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Extended Audio Sample Punkzilla Audiobook, by Adam Rapp Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.61 out of 53.61 out of 53.61 out of 53.61 out of 53.61 out of 5 3.61 (18 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Adam Rapp Narrator: Matthew Stadelmann Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: December 2010 ISBN: 9781441892997
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Fourteen-year-old Jamie, aka “Punkzilla,” is on a mission: to see his older brother, Peter (“P”), before P dies of cancer. Hopping a bus while still buzzing from his last hit of meth, Jamie embarks on a days-long bus trip from Portland, Oregon, to Memphis, Tennessee, writing letters to his family and friends—letters so honest he may never send them.

Along the way, he sees a sketchier side of America the Beautiful: seedy motels, dicey bus stations, and a colorful, sometimes dangerous cast of characters. In letters he writes to P, he catalogs them all—the freaky but kind transsexual, the old woman with the oozing eye, the girl with the long wavy blond hair. But with each individual he meets and each interstate exit he passes, Jamie grows more anxious. Will he make it to Tennessee in time?

“Beneath a surface of disease, despair, and disfigurements, Rapp’s road trip is populated with good souls who, despite their circumstances, make significant sacrifices to help Punkzilla....Devastating stuff, but breathtaking, too.” -Booklist, starred review

“Reads like a contemporary version of On the Road....Fans will be more than happy to be in Adam Rapp’s company again.” -Kirkus Reviews Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “This is devastating stuff, but breathtaking, too.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Exquisitely true in its raw but vulnerable voice.”

    School Library Journal

  • A 2010 Michael L. Printz Award Honor Book

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Margaret | 11/11/2013

    " 2010 Printz Honor - Interesting story of runaway Punkzilla told through letters to his dying brother. Punkzila travels across the country reflecting on his childhood, military school and living on his own. Cast of interesting and memorable characters. Not good for middle school library.(high school kids) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rosalia | 9/24/2013

    " This was a very gritty read. Punkzilla is a kid named Jamie trying to make his way to Memphis to see his brother before he dies of cancer. The book is written in epistolary. Mostly it's letters that Jamie is writing to Peter but there are also letters from his parents and other brother Edward and a few other select people. He's been living on the streets since he ran away from a military academy his parents sent him to. Neither of the boys get along with their father. When Jamie lives on the streets he steals, attacks people, does drugs and fools around with girls. A lot of this is painful to read about and it feels horrible to watch. However there are shining moments and they are mostly in the form of some of the people he meets. Some of the people that offer him rides and help him out are in fact the scum of the earth, pretty much the way you think they would be, but there are also some great people; like Sam, a kid he meets at the bus station after getting jumped in the bathroom. Sam treats the incident as kind of matter of fact but also helps Jamie as much as he can, but in a way that is so natural that you know Sam doesn't even think of it as helping Jamie. I also love getting the extra insight into Sam through his letter to author of the robot invasion book. There is also Lewis the transsexual that gives him a place to crash for a few days and even offers to drive Jamie to Memphis. These characters are what keep this book from being completely dark and terrible. It's these characters that led me to give it an extra star. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 catechism | 9/19/2013

    " Epistolary fiction! Mostly the letters written by a 14-year-old runaway as he tries to make it from Portland to Memphis to see his dying brother. I've been going back and forth on how true the voice rang, but I enjoyed this a lot, even if maybe sometimes the kid came across as 16. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Erin Engle | 9/17/2013

    " Strangely engaging. I am torn about the main character because he actually is a punk, but with some good reason. Somebody else read it and let's talk about it. Julie, Mindy, Terry...Get on it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cynthia E Sherman | 9/16/2013

    " This was an okay book. Sadly, many of the things written really do happen in real life. Many readers will enjoy this book. I am not one of those readers. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kristi | 7/15/2013

    " Teens who liked Tweak by Nic Sheff will devour this one. The letters runaway Jamie, aka Punkzilla, writes to his dying brother even remind me a little bit of Sheff's rambling style. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 christy | 6/24/2013

    " adam rapp is becoming one of my fav YA authors. his novels are quick stream of consciousness reads about those kids who live on the fringe. the juvie-types. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 alexandra | 3/1/2013

    " This book was hard for me because it was so unrelentingly sad. I liked it though, but am not sure what type of YA reader it would appeal to. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Liz | 11/19/2012

    " To borrow words from someone else's review, this book wasn't my cup of tea, but I can see how others might like it. While I didn't really feel much from the story, I did enjoy the main character's voice. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mahathi | 3/27/2012

    " I really liked the book....great characters. every new addiction made the book amazing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anina Ertel | 2/12/2012

    " I'd almost give it five stars. All his other books are 5 stars for me, but this one I liked just a little bit less. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kate | 12/27/2011

    " Probably found it more depressing as an adult than as a teen, but overall I liked it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Denise | 5/4/2011

    " Gritty. Sad. It'd be a good boy reluctant read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mahathi | 2/25/2011

    " I really liked the book....great characters. every new addiction made the book amazing. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 JoAnne | 2/17/2011

    " i liked the writing format and storyline. Be prepared to read lots of strong and foul language. Shows what teens who are runaways can come up against and ways they survive. Makes you think about our youth today and the choices they make or are forced into. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 dan | 1/7/2011

    " Great playwright. Save this title for when the kids are 16+
    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael | 12/22/2010

    " Surprisingly not as disturbing as usual, but a great read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kate | 12/15/2010

    " Probably found it more depressing as an adult than as a teen, but overall I liked it. "

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About the Author
Author Adam Rapp

Adam Rapp is the acclaimed author of Under the Wolf; Under the Dog, a Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist and winner of the American Library Association’s Schneider Family Book Award; and 33 Snowfish, an American Library Association Best Book for young adults. He is also an accomplished playwright, and his Red Light Winter was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2006. He lives in New York City.