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Extended Audio Sample How to Sell Audiobook, by Clancy Martin Click for printable size audiobook cover
2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 2.00 (8 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Clancy Martin Narrator: Paul Michael Garcia Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2015 ISBN: 9781504627719
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Bobby Clark is just sixteen when he drops out of school to follow his big brother, Jim, into the jewelry business. Bobby idolizes Jim and is in awe of Jim’s girlfriend, Lisa, the best saleswoman at the Fort Worth Deluxe Diamond Exchange.

What follows is the story of a young man’s education in two of the oldest human passions: love and money. Through a dark, sharp lens, Clancy Martin captures the luxury business in all its exquisite vulgarity and outrageous fraud, finding in the diamond-and-watch trade a metaphor for the American soul at work.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A darkly bewitching first novel.”

    New York Review of Books

  • “Martin has a poetic sensibility...He gives a mesmerizing appeal to the setting of an alexandrite necklace and the delicate artistry involved in shaping a diamond.”

    New Yorker

  • How to Sell, Clancy Martin’s sly debut novel, is a lesson in double dealing—in business and in romance…This is one of those books that makes you slap your forehead and marvel at the intricate lies that ensnare the unwary, even as you check to make sure your wallet and your wits are right where you left them.”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • How to Sell is outrageous, theatrical and slicker than oil…a gem of a story.”


  • “Martin writes with no-nonsense punch, detailing the schemes—fake certificates, ‘antiques’—shady jewelers have been running for centuries…By the time you’re hooked on the book’s insidious plot twists…you’re blissfully unaware you’re downing a metaphor: No commission can buy you a soul.”


  • “It’s a lean and mean book, perfect for those who distrust all this recent talk about change. The kind of novel—cool and dark—that goes with you to the beach and then keeps you thinking at night.”


  • “A noirish blast of a novel.”

    Rolling Stone

  • How to Sell is, with memorably dark comedy, a virtual handbook on fraud…is a compelling setting for Martin’s propulsive storytelling. His narration feels cinematic, the sets and scenery popping off the page.”


  • “Sex, of course, may sell, but Martin's wicked take on money, the jewelry business and American passions could prove to have multiple pleasures.”

    Kansas City Star

  • “A crackling debut...a bravura catalog of the scams and rackets that make up the luxury jewelry trade...Like a James Ellroy novel for people who read Spinoza's Ethics.”


  • “A timely meditation on greed and the American Dream.”


  • “Sexy, funny and devastating…like watching one man's American dream turn into a soul-sucking nightmare.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “The feeling you get from the moment you open Clancy Martin’s superb novel is one of inevitability. This is the inevitability of truth-telling, of tragedy, of the setup to a good joke, and, very possibly, the inevitability of the classic.”

    Benjamin Kunkel

  • “Dirty, greatly original, and very hard to stop reading.”

    Jonathan Franzen

  • “A tender yet hardboiled coming-of-age story, a vivid, sometimes philosophical portrait of yearning and greed, of human love and human spoilage—all of it mirrored in stripped-down, addictive prose. Clancy Martin has written a scary, funny blaze of a book.”

    Sam Lipsyte

  • “A bleak, funny, unforgiving novel...about how we buy and sell everything—merchandise, drugs, sex, trust, power, peace of mind, religion, friendship, and each other...A genuinely fresh, disconcerting voice.”

    Zadie Smith

Listener Opinions

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Ashima | 3/6/2011

    " This was pretty appalling. No plot, story, character development, the most wooden unexpressive dialogue ever. and yet it had blurbs by some impressive people, Jonathan Franzen among them. bizarre. I pushed through about 3/4 of the book based on the blurbs alone but gave it up after that. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tom | 1/29/2011

    " Okay, but not great. The main character is interesting but not a lot happens and not much of interest is said. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Morgan | 10/11/2010

    " I don't really understand the glowing praise (esp. from Franzen!), but it was compelling enough and a quick read. Very interesting to learn about the jewelry business and diamond trade; pretty disappointing that it devolves into a fairly cliche drug addiction story. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kelly | 10/6/2010

    " I was a quick and easy read, but I didn't connect with the characters or understand the motivations behind their odd behavior. And I don't mean all the drug consumption and lying to customers, but in how the two brothers and their love interest treated each other. My advice is to skip it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alan | 9/27/2010

    " This was a really dark novel about ethics, love, and the high end jewelry business. I read it because Jonathan Franzen picked it as one of the best books he's recently read. I enjoyed the writing and the characters were compelling, but overall a little too dark. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Ben | 9/4/2010

    " I hated this book. This makes The Tourists look like The Great Gatsby. I mean really... The most tragic thing in my opinion is Zadie Smith raves about it on the jacket. I don't even know where to start... I need to take a shower. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Olivia | 7/27/2010

    " I found the characters to be petty, disgusting and difficult to like or identify with. I just didn't care what happened to them. The writing style made abrupt topic changes and there didn't seem to be an ending to the book - it just stopped. It just wasn't my style. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Mona | 6/9/2010

    " Probably finished this book because it is on my Kindle and author is from my home town "

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About the Author

Clancy Martin worked for more than a decade in the fine jewelry business. A professor of philosophy at the University of Kansas, he is known for his translations of Nietzsche and Kierkegaard. He is currently at work on a new translation of Nietzsche's Ecce Hommo and a book-length essay for FSG on marriage and deceit. His first appearance in McSweeney’s was nominated for a 2008 National Magazine Award.

About the Narrator

Paul Michael Garcia, an AudioFile Earphones Award winner and former company member of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, received his classical training in theater from Southern Oregon University, where he worked as an actor, director, and designer.