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Download Lightning Rods Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Lightning Rods Audiobook, by Helen DeWitt Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (629 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Helen DeWitt Narrator: Dushko Petrovich Publisher: Dreamscape Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2011 ISBN: 9781611204827
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Joe fails to sell a single set of the Encyclopedia Britannica in six months. Then fails to sell a single Electrolux and must eat a hundred and twenty-six pieces of homemade pie, served up by his would-be customers who feel sorry for him. Holed up in his trailer, Joe finds an outlet for his frustrations in a series of ingenious sexual fantasies, and at last strikes gold. His brainstorm, Lightning Rods, Inc., will take Joe to the very top, and to the very heart of corporate insanity, with an outrageous solution to the spectre of sexual harassment in the modern office.

An uproarious, hard-boiled modern fable of corporate life, sex, and race in America, Helen DeWitt’s Lightning Rods brims with the satiric energy of Nathanael West and the philosophic import of an Aristophanic comedy of ideas.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A tightly disciplined and extremely funny satire on office politics, sexual politics, American politics, and the art of positive thinking.”

    Guardian

  • “A razor-sharp comic masterpiece.”

    Financial Times

  • “Dewitt maintains a strong, clear, narrative voice throughout, pitch-perfectly parodying management speak, corporate culture and self-help bibles.”

    Independent

  • “An absurdist comedy of the American workplace and the indignities faced by employees in today’s turbo-capitalism, a quietly seething feminist critique of pornography and the commodification of women, and a category-defying fable about the meaninglessness of success.”

    Telegraph

  • Selected for the December 2011 Indie Next List

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jill | 2/17/2014

    " Joe is a mediocre salesman, until he discovers that his odd sexual fantasy can be used in Corporate America to end sexual harassment, by making some women in the office lightning rods for sexual urges. Biting social commentary and humor are supposed to ensue. Not so much. This will not be progressing in my TMN Tournament of Books bracket. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alison | 2/14/2014

    " Three stars means I'm ambivalent about this. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bria | 2/9/2014

    " If you're like me, then you hate the words that come out of other people's mouths. Why do they say the same bland, cliched phrase over and over again? But every excessively utilized combination of words had to have been cobbled together with intent at some point, and every cliche rests on some sort of actual reflection of the world. So if you were a really clever writer, you could find a way to write a book that was 81.7% bland cliches and thoughtless idiomatic ways of saying things, and yet imbue them with meaning every time. It's almost as if some people use words as mere tools to convey their thoughts and feelings, caring little about where those words came from. And so was recreated in me, thoughtless but good-hearted, the continual experience of our protagonist Joe, who is unbelievably clueless about other human beings, but goes through a continual discovery about them, always with the best of intentions. It's like an after-school special. About the benefits of anonymous sex. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Zach | 2/4/2014

    " May 2012-22 give us ten more novels by Helen DeWitt. One of the strangest novels I have read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lisa | 2/3/2014

    " Shock-jock. Cannot look at blue M&Ms, lightning or bathroom stalls in the same way. Like a Penthouse Forum letter that went on too long. "

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

    " It's a crazy book about a guy who brings to life his sexual fantasies as a solution for sexual harassment in the corporate work place. I think I laughed out loud twice, and smiled quite a bit, it was an amusing book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Patricia | 1/17/2014

    " This is one of the funniest books I have read in a while and exactly what I needed after two "serious" books. DeWitt is clearly a genius. Disclaimer ... It is bit shocking and I would not recommend it for everyone. The 7th of the Tournament of Books novels I have read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Annelise | 1/10/2014

    " Once I got past the uncomfortableness of the concept, it was enjoyable...but not profound or even unusually thought-provoking. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jonathan | 1/10/2014

    " I get it. It's satire. The style is supposed to be repetitive and dull. But life is too short to read 275 pages of intentionally bad writing. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Rick | 1/4/2014

    " This was without doubt one of the worst books I've read in a long, long time. Witless writing style coupled with a plot that rapidly evaporated interest added up to a waste of my time. For similar subject matter presented in an more amusing, almost artful way, read Nicholson Baker. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amy | 12/5/2013

    " Very hard to get into the language at first, but once you do the satire is great. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cora Kipling | 12/4/2013

    " One of the strangest books I've read in a long time. Very funny and compelling. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jay Gabler | 12/3/2013

    " Adequate premise and style for a short story, but at novel length there just isn't enough value added. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tiffany | 9/12/2013

    " Narrator kept repeating himself, absurd premise, fell flat for me. It sounded like fun, but the over-thinking done by the MC was boring. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lacy Lalonde | 9/1/2013

    " Really unique and interesting idea. It just didnt captivate me enough, but others it may. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Melissa Cavanaugh | 8/15/2013

    " Started off strong, with an interesting idea and good writing, but petered out at the end. So to speak. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nora | 6/16/2013

    " A satirical look at sex in the workplace and selling a product. Although Lightning Rods was sometimes funny it had some problems with the timeline and overdoing stereotypes (where were the successful women salespeople?) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 VeganMedusa | 4/22/2013

    " I found the whole idea this book is based on to be quite repellent, so I wasn't sure I'd like the book. But I should have had more faith the author. It's not The Last Samurai - it's something completely different. But it's hilarious and quite special. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 jenifer | 2/1/2013

    " This was really well written and could have seemed more prescient were it published fifteen years ago. Reminded me of George Saunders. I'm surprised to find myself saying that it just wasn't my kind book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 John | 3/18/2012

    " Funny and mildly motivating (though I may just be extra receptive right now). There are a few odd and obvious typos... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Greg Roe | 1/4/2012

    " This book was funny, and the premise though bizarre was entertaining. I kept waiting for more plot to develop, but nothing ever did. "

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About the Author
Author Helen DeWitt

Helen DeWitt is a novelist. She is the author of the highly praised novels, The Last Samurai, Your Name Here, and Lightning Rods. She lives in Berlin.