Download Panorama City Audiobook

Panorama City Audiobook, by Antoine Wilson Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Antoine Wilson Narrator: Richard Powers Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2012 ISBN: 9781481592208
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (160 ratings) (rate this audio book)
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With its blend of fool’s wisdom and deeply felt humanity, Panorama City is heir to Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead and Steve Martin’s The Jerk. 

From his deathbed*, twenty-eight-year-old Oppen Porter—an openhearted, bicycle-riding, binocular-toting, self-described “slow absorber”—unspools into a cassette recorder his tale of self-determination, from “village idiot” to “man of the world,” for the benefit of his unborn son. 

Told in an astonishingly charming and wise voice, Oppen’s account traces forty days and nights navigating the fast-food joints, storefront churches, and home-office psychologists of the San Fernando Valley. Ping-ponging between his watchful, sharp-tongued aunt and an outlaw philosopher with the face “of a newly hatched crocodile,” Oppen finds himself constantly in the sights of people who believe that their way is the only way for him. 

Oppen Porter is “an American original” (Stewart O’Nan) for whom finding one’s own way is both a delightful art and a painstaking science. Disarmingly funny and surreptitiously moving, Panorama City makes us see the world, and our place in it, with new eyes.

*Not really

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Quotes & Awards

  • “God bless Oppen Porter! His innocence and lack of pretense are our good fortune and our delight. Under his observation, our follies and schemes and manias go up in the brightest, funniest, heartrending flames. This is precisely (and artfully) because he does not judge them. Panorama City is charming and absurd, very funny and, best of all, humane through and through.”

    Paul Harding, New York Times bestselling and Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Tinkers

  • “Wilson’s Panorama City is a candid and perceptive exploration of how families connect and how society’s most popular methods of advancement may not always be the most beneficial. Oppen is an excellent judge of character, and Wilson’s ability to sketch out such an ideal narrator should be commended. Readers who enjoy Mark Haddon and Greg Olear will appreciate Wilson’s authorial voice, which blends Oppen’s good-natured naïveté and humorous asides with incisive cynicism. A funny, heartfelt, and genuine novel.”


  • “Charming and oddball…Panorama City is about our struggle to remain open to one another in a world that categorizes and closes us off at every turn…A bracingly humane story whose narrator’s wisdom and forbearance make you see the world afresh.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Wilson’s latest quirky offering is written in perfect audiobook format. He gives us Oppen, a young man reminiscent of Forrest Gump, who records his life and its lessons as a dying message to his unborn son. Paul Michael Garcia displays his award-winning narrating skills by capturing both the humor and poignancy of this deceptively simple hero. With a straightforward delivery, Garcia conveys the wonder and confusion Oppen, a self-described ‘slow absorber,’ feels as he carries out his quest to become a ‘man of the world.’ Oppen’s innocence and naïveté provide many amusing situations while his innate morality and uncluttered vision provide a sometimes uncomfortably honest look at values considered ‘smart’ in today’s society. This quick, enjoyable listen brings credit to both author and narrator.”


  • “This is a book you will hold in your head all day long, a book you will look forward to when you get home from work, a book you will still be savoring as you drift into sleep. Panorama City is often very funny. It is filled with joy and wonder and a sort of goodness you had stopped believing might be even possible. Antoine Wilson’s sentences are like diamond necklaces, but his greatest treasure is his human heart.”

    Peter Carey, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Oppen Porter is an American original, an innocent who believes he’s bursting with wisdom. The funniest thing is that, despite himself, he actually is…Full of wonders and mysteries.”

    Stewart O’Nan, New York Times bestselling author

  • “This funny and wise novel reminds one that the best fiction often treads the subtle line between tragedy and comedy. With ears keenly tuned to the music of language, and a limpid mind slyly hidden behind a persistent soliloquist, Antoine Wilson has written an intricate novel that makes us laugh and cry.”

    Yiyun Li, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Wilson’s second novel is fresh and flawlessly crafted as well as charmingly genuine…Fram[es] a classic coming-of-age story in an unexpected way.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Antoine Wilson draws us in to the weird, wonderful world of Oppen Porter, whose advice and lessons are jarringly original, funny, and moving.”

