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Extended Audio Sample Paint It Black: A Novel, by Janet Fitch Click for printable size audiobook cover
2.99978359908884 out of 52.99978359908884 out of 52.99978359908884 out of 52.99978359908884 out of 52.99978359908884 out of 5 3.00 (6,146 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Janet Fitch Narrator: Jennifer Jason Leigh Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2006 ISBN: 9781594835698
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Josie Tyrell, art model, teen runaway, and denizen of LA’s rock scene finds a chance at real love with art student Michael Faraday. A Harvard dropout and son of a renowned pianist, Michael introduces her to his spiritual quest and a world of sophistication she had never dreamed existed. But when she receives a call from the Los Angeles County Coroner asking her to identify her lover’s dead body, her bright dreams all turn to black.

As Josie searches for the key to understanding his death, she finds herself both repelled and attracted to Michael’s pianist mother, Meredith, who holds Josie responsible for her son’s torment. Soon, the two women find themselves drawn into a twisted relationship reflecting equal parts distrust and blind need.

Passionate, wounded, and fiercely alive, Josie Tyrell walks the brink of her own destruction as she fights to discover the meaning of Michael’s death. With the luxurious prose and emotional intensity that are her hallmarks, Janet Fitch has written a spellbinding new novel about love, betrayal, and the possibility of transcendence.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A dark, crooked beauty that fulfills all the promise of White Oleander and confirms that Janet Fitch is an artist of the very highest order.”

    Los Angeles Times Book Review

  • “Lushly written, dramatically plotted Fitch’s Los Angeles is so real it breathes.”

    Atlantic Monthly

  • “Fitch wonderfully captures the abrasive appeal of punk music, the bohemian, sometimes squalid lifestyle, the performers, the drugs, the alienation. This is crackling fresh stuff you don’t read every day.”

    USA Today

  • “A page-turning psychodrama…Fitch’s prose penetrates the inner lives of her characters with immediacy and bite.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • A USA Today Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amy | 2/11/2014

    " I guess that, in light of so many boo's and hissses, I must somehow make an apology for my 5 stars. I don't care about the story. Janet Fitch could write the evening news and I would read it. Maybe the story fell somewhat flat, maybe Josie was a little predictable, but most stories are this way & as I said before, I could care less. The use of language is so very poignant. I would read a paragraph, a chapter if I could, and stop...letting the words saturate, find their mark and, time and again, devastate me. Yes, a very emotional response...but it was a very emotional book. The poetry of the prose, the rhythmic destruction and salvation, and the almost too sappy sensitivity is saved by the honesty, vulgarity and grit of grief. I loved this book. I believe the use of words was above and beyond "White Oleander", the story be damned. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 courtney | 2/9/2014

    " this book had it at the beginning. i am wary of oprah's book club, but in the beginning, this book was pretty on. then, sadly, it lost it completely at the end. i felt totally dissatisfied and thought the author could have gone in a different direction and penned a much richer, more layered, book - but what do i know. i got my copy for free, it's a galley copy and if someone wants it, let me know. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Susan | 1/22/2014

    " I expected more. Maybe I didn't care for this because I couldn't relate to the character. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Wendy T | 1/20/2014

    " Didn't care for this book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Briana | 1/15/2014

    " I love Janet's floral vocabulary and writing style but this story was lacking true depth. Read White Oleander instead. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julie | 1/13/2014

    " She beautifully captures self loathing and redemption. Great read! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Carolyn | 1/11/2014

    " This book is terrible!! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Allisun | 1/9/2014

    " I give up. Today, at page 171, I am deciding to stop reading this book. This is something I don't do all that often and don't do without a degree of discomfort (guilt even?) Funny thing is, it isn't completely horrible. I just can't seem to care about it or look forward to reading it. It may be that I don't have an appreciation for the L.A. life, but I mostly find Josie's character and her world to be a bit much. And maybe even unbelievable. The story is told through the eyes of Josie, and she is both cynical and emotionally immature, yet she makes these profound and hopeful and insightful observations. I recognize we are all full of contradictions, but I didn't find her credible. The depiction of grief, which seems to be an attempt at portraying the raw grit of it all, came off as heavy-handed and relentless. I have not read White Oleander, which I am told is much better. Perhaps I will give that a try someday. "

