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Extended Audio Sample Crazy Heart: A Novel Audiobook, by Thomas Cobb Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (382 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Thomas Cobb Narrator: Thomas Cobb Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2010 ISBN: 9780062006226
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At the age of fifty-seven, Bad Blake is on his last legs. His weight, his ticker, his liver, even his pick-up truck are all giving him trouble. A renowned songwriter and "picker" who hasn't recorded in five years, Bad now travels the countryside on gigs that take him mostly to motels and bowling alleys. Enter Ms. Right. Can Bad stop living the life of a country-western song and tie a rope around his crazy heart?

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A measure of Thomas Cobb’s talent is that he can make Bad Blake’s story amusing even as we watch him fall. Bad is entirely sympathetic, and his crazy heart is vivid; the milieu is as resonant as a steel guitar, and the plot moves along without skipping a beat.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “A piercing, keenly observed chronicle of modern Americana.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “A masterpiece...[Cobb] has created an unforgettable character who engages not only your interest but your emotion...and who proceeds to take you on a roller coaster ride through his tawdrily tumultuous life.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “Thomas Cobb’s marvelous first novel doesn’t just play on your heartstrings, it breaks them.”

    San Francisco Examiner

  • “Blake’s dedication to, and integrity towards, his country music is more than matched by Cobb’s moving, respectful evocation of the world of country music and the life and times of Bad Blake.”

    Boston Herald

  • Crazy Heart is a beautiful book...The characters are cut cleanly out of America—the roadside West, the dance halls and beer joints, the occasional big concert, Houston, Nashville, Southern California, and the endless, eternal hotel rooms that are as close to home as a country singer ever gets...Bad Blake is a man you will not soon forget.”

    Washington Times

  • “This is a heartfelt book; the descriptions of writing songs and playing them, of finding love and ruining it, of sweet, painful memories. There’s nothing startling in the plot or the characters, but they are alive.”

    Houston Chronicle

  • “You can almost hear the whining twang of a pedal steel guitar and the droning of a mournful singer while reading Crazy Heart.”

    Fort Worth Star-Telegram

  • “[Cobb’s] picture of the scraggly underside of Western music is brutally convincing.”

    New Yorker

  • “Bad Blake lives at the poor end of the rainbow, but you’ll never forget him. Crazy Heart is a splendid achievement.”

    Donald Barthelme

  • “While there’s no singing in this audiobook, Cobb delivers the performance scenes with such passion that the listener remembers each honky-tonk, each rehearsal, and each show. Cobb brings out the flicker of hope in the recovering alcoholic when he writes and sells two terrific songs inspired by Jean. The ending will bring you to tears.”


  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award
  • An Audie Award Finalist in 2011

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mike | 2/15/2014

    " I enjoyed the hell out of this book and was sad to have it end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pam | 2/4/2014

    " I enjoyed this book. I found the main character to be talented and honest. Apart from the fact that I could only imagine Jeff Bridges as Bad, so how can you not like him!! But I was disappointed in the ending. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tina | 1/31/2014

    " For once, I enjoyed the movie more than the book. However, it was definitely worth the read, and Cobb's version undoubtedly has a more accurate ending than the film, but, on occasion, I need a happy ending rather than a dose of realism. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kayla Baldwin | 1/21/2014

    " I picked this book up because I am a big fan of the movie, and though there are slight differences, I think that the movie actually did the book justice. It is a heartbreaking story, but worth the read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ray Charbonneau | 12/23/2013

    " I don't think it's too much of a spoiler to say the ending of the book works better than the ending of the movie. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Caroljohnson2 | 12/8/2013

    " This was a realistic, gritty book about an alcoholic, down and out country singer in his mid-50's. There is no sugar coating in this book. That's OK, it shows the reality of alcoholism and its effect on one's life and the others around them. Well done. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Amelia | 12/6/2013

    " For once, I prefered the film version. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Janie Lynes | 10/16/2013

    " It's almost the same exact ole story but this one is kinda weird. Honestly I really didn't get it. The moral is some people never really change but the author wasted a hell of a lot trying to get to that. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Suzie Q | 9/29/2013

    " sad realistic look at a drunk washed up one time famous man trying to make a comeback "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Robin | 7/1/2013

    " It should come as no surprise that this was a tremendous book and I loved reading it. The writing in this book is masterful and I would give it to anyone who wants to read a wonderful story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ward Anderson | 5/13/2012

    " Fascinating look at how fame fizzles as some try to cling to it forever. Very quickly paced and written so, so well. A beautiful book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maayan Schwab | 2/6/2012

    " I want to give this 3.5 stars, actually. But that's not an option. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bamajohn | 1/26/2012

    " Being a lover of country music and a lover of good stories this one had me hooked. "Bad Blake" as a name sucks, but the way Cobb brought out the character was really good. I haven't seen the movie and not sure I want to after reading the book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Katie | 7/14/2011

    " This book was amazing! (Maybe because I have a soft spot for those heart-of-gold but struggling to stay afloat Americana stories!!) Anyway, I read it in two days! The ending was fitting, but I'm kind of hoping the movie ending is a Hollywood one. We shall see... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elizabeth | 8/3/2010

    " Excellent, spare writing. Really gives the feel of the life of this aging musician. "

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About the Author
Author Thomas Cobb

Thomas Cobb was born in Chicago, Illinois, and grew up in Tucson, Arizona. Thinking more important things happened away from the desert he loved as a child, he left for bigger cities like New York and Los Angeles. However, when he finally returned, he saw the landscape anew and it became the setting for his writings. His novel Crazy Heart was turned into a hit movie. He lives in Rhode Island with his wife.