    Steve Hely, award-winning author

  • A Publishers Weekly Best Book of Fall 2012
  • A New York Times Editor’s Choice
  • A 2012 San Francisco Chronicle Best Book for Fiction

Listener Reviews

Write a Review
  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jennifer | 2/10/2014

    " The reviews promised a funny book but 50 pages in it was anything but- very Forrest Gump/Rain Man only more depressing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sofia | 2/5/2014

    " An enjoyable read, featuring a quirky yet insightful narrator. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Liz | 1/28/2014

    " Interesting writing style, unique take on the unreliable narrator thing... but I cared not a whit about anybody in this story, and failed to see the humor in the misadventures of the societally challenged characters. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christine | 1/24/2014

    " While I enjoyed the overall story of Oppen Porter, who is a very endearing character, I had a hard time getting past all of the comma's the author used in order to get the cadence of Oppen's voice across to the reader. He was trying to show him as the self proclaimed 'slow absorber' that he was, but I think it detracted from the flow of the story. Maybe I'm just a slow absorber and couldn't get into a groove on this, but I didn't love the book as much as everyone else. I hate it when that happens. "

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

    " Brilliant in it's simplicity, a sweet, poignant, Forrest Gump-like tale. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Caroline | 1/8/2014

    " My 3 year old daughter handed me this book at the library and said, "read this". I'm glad she did! Very well told story! Oppen reminded me a lot of Forrest Gump. Open, lovable man of the world. I would recommend this quick read "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Harry | 1/5/2014

    " Quirky, brilliant story. Complex characters & interesting narrative voice...looking for more by this author., "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Frank | 12/22/2013

    " A sweet and moving novel. Written in a unique first person style. You will remember The narrator as a stand out literary character "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Riodelmartians | 12/18/2013

    " I enjoyed Oppen and aunt Liz 's interactions. Somehow it reminded me of Napoleon dynamite and his aunt. Only there is no Tina to feed. I would have enjoyed more scenes with the psychic. I liked the author's similes like the pastor's pineapple sized head. I'll have read the author's first book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Diane | 11/29/2013

    " A random pick from the library shelves satisfied in surprising ways. Unusual writing style, moving insights; I was charmed. Not sure why readers felt manipulated. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mary | 10/17/2013

    " I wanted to like this book more. It was kind of hard work matching the pace of the narrator Oppen. The prose was very effective in taking us in the mind of Oppen but in the end I didn't much like being there and did not develop affection for him. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dara | 9/20/2013

    " I loved the wise and kind Oppen and his foray into becoming a man of the world. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cherie | 9/7/2013

    " Very unusual perspective of life portrayed in this book, through the mind of someone considered a simpleton. The main character has much to teach us. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tom | 7/1/2013

    " A very different, interesting read. A lot of the humor is very insightful besides being funny. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah | 3/10/2013

    " There's a lot to like about this--the voice, the characters, the humor--but ultimately this really just felt like a chore. Maybe it's because there were such low stakes. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Erica | 11/5/2012

    " Highly recommended ... also, for a Southern California fiction/nonfiction pairing, read it along with Holy Land by D. J. Waldie. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tamara | 11/3/2012

    " Great little book. Loved the locations and the simple observations from Oppen. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sally | 10/21/2012

    " Terrific characters...great narration. If you struggle to get the rhythm in the beginning...hold on! "

About the Author

Antoine Wilson is the author of the novel The Interloper and a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He is a contributing editor of A Public Space and lives and surfs in Los Angeles.

About the Narrator

R. C. Bray is an award-winning audiobook narrator with over 180 titles to his credit. Besides winning five AudioFile Earphones Awards, he won the prestigious Audie Award in 2015 for Best Science Fiction Narration and has been an Audie Award finalist seven times. He has been a finalist for the Voice Arts Award, and in 2014, his narration earned a Publishers Weekly Listen-Up Award. He is also an accomplished producer and voice-over artist, and his voice can be heard in countless TV and radio commercials.