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Lookaway, Lookaway: A Novel Audiobook, by Wilton Barnhardt Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Austen Ivereigh, Wilton Barnhardt Narrator: Austen Ivereigh, Scott Shepherd Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2013 ISBN: 9781427229335
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"Move over, Tom Wolfe! Writing with brilliance and brio, Barnhardt has penned a hilarious satire which often has surprising depth and hits way too close to the truth." —Lee Smith

Jerene Jarvis Johnston and her husband Duke are exemplars of Charlotte, North Carolina's high society, a world where old Southern money and the secrets behind it meet the new wealth of bankers, real estate speculators, and carpetbagging social climbers. Steely and implacable, Jerene presides over her family's legacy of paintings at the Mint Museum; Duke, the one-time college golden boy and descendant of a Confederate general, whose promising political career was mysteriously short-circuited, has settled into a comfortable semi-senescence as a Civil War re-enactor. Jerene's brother Gaston is an infamously dissolute bestselling historical novelist who has never managed to begin his long-dreamed-of masterpiece, and their sister Dillard's unfortunate life decisions and losses have rendered her a near-recluse.

As the four Johnston children—smart but reckless Annie, good-boy minister Bo, might be gay but that's okay Joshua, and damaged, dangerous Jerilyn—flounder in their adult lives, Jerene must take action to preserve the family's legacy, Duke's fragile honor, and what's left of the dwindling family fortune. She will stop at nothing to keep what she has—is it too much to ask for one ounce of cooperation from her heedless family? In Lookaway, Lookaway, Wilton Barnhardt has written a full-bore, headlong, hilarious narrative of a family coming apart, a society changing beyond recognition, and an unforgettable woman striving to pull it all together.

Includes a bonus interview between Wilton Barnhardt and George Witte, editor-in-chief of St. Martin's Press.
A Kirkus Reviews Best Fiction Book of 2013

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Lacerating but affectionate, as exuberant as it is shrewd, Lookaway, Lookaway is a Southern novel so sure-footed the only real question for Barnhardt is, “What took you so long?”…The book is all about its characters, each of them delightfully flawed…Southern literature is full of humor but strangely short on satire. Barnhardt gleefully leaps into this gap like a man with a very long to-do list…Lookaway, Lookaway is that rare thing: an excellent long novel that’s not long enough.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Wilton Barnhardt’s touching, often laugh-out-loud funny Lookaway, Lookaway probes the history of a clan so mired in Southern tradition even the darkest family secrets cannot knock them from their high-class pedestals. Barnhardt’s large, ambitious novel covers everything from date rape to racism to religion, but never makes the characters feel distant or undeveloped.”

    Shelf Awareness

  • “Sprawling, generous, delightful…I didn’t want it to end. Lookaway is both dishy and literary, but like all good novels, there’s a nourishing quality as well.”

    Charlotte Observer

  • “Hilarious, expertly drawn…Scathing yet touching, this is a delicious saga of Old South meets New, a story of America lurching toward the future.”

    People (4 stars)

  • Narrated brilliantly by North Carolina native Scott Shepherd, who gives all of the characters distinctive voices with perfect inflections and tones. This engaging, inventive romp into the rise and fall of an eclectic Southern family is a must listen for fans of Southern literature and dark family sagas. Library Journal, starred review
  • Irresistable listening. Winston-Salem Journal

  • “Scott Shepherd's performance does what no printed page can, eloquently immersing the listener in the harsh truths that Barnhardt's characters must face. AudioFile Magazine

  • Narrator Scott Shepherd conjures this rich cast with distinctive voices. The Chicago Tribune
  • Lookaway, Lookaway is a wild romp through the South, and therefore the history of our nation, written by an absolute ringmaster of fiction. Wilton Barnhardt is back baby, and he’s coming at you with everything he’s got.”

    Alice Sebold, New York Times bestselling author of The Lovely Bones

  • “Writing with brilliance and brio, Wilton Barnhardt has penned a hilarious satire which often has surprising depth and hits way too close to the truth.”

    Lee Smith, New York Times bestselling author of Oral History and The Last Girls

  • “Wilton Barnhardt is a masterful storyteller, and Lookaway, Lookaway is high comedy at its brilliant best.”

    Joshilyn Jackson, New York Times bestselling author of Backseat Saints

  • “Rich and genuinely hilarious, expressed with a dangerous level of humor and pain. Lookaway, Lookaway is entirely remarkable.”

    Mark Childress, New York Times bestselling author of Georgia Bottoms

  • “A fresh and innovative take on the traditional family saga…The new Barnhardt goes down smooth and delivers with a kick.”

    Karen Joy Fowler, New York Times bestselling author of The Jane Austen Book Club

  • Lookaway, Lookaway is an often humorous, sometimes unsettling, ultimately poignant romp through a ‘new’ South still reluctant to let go of its past. Barnhardt’s novel earns a place on the bookshelf between J. K. Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces and Tom Wolfe’s I Am Charlotte Simmons.”

    Ron Rash, New York Times bestselling author of The Cove

  • “A dishier array of secrets animates Lookaway, Lookaway, Wilton Barnhardt’s big, enveloping novel about a status-conscious North Carolina family.”

    New York Times

  • “Dixieland was never so dishy nor dysfunctional as in Barnhardt’s ribald send-up of the conflagration that ensues when Old South tradition confronts New South tackiness…Barnhardt’s satirical scorching of southern culture comes in second only to Sherman’s fiery march.”


  • “Barnhardt’s fourth novel is a revelation: witty, savage, and bighearted all at once, it is the Southern novel for the twenty-first century.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “It’s a delicious romp with a dysfunctional Southern Family—is there any other kind in literature?…Narrator Scott Shepherd conjures [the] rich cast with distinctive voices.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • A Barnes & Noble Best Book for August 2013
  • Selected for the September 2013 Indie Next List
  • A New York Times bestseller
  • Selected for the Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2013
  • Among longlisted titles for Chapters Indigo Best of the Year, 2013
  • Among longlisted titles for Slate Book Review Best Books of the Year, 2013
  • Among longlisted titles for Kirkus Reviews Best Books of the Year, 2013

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About the Author

Wilton Barnhardt is the author Gospel, Show World, Lookaway, Lookaway, and Emma Who Saved My Life. A native of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, he teaches fiction in the master of fine arts in creative writing program at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, where he lives.

About the Narrators

Austen Ivereigh is a British writer, journalist, and commentator on religious and political affairs who holds a PhD from Oxford University. His work appears regularly in the Jesuit magazine America and in many other periodicals. He is well known on British media, especially on the BBC, Sky, ITV and Al-Jazeera, as a Catholic commentator.

Scott Shepherd is best known for his work with two internationally celebrated theater companies, the Wooster Group and Elevator Repair Service. He was the narrator of Gatz, a seven-hour staging of the entire text of The Great Gatsby, for which he won an Obie and an Elliot Norton Award.