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Extended Audio Sample Hummingbirds: A Novel Audiobook, by Joshua Gaylord Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (313 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Joshua Gaylord Narrator: Cynthia Holloway Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: December 2009 ISBN: 9781400184651
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A wonderfully compelling novel about the intertwining—and darkly surprising—relationships between the teachers and students at an all-girl prep school, Hummingbirds marks the debut of author Joshua Gaylord, a prep school teacher himself on New York City’s Upper East Side. Spanning a year at the Carmine-Casey School for Girls, this intimate private school community becomes tempestuous and dangerously incestuous as the rivalries and secrets of teachers and students interact, intersect, and eventually collide. Ultimately, Hummingbirds poses a fascinating question: Who are the adults and who are the children?

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Glistens with erudition and insight…Gaylord’s stunning writing elevates his subject matter with equal parts humanity and elegance.”

    Jonathan Tropper, New York Times bestselling author of This Is Where I Leave You

  • “A very grown-up novel about adolescence and the folly of adults, by an impressive new voice in American fiction.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “Gaylord’s tale of overeducated men and the teenage students who exhibit the finesse and understanding their teachers lack hits all the right notes.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Especially good at characterization, Gaylord has delivered a story that’s ripe with acute and wry observations on men and women, competition, sexuality, and secrets…Highly recommended.”

    Library Journal

Listener Opinions

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

    " A quick, predictable read. While the author is a wonderful writer, I was bothered by the fact that he seemed to recycle many words and phrases. It seems he was trying to sound smart, and it definitely took away from what I think is a great ability to write. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Lindsaygail | 1/26/2014

    " I started out really liking this, but after getting about halfway through the book and nothing seems to have happened yet...I'm losing interest. Putting it away for now. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lauren | 12/24/2013

    " Just didn't hold my interest. I will have to try again another time... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 M | 10/8/2013

    " It was okay - I just don't think the same way the author does. He perceives reality in a different way. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Heather | 9/21/2013

    " Good. Not great, but good. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Andrea | 9/10/2013

    " Wow, this book is phenomenal! I loved the touching story and the talented writing. I feel like the whole setting, conversations, characters are falsely innocent from the beginning. Only later does everything reveal itself. It is a great piece of modern writing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sami4413 | 8/7/2013

    " Joyous reading, like a crystal refracting the sun! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Nicole Gas | 4/22/2013

    " forgettable, sadly. I wanted to love this because of some gorgeous writing, but overall it just seemed like it was trying too hard. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Julie | 3/2/2012

    " I read a short story by Joshua Gaylord in a New Yorker anthology, so tried his novel. He is a good writer. The book was about a girls school in Manhattan, and I thought the story line was a little trite, but I enjoyed it and will look for more by him. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeff Raymond | 11/24/2011

    " A literary-for-the-sake-of-being-literary story of a man who teaches English at an all-girls school. His wife, an academic, cheated on him years before, and the man who seduced her becomes a teacher at the school. A little pretentious at times, but still a decent read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Vicki | 10/31/2011

    " I felt like this book had ADD. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Suzi | 9/22/2011

    " Loved this debut novel from Joshua Gaylord! Best written book I've read in a long time. Gaylord avoids common traps when writing about teenaged girls. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer Dudley | 5/29/2011

    " This book reminded me of I am Charlotte Simmons by Tom Wolfe. I thought that Binhammer and Ted were going to have a relationship. Binhammer's wife, I couldn't stand her....but none of the characters were extremely likeable. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Julie | 5/6/2011

    " I read a short story by Joshua Gaylord in a New Yorker anthology, so tried his novel. He is a good writer. The book was about a girls school in Manhattan, and I thought the story line was a little trite, but I enjoyed it and will look for more by him. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joe | 10/10/2010

    " Beautiful, lyrical writing; funny situations. Also, the author makes his character "go there" in what must have been very difficult, transgressive things for a high school teacher to write. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathleen | 10/10/2010

    " Wonderfully structured, lovely characters, fantastic sense of humor... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lizzie | 7/20/2010

    " I didn't really like the characters much or get deeply into the plot, but quite a few insightful and/or well-written passages merit a three-star rating. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeff | 7/9/2010

    " A literary-for-the-sake-of-being-literary story of a man who teaches English at an all-girls school. His wife, an academic, cheated on him years before, and the man who seduced her becomes a teacher at the school. A little pretentious at times, but still a decent read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Madison | 7/6/2010

    " i liked this book a lot it was different from what i normally read so it was a nice change "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Marci | 7/6/2010

    " I read this in a day. I hoped it was going somewhere as it took a long time to get nowhere. There was a lot of potential with this storyline but the author just scratched the surface. Definite snooze. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lila | 5/12/2010

    " Ho hum. Just couldn't get into it.... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cheyenne | 5/11/2010

    " Gaylord has an unusual manner of writing which I most enjoyed.
    His knowledge of classic english authors is oh-so enviable and I loved the character relationships in this novel. Stereotypes with a twist at its best. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Suzi | 5/6/2010

    " Loved this debut novel from Joshua Gaylord! Best written book I've read in a long time. Gaylord avoids common traps when writing about teenaged girls. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Craig | 2/16/2010

    " A slightly overwritten book about learning, lust & literature at a Manhattan girl's school. Full of secret-keeping and indiscretions. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Vicki | 1/11/2010

    " I felt like this book had ADD. "

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About the Author
Author Joshua Gaylord
Joshua Gaylord grew up in Anaheim, California, and currently resides in New York City. He's the author of one previous novel, and under the pen name Alden Bell, two horror novels. He received his Ph.D. in 20th century American and British literature from NYU, and has taught both at NYU and the New School.
About the Narrator

Cynthia Holloway, a native of Seattle, has performed on stage, in film and television, as well as doing voice-over work. She has given her voice to television programs, radio and television commercials, video games, and audiobooks.