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Download Jim the Boy: A Novel Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Jim the Boy: A Novel, by Tony Earley Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Tony Earley Narrator: L. J. Ganser Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Tony Earley made his debut with Here We Are in Paradise, a superbly understated collection of (mostly) small-town vignettes. He returns to the same terrain in his first novel, Jim the Boy, setting this coming-of-age story in a remote North Carolina hamlet.

The year is 1934, and like the rest of the country, Aliceville is feeling the pinch of the Great Depression. Yet neither Jim nor his mother nor his three uncles—who have split the paternal role neatly among themselves since the death of Jim’s father a decade earlier—are feeling much in the way of economic pain. Indeed, if you stuck a satellite dish on the front lawn, the story might be taking place in the New South rather than the older, bucolic one.This isn’t to suggest that Earley is deaf to social detail.

But Jim the Boy is very much the tale of a ten-year-old’s expanding consciousness, which at first barely extends beyond the family property. Earley has a real gift for conveying childhood epiphanies.

The simple lyricism and anti-ironic sweetness work mostly to the book’s advantage. There are times, it’s true, when Earley sands his prose down to an unnatural smoothness, and we seem to be edging toward the sentimental precincts of a young-adult novel. But on the whole, Jim the Boy is a lovely, meticulous work—a song of innocence and (eventually) experience, delivered with just a hint of a North Carolina accent.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Jim the Boy is a delight. A sweet, graceful novel that charms the reader with marvelous language, honest emotion, and authentic characters who are no less human, no less complex, for being sincere and straightforward, and good. As his short stories have already shown, Tony Earley is a wonderful writer.”

    Alice McDermott, National Book Award–winning author of Charming Billy

  • “A radiant, knowing, pitch-perfect parable of childhood…Mr. Earley may not have invented the coming-of-age novel, but he streamlines and reawakens the genre with this swift, lovely book.”

    New York Times

  • “Childhood innocence doesn’t crop up much these days in serious fiction…Jim the Boy blithely and successfully counters this trend…Seen through Jim’s eyes, everything that happens to him seems strange and somehow magical.”


  • “A starkly sweet story…Its arrival on the current American literary landscape is somewhat akin to a rainbow appearing over an industrial park. Next to the woes and grit of much of contemporary American fiction, Tony Earley’s first novel feels stunned by innocence—uncluttered, untainted, focused only upon capturing a particularly purity of experience.”

    Boston Globe

  • “It’s a testament to the resonant simplicity of Earley’s style that you’d never imagine laughing at any of these country folk for their simple ways. They’re tinged with the kind of lyricism that almost accidentally bubbles forth from people who always attempt honesty.”

    Austin Chronicle

  • “When I find a good book, I get up (literally) and dance around the living room. Tony Earley’s Jim the Boy made me dance. It’s an oddly wonderful period piece…marvelous prose from a writer who has a crystalline memory of what it’s like to be a kid.”

    Seattle Times

  • “A latter-day classic of children’s fiction.”

    AV Club

  • Jim the Boy is a lovely, meticulous work—a song of innocence and (eventually) experience, delivered with just a hint of North Carolina accent.”

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • “L. J. Ganser’s narration, emotionally true without ever being sentimental, is perfectly suited to Earley’s prose, which presents Jim’s experiences and growth from the perspective of a child moving into adolescence. Ganser’s skillful vocal characterizations are believable and true throughout. he uses cadence and pacing to convey regional speech, rather than an exaggerated ‘accent,’ and this makes all the difference. A perceptive story and insightful narration produce a memorable listening experience, ideal for family, young adult, and adult listening.”


  • “A deceptively gentle, nostalgic look at childhood during an era when life was by turns harsh and hopeful. Jim is a real boy who can be selfish and stubborn and then determined and giving. Earley offers an understated, poetic tribute to those families whose pride in and love for one another helped them face hard times.”


  • A Booklist Editors’ Choice: Adult Books for Young Adults, 2000
  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award
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