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Extended Audio Sample Growing Up Dead in Texas, by Stephen Graham Jones Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (111 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Stephen Graham Jones Narrator: Joey Collins Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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It was a fire that could be seen for miles, a fire that split the community, a fire that turned families on each other, a fire that it’s still hard to get a straight answer about.

A quarter of a century ago, someone held a match to Greenwood, Texas’s cotton. Stephen Graham Jones was twelve that year. What he remembers best, what’s stuck with him all this time, is that nobody ever came forward to claim that destruction. And nobody was ever caught. Greenwood just leaned forward into next year’s work, and the year after that, pretending that the fire had never happened. But it had. This fire, it didn’t start twenty-five years ago. It had been smoldering for years by then. And everybody knew it. Getting them to say anything about it’s another thing, though.

Now Stephen’s going back. His first time back since he graduated high school, and maybe his last. For answers, for closure, for the people who can’t go back. For the ones who never got to leave.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The book is an ambitious hybrid of fact and myth, past and present, that calls into question the nature of truth itself…the novel is unified by Jones's rhythmic prose and his evident compassion for his former neighbors' tragedies—both personal and pastoral.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “What a wonderful book. Has all the flavor of memoir and all the miracle of fiction. I loved this book.”

    Joe Lansdale, author of All the Earth, Thrown to the Sky

  • Selected for the July 2012 Indie Next List

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by John | 2/12/2014

    " A.D.D. in print. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Becky | 2/11/2014

    " I heard something in passing about this book and ordered it thinking it a memoir. It's actually fiction, but it's written as if it's a memoir. The most interesting thing about it is the way the narrator plays with the form and discusses truth in memoir throughout the story. Discussing the fallibility of memory has become a common device in actual memoir, and writing about it in fiction is a creative step that results in a book that is as much about form and the act of writing as it is about the story, which is okay with me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Andrea | 1/25/2014

    " I loved this, though I think Stephen Graham Jones has even more in him and hasn't quite hit his full stride. Still, I'll be reading all of his books, only a couple I haven't gotten to yet. By the end of this I was saturated with memories of small town Texas and cotton and families that run everything in a way that permeates every aspect of the story without being told really. It's like those memories are mine. Course Arizona and Texas aren't so different in some ways, and we're almost of an age the author and I. I don't know when I've read a book where the landscapes and music and memories and the catching of hornytoads made me feel so at home. I caught myself thinking that when he wrote he wanted to be the guy from Rosanne Cash's 'Seven Year Ache' I wondered if he didn't mean her dark-haired boy who played the Tennesse Flat Top Box. I knew the Tiffany song the girls were singing cause I sang it too, and the way the wind smelled maybe and the feeling of space and the road and the masculinity and the way people feel about land. So now I feel like I know about the farming and the joy of large machinery (I knew a little about that already) and god I want to hear rattlesnakes rattling from inside giant bales of cotton! This is all about families and power and land and a whole lot of hurt but you settle into that layer by layer and then you think about it a long time. Meanwhile, you can see the men in their dust and sweat and thinning hair under their hats and wore out jeans... yep. I loved this book. What gave me some small troubles was the structure and the back and forth between past and present didn't always work entirely I thought, I'm not sure who would tell a story quite like that. I did love the form of memoir though, and perhaps reading it while sitting with my mom in hospital made it harder to follow. Still, a hell of a book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Krisilou | 1/19/2014

    " So good that I had to re-read many portions of this book. The prose messes with me, and I dig that. "

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