortunately, Joe Queenan could not hold my interest. Last night I finally sat down and forced -- yes forced -- myself to finish it. It's too bad because I think Joe Queenan's life could make for an interesting story. He just didn't do it justice.(less) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Kbrew | 1/28/2014

    " Great memoir of an Irish American kid growing up in Philadelphia. "

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