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Download Man Gone Down Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Man Gone Down Audiobook, by Michael Thomas Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (916 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Michael Thomas Narrator: Beresford Bennett Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2007 ISBN: 9781436185370
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On the eve of his thirty-fifth birthday, the unnamed black narrator of Man Gone Down finds himself broke, estranged from his white wife and three children, and living in the bedroom of a friend’s six-year-old child. He has four days to come up with the money to keep the kids in school and make a down payment on an apartment for them in which to live.

As we slip between his childhood in inner city Boston and present-day New York City, we learn of a life marked by abuse, abandonment, raging alcoholism, and the best and worst intentions of a supposedly integrated America. This is a story of the American Dream gone awry, about what it’s like to feel preprogrammed to fail in life and the urge to escape that sentence.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Powerful and moving…An impressive success…[Thomas] knows how the odds are stacked in America. He knows the unlikelihood of successful black fatherhood. He knows that things are set up to keep the Other poor and the poor in their place. More than anything else, he knows how little but also—fortunately—how much it can take to bring a man down.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “[A] jazzy, sinewy debut…Thomas’s urgent, quicksilver prose makes even the darkest moments of this novel shine.”

    O, the Oprah Magazine

  • “Michael Thomas is a thoughtful, intelligent, ambitious writer and Man Gone Down is an impressive first effort. Literature—and the world—would be well served by more like him.”

    Martha Southgate, author of The Taste of Salt and The Fall of Rome

  • “The narrator of this remarkable novel can name each star in the constellation of circumstances that describe the shape of his life as if observing them from a great distance, yet with a surprisingly intimate and passionate accuracy. Its unique achievement, that is, its particular beauty, is in how it engages us, right from the start, with the unannounced arrival of revelations, with humor, and with the growing realization that the life he speaks of has much in common with our own.”

    Chuck Wachtel, author of Joe the Engineer

  • “What a novel, and what a writer. Michael Thomas is brilliant, and Man Gone Down is riveting. Every page vibrates with love and anger and hope.”

    Elizabeth Gaffney, author of Metropolis

  • “A ravishing blues for the soul’s unending loneliness.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • Winner of the 2009 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award for Fiction
  • A 2007 New York Times Book Review Top 10 Book of the Year
  • One of the 2007 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ginger | 2/19/2014

    " I really wanted to enjoy this book about an adjunct instructor-turned- construction worker whose interracial marriage is falling apart, but the mopey narrator kept making such stupid decisions that I quickly lost sympathy for him. "

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

    " I can't believe I have finally finished this book. Thomas's narrative of African-American experience in contemporary America and the details of our culture's complex relationship with race might have been extremely powerful if the prose wasn't so indulgent. I may be overly critical because it was such a slow read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ben | 2/10/2014

    " good read with solid character development. main character is angry and neurotic but compelling. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Marc | 1/23/2014

    " Didn't think this was very well written. Pretty jumpy. Some interesting imagery and characters, but the narrative was lacking. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bree | 1/16/2014

    " Whatta talented author- a beautiful debut, not perfect in its retelling of a man drowning with the heaviness of his past, but very, very good. It gets a little lost towards the end, but so is the protagonist, so perhaps this is one to re-read. Such a great writer. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christina | 1/8/2014

    " "Man Gone Down" is an soulfully written novel about an anonymous black man who can't afford to take care of his interracial family. As eloquent as this story is, and as much as I wanted to like it, I found myself bored. Perhaps the most touching aspect of the book is how he describes his two sons, one tan with blonde hair and blue eyes, the other toffee colored and more noticably black. However, for most of the book the narrator rambles on in a self effacing fashion that screams "LOSER" from every page. Yet and still, the book is beautiful however flawed. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Quinn | 1/7/2014

    " The writing style was good but the plot dragged. The main character is racially mixed and married to a Caucasian female. Their marriage is on the rocks and he has moved out of the house. The book is about the main character reflecting on his past and the disappointments in his life. With no real ambition for the future he meanders throughout his life. The author attempts to make you feel sorry for the main character. I guess because he is part African American. I didn't buy it. I never felt sorry or blue for the character at all. In fact, I wanted to kick him in the ass to get him going. I felt like the main character was the cause of most of his problems because he never really shows any gumption or drive to do better. He has several reasons he feels that his life has been somewhat of a disappointment, but the biggest reason is himself. The main characters problems are no bigger than any other everyday Americans. Welcome to life son. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Tajma | 1/2/2014

    " I wanted so badly to like this book. I didn't. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Donna | 12/29/2013

    " I felt that I just had to write my own book after this. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Joanna | 12/17/2013

    " Loved the premise but found the book to be mildly condescending to women. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sanders.noah | 12/12/2013

    " This is a good, if not a little long and a little overly academic book about the role of race in America. It's got a lot going for it but not one just to rush through. Recommended. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Billymojo | 11/19/2013

    " A worthwhile addition to the ongoing dialog on race in America. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mimi | 10/14/2013

    " I'm not really sure where I get off rating this since I did not finish it. I got to page 100 and the whole thing just seemed like a chore. Still, consider two stars to be something around "did not like, do not hate." "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erik | 10/1/2013

    " A really phenomenal book and a great companion piece to Go Tell It On The Mountain which I just read. A poetic examination of race and class in New York and Boston in the 21st century. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chiana | 5/17/2013

    " Good stuff on race relations in the present day, but book took place over 4 or 5 days and was a lotta pages! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Peter | 11/25/2012

    " Bit of a slow boil but this is a fine novel. Painful account of a man confronting abuses of his past, his interracial marriage, and where to turn next. Hope to see more from this writer. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Natalie | 8/19/2012

    " Excellent, excellent, excellent. Just, excellent. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Topher | 8/5/2012

    " Read this last summer. First novel from a pretty powerful writer. Its depressing. Sometimes maddening. But it tackles some tough interracial American Dream issues. Like it a lot. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Hilariapdx | 5/23/2012

    " This book tells the story of a young writer of mixed race who is struggling. A lot. It's important but not easy to read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andrea | 8/27/2011

    " intriguing book, though narrator was frustrating and frustrated... made you want to climb in and shake him and make changes in his life. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Becky | 8/10/2011

    " I am kind of surprised I finished this book. It is awfully whiny and there really isn't plot. I don't recommend it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bridget | 5/26/2011

    " At the end of the day we all struggle to make ends meet, find ourselves and what not. The last line of this book made so much sense to me and my life. All that really matters is looking at your children or the one you love, and know this is what life is all about. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Josh | 5/4/2011

    " What if Ralph Ellison was a whiny asshole? "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Maire | 1/18/2011

    " Got bogged down in way too much detail, told with some kind of agenda. Made me walk around Brooklyn, neighborhoods of which are described throughout the book, with a suspicious eye. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cheyenne | 5/5/2010

    " Couldn't really get into it...pace was a little slow. "

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About the Author

Michael Thomas was born and raised in Boston. He’s been a cab driver, carpenter, restaurateur, and filmmaker. He received his BA from Hunter College and his MFA from Warren Wilson College. He teaches at Hunter and lives in Brooklyn with his wife and three children.