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Extended Audio Sample Spooner Audiobook, by Pete Dexter Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.35 out of 53.35 out of 53.35 out of 53.35 out of 53.35 out of 5 3.35 (31 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Pete Dexter Narrator: Tom Stechschulte Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2009 ISBN: 9781440775055
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Warren Spooner was born after a prolonged delivery in a makeshift delivery room in a doctor’s office in Milledgeville, Georgia, on the first Saturday of December, 1956. His father died shortly afterward, long before Spooner had even a memory of his face, and was replaced eventually by a once-brilliant young naval officer, Calmer Ottosson, recently court-martialed out of service.

This is the story of the lifelong tie between the two men, poles apart, of Spooner’s troubled childhood, troubled adolescence, violent and troubled adulthood and Calmer Ottosson's inexhaustible patience, undertaking a life-long struggle to salvage his step-son, a man he will never understand.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Genuinely touching…Dexter’s journalistic eye for tellingly instructive detail, particularly as it evokes character, still is second to none.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “The novel’s premise—that life is one big vale of tears and that writing about it wittily and exuberantly is the best one can do…pays off in spades for Dexter and his tragically conflicted alter ego.” Publishers Weekly
  • Selected for the September 2009 Indie Next List
  • A 2009 ALA Notable Book Finalist for Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 mgd | 2/13/2014

    " I was sorely disappointed in this book. It has Southern gothic funny moments, but reads like a very elaborate and rambling memoir. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michele | 1/30/2014

    " Not quite as good as Paris Trout. Truthfully, it's a little odd. Odd in a hard-to-see-where-it's-going way, not odd in a good way "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Wyma | 1/26/2014

    " I really liked this book for quite a while, but became very tired of the antihero, Spooner. About halfway through he seemed to definitely be going nowhere, and I put this book down for good. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marci Calabretta | 1/15/2014

    " This epic spans the relationship betwee Warren Whitlowe Spooner and his stepfather, Calmer Ottosson. A fantastic novel touching the styles of John Updike and Ernest Hemingway. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennb33 Brown | 1/13/2014

    " This book was very long, with confusing character development. I didn't know how to feel about the characters, so I didn't feel anything. This made the book take forever to read. It was a task to read it, rather than something I looked forward to picking up every night. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anne McAneny | 1/9/2014

    " I have to give Pete Dexter 5 stars for his way with words. What an amusing guy. He writes unique, thought-provoking phrases in a way that few people can. SPOONER is written in a passive voice for the most part but it's intriguing because the story is unpredictable and, at times, laugh-out-loud funny. This is my first experience with Pete Dexter and I will definitely seek out some more of his writing. I will concede that you may need a particular and slightly warped sense of humor to appreciate the story of this protagonist, but luckily for me, I'm more than a tad warped. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Diane | 12/30/2013

    " This book was surprisingly excellent. I bought it at the airport in kind of rush so I had pretty low expectations but it was, for me, compulsively readable. It's the story of a strange little boy, who grows into a strange man, and his relationship with his stepfather. It probably sounds a little dull but both the boy and the stepfather are oddly compelling characters and I found myself thoroughly engrossed in their trials and triumphs. I almost gave this book 5 stars, which i seldom do, but there are a few slow points, particularly towards the middle of the book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 M | 12/26/2013

    " This deserves six stars. Although it was long, the writing never faltered, and I'm sad for its ending. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Brittany | 12/13/2013

    " I just couldn't finish it and it's very rare when I can't finish a book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pam | 12/12/2013

    " I would like to give this book a 4+++. I really enjoyed it. There were scenes that were laugh-out-loud funny, there were characters that were quirky and wonderful, and there was superb writing. I will read other books by Dexter as I like his style and way of writing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cathy | 8/30/2013

    " this one kept me occupied for the last 2 weeks or so, but it reads like a run-on sentence, like many short stories all tied together with two interesting but ultimately un-understandable characters. I was waiting for a great aha at the end. more like a thud. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Yvonne | 5/17/2013

    " Strong Finish, but hard to read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jennifer | 3/13/2013

    " Couldn't put it down. I fell in love with every character. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Adam Olenn | 12/27/2012

    " Hilarious & moving. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sheelah | 9/9/2012

    " Recommended as hilarious and I found it pretty tiresome. The characters are rough and loose and lead a life that's a bit unbelievable. I'm sure I'm an old goat who missed all the jokes because I didn't spend much time laughing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christen | 9/2/2012

    " Very slow start but liked the second half. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Mary-Michelle Moore | 8/6/2012

    " I wanted to like it, I gave it 100 pages but I've never been a fan of rambling plot lines. Also, was not sure I bought the reason Warren was expelled from kindergarten, but I am not an expert on 4 year old boys. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Misha | 4/24/2012

    " Spooner never quite materialized for me--the book skipped so quickly through his life. I did like Dexter's writing, but overall I felt confused and just wanted to finish and move on. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Samantha | 2/11/2012

    " I thought this was a pretty good book. The main character was really strange which kind of kept the story going...an easy read and good story. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Brett Axel | 8/11/2011

    " With painful effort I dragged myself through the first four chapters before giving up on this piece of poorly written pablum. If it has any distinction at all it must be setting a record for length of run on sentences. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joye | 5/18/2011

    " Loved this book, so quirky & honest!! I also loved Paris Trout, gotta read his other books.... would definitely recommend. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rhonda | 4/18/2011

    " Spooner is a unique character. The story begins when Spooner is born and at this time he is in his early 30s. Each page is interesting. While spooner is bizarre, his story is believable. Story ends when Spooner is in his 40s and his step-father is dead. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tina | 4/15/2011

    " Very different from anything I've read before. Not sure how to feel about it... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rachel | 4/9/2011

    " At first I thought I wouldn't like this book, mostly due to its very masculine nature. But it grew on me, and I ended up experiencing it as a master description of life and the quirks that make us human and lovable. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Liz | 4/5/2011

    " I think I found a new author to follow! One of the reviews described it as a poignant memoir with a "Garp"-ian twist. So true. Dexter is hysterical yet relatable and Spooner is such a lovable protaganist. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Momm | 4/1/2011

    " Warren Spooner and his older sister Margaret become Calmer Ottoson's stepchildren. Later he and Lily have 2 of boys their own. The story is of Calmer's attempts to understand and salvage the life of Spooner. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cindy | 3/30/2011

    " A little tough to take at the start but Dexter's gift for character development and sense of humor encouraged me to finish and actually like the book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mark | 3/12/2011

    " Peter Dexter is a master at creating complex, hilarious sentences. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Janell | 3/3/2011

    " Don't miss the acknowledgements in the back. Hilarious! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sheryl | 2/27/2011

    " i thought it was great. i don't feel like i ever really knew Warren Spooner, but i don't think i was supposed to. "

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

    " Quirky characters. Quirky story. I enjoyed it a lot. "

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About the Author

Pete Dexter is the author of the National Book Award–winning novel Paris Trout, among others. He has been a columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News and the Sacramento Bee and has contributed to many magazines, including EsquireSports Illustrated, and Playboy. His screenplays include Rush and Mulholland Falls.

About the Narrator

Tom Stechschulte has narrated well over a hundred audiobooks and has won sixteen AudioFile Earphones Awards. He won the prestigious Audie Award in 2009 and has been a finalist for the Audie in 2005 and 2011. As an actor, he has been seen in eleven Broadway shows as well as numerous television and film shows, including the remake of The Manchurian Candidate.