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

    " I was expecting it to be as good as White Oleander. Didn't care for it too much. Didn't hate it. Just was kind of blah and whiny. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susan Greve | 1/7/2014

    " The Bell Jar gets all the press for being among the most depressing tales ever, but I think this novel is arguably the most depressing work I have ever read. I can relate to both her desperation and her impulsive "voddy" fixes. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jenny | 1/5/2014

    " Um...just don't read it. Honestly. You will be disappointed. I wanted to like Josie, I wanted to like the plot, I wanted to find the art in the prose and really feel for the characters, but alas, I did not. Dark, dreary, not well executed. Sorry. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amy | 12/24/2013

    " Not as good as White Oleander... but what is? Janet Finch's next book- story of a girl whose boyfriend dies suddenly, and she realizes she has more in common with his mom than she ever thought possible... or does she? "

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

    " i couldn't finish this book (even though i had only two chapters left!) it was convoluted and lame. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maria Mallis | 12/22/2013

    " I love the way Janet Fitch writes, she is one of my fav authors. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jenni Adkins | 12/17/2013

    " Same author as White Oleander, just as freaky a story. Amazing descriptive story telling. A bit raunchy, but you really felt like you were there. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Wendy | 12/15/2013

    " I was sooooo disappointed in this book. I loved White Oleander, and I was very excited for Fitch's next novel. This was poorly written, cliche, and just plain uninteresting. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Elizabeth | 12/9/2013

    " I LOVED White Oleander by this author so I thought I'd love this. But I have re-read the first few chapters a few times and can get no further. So boring. What a disappointment! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary | 12/2/2013

    " i read white oleander a while back and was amazed by its fluid beauty. paint it black is a stark contrast to that. it is abrasive and painful and vulgar. i was amazed how much life michael had even though he was dead for the whole novel. the ending was perfect. very sad. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kendra | 9/20/2013

    " couldn't even finish it was so bad. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Devon | 4/27/2013

    " This book is so beautifully composed it is practically an entire fictional work of poetry. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tiffany | 1/23/2013

    " Although this book was at times painful to read, it was a powerful & beautifully written novel. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Niki | 12/10/2012

    " Dark but interesting book on subject ddnt know much about. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 April Westcott | 8/20/2012

    " Good book a little slow "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michelle | 4/17/2012

    " This book is very dark, which makes it a harder read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robin Doll | 4/10/2012

    " I liked this one more the second time. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Sandy | 12/28/2011

    " too weird, trying too hard, repetitive, "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Karen | 11/2/2011

    " I probably shouldn't even classify this as "read" since I gave up about one-third of the way throught it. It was terrible, which was so disappointing because Janet Fitch's book White Oleander is one of my all-time favorites. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karen | 8/23/2011

    " I had high expectations for this book after reading White Oleander and it did not disappoint. The character were complex and flawed in all the good ways and the story was dark, layered and captivating. Line by line a lovely read and a story that will haunt you after the last page. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Allysun | 7/25/2011

    " Could not get into this book at all, read first few pages and that was it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amy | 6/25/2011

    " A very dark book, but very well written. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carli | 5/21/2011

    " Great, dark, cool book. a mix between Factory Girl and Bell Jar. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Katie | 5/12/2011

    " This book is really dark. I loved White Oleander by J. Fitch so I thought I would've liked this book more. Love her style of writing though. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karly | 3/31/2011

    " Kind of a dark story, but still a good one. :) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Hannah | 3/9/2011

    " Janet Fitch had me hooked with White Oleander. This book fell very short. Her characters were just weak in my eyes. I never felt connected to them, I didn't care if they prevailed or not. Certainly never a good sign. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Meghan | 3/9/2011

    " It's Janet Fitch, what do you need to know? She is my favorite. Her language alone can change your life. If she published a book of her shopping lists I'd buy it and love it. "

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