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Extended Audio Sample Huge: A Novel Audiobook, by James W. Fuerst Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (391 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: James W. Fuerst Narrator: Jeff Woodman Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2011 ISBN: 9781455196487
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For precocious twelve-year-old Eugene Smalls, growing up isn’t easy. His bad reputation precedes him, public school considers him a lost cause, and his own family seems out to get him. He’s got a temper, so don’t dare call him “Genie!” He insists on being called “Huge,” and though small, he’s tough and hard-boiled, just like his heroes, pulp detectives Philip Marlowe and Sam Spade, who taught him everything he knows about crime solving. When the nursing home where his grandmother stays is vandalized, she hires him to solve the case. But he misreads clues, misinterprets motives, and mistakes mundane incidents for diabolical schemes as only an inexperienced adolescent with a restless imagination can. His search for “whodunit” turns into a search for self in this coming-of-age story set in 1980s suburban New Jersey.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Fuerst demonstrates a sensitive ear for contemporary teen talk, delicacy at handling the amusingly contentious relationship between Huge and his older sister and mom, and skill at conveying a child’s-eye view of the world that is full of nostalgia, humor, candor and emotions that all readers can relate to.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Narrator Jeff Woodman modulates his voice to sound like that of a teenage boy who acts and talks like a tough guy…Woodman’s performance never falters, never for a moment sounds like he’s a grown-up reading in the voice of an imaginative boy. As Huge tries to solve the mystery, the listener is treated to a quirky coming-of-age story.”

    AudioFile

  • “[A] coming-of-age tour de force that borrows some of the tone and attitude of hard-boiled detective fiction while giving its first-person narrator an irresistibly noirish, wise-guy voice…Huge will occupy a, yes, huge place in readers’ affections and memories.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “James Fuerst is brilliant in the way he immerses the reader both in Huge’s mixed-up head and the world in which he lives. His take on the class warfare and teenage sexual politics of a small New Jersey town is at once hilarious and poignant…We can only hope that our own comeuppance led to the sad wisdom Huge embraces at the end of this wonderfully written debut.”

    BookPage

  • “Credible and engaging, [with] a hero who assumes the most eye-catching characteristics of Holden Caulfield, Phillip Marlowe and Nick Twisp…Fuerst pulls off the same trick as the 2005 film Brick in making his protagonist’s suburban surroundings and mundane foes seem as hard-boiled and corrupt as those in the Chandler novels Huge treasures.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A Booklist Editors’ Choice in 2009 for Young Adult Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Slone | 2/16/2014

    " Kind of disturbingly blunt and maybe a bit too graphic. I felt let down by the ending, and it seemed a little too introspective/internal monologue-y for an adolescent boy. But a pretty faithful homage to Sam Spade/noir detective fiction, as seen through a tween's lens, which seems like an interesting take. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karlan | 2/11/2014

    " eugene, who prefers to be called Huge, has read a big collection of detective novels and talks like a hard boiled detective at age 12. His most important case involves solving a graffiti marring of a sign at his grandmother's nursing home. He has real anger management problems, but learns to control himself in this entertaining coming of age novel. "

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

    " Huge or Eugene Smalls is a well developed character that draws in the reader. I enjoyed this book and read it very quickly. The language can be a bit rough and that has a tendency to offend people in books however, I don't think there is anything in the book that kids today (or even in my generation) haven't already been exposed to. As a YA book it also deals with growing sexual awareness among jr. high and high school students. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bill Palmer | 1/9/2014

    " Great coming of age story that also nails the 80s. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anna | 12/24/2013

    " Cute, but not so snarkey as I'd dreamed. For fans of "Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time," (which, admittedly, I am not) & certainly a safe bet for an adult read w/ ya appeal. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Miriam | 12/2/2013

    " Funny and sweet. written in the voice of a young pre-teen, with ISSUES! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ivy | 11/21/2013

    " started off great, then fizzled "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisamarie | 6/16/2013

