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Extended Audio Sample Eat the Document Audiobook, by Dana Spiotta Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.23 out of 53.23 out of 53.23 out of 53.23 out of 53.23 out of 5 3.23 (22 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Dana Spiotta Narrator: Rachael Warren Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2012 ISBN: 9781482983418
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In the heyday of the 1970s underground, Bobby DeSoto and Mary Whittaker—passionate, idealistic, and in love—design a series of radical protests against the Vietnam War. When one action goes wrong, the course of their lives is forever changed. The two must erase their past, forge new identities, and never see each other again. Now it is the 1990s. Mary lives in the suburbs with her fifteen-year-old son, who spends hours immersed in the music of his mother’s generation. She has no idea where Bobby is, whether he is alive or dead. Shifting between the protests in the 1970s and the consequences of those choices in the 1990s, Dana Spiotta deftly explores the connection between the two eras—their language, technology, music, and activism. Character-driven and brilliant, this is an important and revelatory novel about the culture of rebellion, with particular resonance now.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Brims with such energy and intelligence…Spiotta has written a glorious sendup of contemporary social and ecological activists with all their preening idealism and absurdity.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Stunning…The staccato ferocity of a Joan Didion essay and the historical resonance and razzle-dazzle language of…Don DeLillo.”

    New York Times

  • “Infused with subtle wit…singularly powerful and provocative…Spiotta has a wonderful ironic sensibility, juxtaposing ’70s fervor with ’90s expediency.”

    Boston Globe

  • “Scintillating…Spiotta creates a mesmerizing portrait of radicalism’s decline.”

    Seattle Times

  • A 2006 National Book Award Finalist
  • A 2006 New York Times Book Review Notable Book

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Del Zimmerman | 2/19/2014

    " This story of two '70s activists on the run for more than 20 years is disjointed and incomplete. While it's a compelling idea, Spiotta doesn't fully develop the characters. She seems mainly interested in Mary and rightly so as this is the most emotionally compelling character. But then she gives us mere glimpses into the lives of other characters, switching voices and time periods, without really satisfying the design of the story. I will say, however, that Spiotta is a very capable writer and offers several moments of keen emotional insights that are brilliant. These, however, don't save the novel, in my opinion. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kate | 2/19/2014

    " So exciting. Devoured this so fast the surprise ending smacked me on the head. If y'ever wanted to be a revolutionary, read it! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 pjreads ♫ | 2/17/2014

    " 20.7 Related to object that s/b thrown/given/wapped "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pamela | 1/29/2014

    " Although I read this very quickly, within 24 hours, the beginning of the book was somewhat difficult to get into. The switching between characters point-of-view with no reference to how they relate to each other was disconcerting. Later you come to find out how these people are connected, but it took a little while. I gave this book a decent rating because I enjoyed the uncommon words the author sprinkled throughout the book, and in the end she created very rich main characters. I did find the Henry character's health breakdown somewhat distracting from the overall story arc, but perhaps there is more meaning for his placement than I'm giving credit for at the moment. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kristine | 1/27/2014

    " i'm not overly fascinated by the 60s radicalism movement, other than the kidnapping of patty hearst and reading about how delusional all of the hippies and earnest counter-revolutionaries were. i also have no great interest in current "earth liberation" movements and the kids who break starbucks windows while wearing nikes. this book jumps between the two eras (late 60s and late 90s) and while the writing was great and the overall themes were really interesting, i found the dialogue to be unrealistic and didn't feel a lot of emotional resonance. sorry, but punk rock vegan kids who hang out in community book stores don't really have the amount of incredible insight and well-formulated academic polemic that the writer seems to think they do. while i was assuming that this book would be a woman's personal journey into creating a new life for herself - in the underground and resurfacing, so normal that she's invisible - after one of her bombs kills someone, this book is more about the changing nature of radicalism (and its commodification) itself. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Debya | 1/23/2014

    " I'll probably read this again this summer as I'm still thinking about it so many months later. Radical folks living "mundane" lives...sorta. They also make fun of vegans...sorta. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christine | 1/18/2014

    " Interesting book about sabotage in the 1970's and the far reaching effects on the lives of the people involved. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Cherie | 1/16/2014

    " DNF Although there was a very promising start, I was lost and unengaged as you enter these characters unrelated to the original plot. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rena | 12/25/2013

    " Good read! I say go for it.... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tatiana | 12/25/2013

    " This book was great. I read it in about 48 hours. Every time I had a spare moment I picked it up because I couldn't get enough. I rushed to the end, but was so sad that it couldn't continue. Fun read, but lots of great underlying commentary on capitalism and radicalism. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stephen | 12/9/2013

    " I enjoyed this book. The beginning was quite powerful in its depiction of going underground and losing all contact with loved ones, as well as familiarity. I got a little annoyed with the slow moving character development that followed, but that really made the last half a compelling story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ann | 12/6/2013

    " frightening nostalgia "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Toula | 12/5/2013

    " I just could not decide if I liked this book or not ! I know that the description of the "Black House" sounds exactly like the house my son lived in with his girlfriend. it had no heat and it was called "The Fridge"--- right next to Reed ! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stephanie | 6/27/2013

    " Read this for book club and appreciated the book more once we discussed it "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Zach | 6/26/2013

    " Should not have been nominated for a major prize, but not terrible. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 neil | 5/15/2013

    " I generally find the runners-up to the National Book award are better than the actual winner. I was right. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Elizabeth | 4/10/2013

    " I don't know why I thought this was so soulless, but it wasn't enjoyable or satisfying, and if there were some way I could re-gift it, I probably would, because my shelves don't have space for something I'm not going to take off them. So to speak. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jim | 4/1/2013

    " loved this one. Deep thoughts about music, early 70's politics, life -while weaving this suspensful narrative in and out of past and present. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Deidre | 1/16/2013

    " Really well written & deserving of the various awards. Can't believe this gem sat on my bookshelf for so long. Enjoyed the portrayal of the woman on the run & the bookstore the most. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Angie | 1/14/2013

    " What was I thinking ? Couldn't relate to this in any way - 73 pages in and I'm out ! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Callista | 1/4/2013

    " For me, difficult to relate to any of the characters. I found the main narrator to be especially annoying. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 matt | 11/21/2012

    " This book is pure fun. If you have a snarky appreciation for pop culture, art history, and little bytes of benjamin and sontag then you can gobble this up in two hours. it rules. "

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About the Author
Author Dana SpiottaDana Spiotta is the author of Innocents and Others; Stone Arabia, A National Books Critics Circle Award finalist; and Eat the Document, a finalist for the National Book Award. Spiotta is a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Rome Prize for Literature. She lives in Syracuse, New York.
About the Narrator

Rachael Warren is a member of the resident acting company at Trinity Repertory Company in Providence, Rhode Island, where she has played such roles as Eliza Doolittle, Sally Bowles, Ophelia, and Portia, as well as originating roles in world premieres by artists such as Paula Vogel and Charles Strouse. Her work has also been seen across the United States at a multitude of regional theaters and on several national tours.