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Extended Audio Sample Potboiler Audiobook, by Jesse Kellerman Click for printable size audiobook cover
2.39 out of 52.39 out of 52.39 out of 52.39 out of 52.39 out of 5 2.39 (23 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jesse Kellerman Narrator: Kirby Heyborne Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2012 ISBN: 9781101564240
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Jesse Kellerman—the international bestselling author of The Executor and The Genius—brings his prodigious talent to bear on a topic he knows well in this hilarious and surprising spin on the modern blockbuster thriller novel.

Missing for months after a tragic boating accident, William de Vallée, the superstar thriller writer, is pronounced dead. His oldest friend, Arthur Pfefferkorn, receives the news with an unsettling mix of grief and envy. A middle-aged college professor with long-dead literary aspirations, Pfefferkorn can’t help but feel outshone by his friend’s success—especially since he married the woman Pfefferkorn loved.

But now Bill is gone, and Pfefferkorn is there to comfort Carlotta in her time of grief. Reconnecting with de Vallée’s widow makes more than one of his dreams come true … until it plunges him into a shadowy world of intrigue and double crosses, where no one can be trusted—and nothing can be taken seriously.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Seldom, if ever, have the cloak-and-dagger folk—of any stripe, ours or theirs—appeared so omniscient, so omnipotent and so perfectly awful as they do in Kellerman’s mordantly funny latest… Another brilliant performance. Kellerman has fun here, and so will his readers. Kirkus (starred)
  • Kellerman ruminates on the practice of writing, the experience of sudden literary success, the nature of friendship, and the contrasts between the lives of writers and spies. Potboiler is very funny – and insightful.

    Booklist

  • “Kellerman balances the line between thrills and satire in this unique reading experience filled with mysteries, conspiracies, double crosses and shadowy villains….Fun in completely unexpected ways. Only a great writer like Kellerman could make it work at all well.”
  • Romantic Times
  • “This satire heavy novel works well… There are truly funny observations about publishing, what merits good writing, and the excesses of the thriller genre.”
  • Library Journal
  • "A tough, funny satire of the titled genre… Kellerman wants to have fun with thrillers… creating a niche for himself by focusing on characters who are never as smart as they think they are…. a frequently hilarious Moebius strip of a novel."
  • Palm Beach Post
  • “Seldom, if ever, have the cloak-and-dagger folk—of any stripe, ours or theirs—appeared so omniscient, so omnipotent and so perfectly awful as they do in Kellerman’s mordantly funny latest…Another brilliant performance. Kellerman has fun here, and so will his readers.”

    Kirkus (starred review)

  • “Kellerman ruminates on the practice of writing, the experience of sudden literary success, the nature of friendship, and the contrasts between the lives of writers and spies. Potboiler is very funny—and insightful.”

    Booklist

  • “Kellerman balances the line between thrills and satire in this unique reading experience filled with mysteries, conspiracies, double crosses and shadowy villains…Fun in completely unexpected ways. Only a great writer like Kellerman could make it work at all well.”

    RT Reviews

  • “A tough, funny satire of the titled genre…Kellerman wants to have fun with thrillers…creating a niche for himself by focusing on characters who are never as smart as they think they are…a frequently hilarious Möbius strip of a novel.”

    Palm Beach (FL) Post

  • “This satire heavy novel works well…There are truly funny observations about publishing, what merits good writing, and the excesses of the thriller genre.”

    Library Journal

  • “Satire works best when served with subtlety and that’s just how narrator Kirby Heyborne handles it, letting the book’s humor stand on its own, while also deftly rendering moments of genuine suspense.”

    Publishers Weekly on the audiobook

  • A 2013 Edgar Allan Poe Award Nominee for Best Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Marylee Raymond | 2/13/2014

    " when will I learn that all Kellermans are not good reads??? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Todd | 2/13/2014

    " Cleverly well written novel. I love the paraody of the thriller genre. Suspenseful and it still made me laugh out loud, which is hard to do. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ginny Tata-Phillips | 2/8/2014

    " You are not your mother or your father. Too bad. Another wordy and not particularly funny book. Jesse of the Kellermans is rapidly losing his status on my 'must read' list of authors. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lauren | 1/27/2014

    " Jesse Kellerman is an immensely talented author whose books I've devoured as soon as I get my hands on them. His newest, although a departure from his standard psychological thriller fare, is fascinating and mind-bogglingly odd. I enjoyed and puzzled over every page! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andrew Heffner | 1/23/2014

    " This was kind of a crazy story but interesting and a quick read. I recommend. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Dawn Watson | 1/14/2014

    " Showed promise but got a little lost at times. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Karen Estis | 1/12/2014

    " Loved the authors previous books... And I was really looking forward to this one. Unfortunately, I'm finding it pretty disappointing. Guess I'm not into parodies. I'm three quarters of the way through. Still reading and still don't know if I'll finish it. "

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

    " As farcical as "A Confederacy of Dunces". Certainly doesn't follow in his parents' footsteps. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Donna | 1/2/2014

    " Strange story - goes off on an interesting tangent. You think it is about a man stealing a manuscript but instead it becomes a much more complex spy espionage type thriller. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Betsy Madorsky | 12/5/2013

    " Too many slapstick, silly scenes. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Janie | 12/5/2013

    " A huge waste of my time! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Phillip Altamore | 11/18/2013

    " Vert convoluted "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bonnie Franks | 10/22/2013

    " I think Jesse Kellerman is an awesome writer. I appreciated the humor in this book. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Namedoris Powell | 9/25/2013

    " Quite frankly, I didn't "get" it. I have read all of his books, mainly because he is Jonathan Kellerman's son. In his books that I remember reading, he starts out with a good story, and then it seems to disintegrate. This one is no different. I am still trying to figure it out. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 EARNESTINE | 9/1/2013

    " I enjoyed the first half of this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jakenv | 5/25/2013

    " This one is mystery you will not want to miss. Great characters with quick moving mystery. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Laura | 5/14/2013

    " I loved the unique premise and thought the writing was quirky and fun UNTIL the totally weird-for-no-apparent-reason ending. The ending changed my rating from a 3 to a 2 (maybe a 1 1/2). "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Angela | 3/2/2013

    " It was a decent book, just a little bit unrealistic for the type of book it aims to be. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Joan | 2/3/2013

    " couldn't finish. satire/spy novel within novel. well written... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kathryn | 12/4/2012

    " I didn't finish this book. It started out pretty interesting, has some very funny lines, but I lost interest. I've enjoyed the authors other books and think he's a talented author, like his parents, but this one just did not appeal to me. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kat Blue | 8/2/2012

    " another one that just didn't ring my chimes-I was trying to read a new author and it just didn't click for me with this book....snoozefest.. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Robyn | 7/18/2012

    " Dumbest ending ever. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Elaine | 7/16/2012

    " not to my taste at all; read about a third of it, looked at the last couple of chapters, didn't finish it "

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About the Author

Jesse Kellerman is the international bestselling author of The Executor, The Genius, Trouble, and Sunstroke. His books and plays have won several awards. He lives in La Jolla, California.

About the Narrator

Kirby Heyborne is a musician, actor, and professional narrator. Noted for his work in teen and juvenile audio, he has garnered numerous Earphones Awards. His audiobook credits include Jesse Kellerman’s The Genius, Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother, and George R. R. Martin’s Selections from Dreamsongs.