    " This was good, but I got a little exhausted near the end, just from being inside this kid's head for so long. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy | 5/26/2013

    " This book was GREAT. Hysterical at times, very poignant, and what a main character! Charming, believable, a good person who has some problems... like we all do... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tom | 5/19/2013

    " OK, I loved it. I was a normal kid, but I can really relate to "Huge" He has all the earmarks of a really great character. The book is well crafted and humorous, satire mixed with angst. That being said, I do not think it should be read by children. Not at all. 18+ would be my call. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anne | 5/18/2013

    " A quirky first novel narrated by Eugene Smalls ("call me Huge"), a 12-year-old boy who tries to emulate his hero Sam Spade. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Very | 5/3/2013

    " Eugene is supposed to be misunderstood, precocious, sad, endearing, and well-meaning, but he comes off as more of a psychopath. I read many rave reviews of this before picking it up (infact, that's why I picked it up). I hate you, rave reviews. You're on my shit list. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Seaellem | 1/23/2013

    " really enjoyed the read. not sure if the character is exactly as what a 12 year-old boy would be like (surely hope not as my son is 7 now) but the ideas and struggles Huge deals with surely transcends that age. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gretchen | 11/19/2012

    " So far so good. Huge is such a strange character, so unique and volatile. I have never met a character like him in a book. I like it so far! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Erica | 8/25/2012

    " Eugene "Huge" Smalls loves noir detective novels and it shows. He is able to fulfill his dream when he is hired to investigate graffiti at the old folks home where his grandmother lives. This book has a strong voice, which makes up for the lack of plot. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Christine | 6/4/2012

    " Very hard to read this book. The writing didn't hold my interest at all. I barely made it to the end of the book. It wasn't that the story was unbelievable, it was the writing style that had no spark. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Wander Santos | 12/13/2011

    " I liked this book but it had bad words in it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maggie | 8/15/2011

    " I loved this. So funny and endearing. The writing was absolutely great. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Christine | 5/8/2011

    " Very hard to read this book. The writing didn't hold my interest at all. I barely made it to the end of the book. It wasn't that the story was unbelievable, it was the writing style that had no spark. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Dena | 12/7/2010

    " Could not finish this. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Megan | 11/12/2010

    " A crazy, dysfunctional, but ultimately decent kid is way over-influenced by Marlowe and Sam Spade novels and sets out to solve a fairly benign tagging crime. The unusual protagonist and crime within a familiar mystery pot-boiler framework was fun. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ivy | 9/13/2010

    " started off great, then fizzled "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Scot | 9/5/2010

    " Great premise that lost its way and finally found it again toward the end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sharon | 9/5/2010

    " p. 40 "...I was more or less okay until I wanted to do something but realized I couldn't, and then I'd be stuck wanting it more and more and grinding my gears until all that energy and friciton burst in this wild explosion." "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Trevor | 8/4/2010

    " Funny, witty, and engaging. Not my normal type of book, but I really liked it. "Huge", the 13-year old main character, is the man. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Eric | 5/28/2010

    " Great book for anyone who wants to laugh. Quick read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mary | 4/17/2010

    " teen genius and Chandler afficionado Eugene "Huge" delivers a wry take on his first case. Especially like granny in the nursing home. "

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About the Author

James W. Fuerst spent his teenage years in New Jersey and now lives in Brooklyn. He earned his MA and PhD from Harvard University and holds an MFA from the New School. Huge is his first novel.

About the Narrator

Jeff Woodman is an actor and narrator. He is a winner of the prestigious Audie Award and a six-time finalist. He has received seventeen Earphones Awards and was named one of the Fifty Greatest Voices of the Century by AudioFile magazine. As an actor, he originated the title role in Tennessee Williams’ The Notebook of Trigorin and won the S.F. Critics’ Circle Award for his performance in An Ideal Husband. In addition to numerous theater credits on and off Broadway, his television work includes Sex and the City, Law & Order, and Cosby.