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Download The Beautiful Miscellaneous Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Beautiful Miscellaneous, by Dominic Smith Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (511 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Dominic Smith Narrator: Paul Michael Garcia Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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From the critically acclaimed award-winning author of The Mercury Visions of Louis Daguerre comes this moving story of a boy trapped in the shadow of his father’s genius.

Nathan Nelson is the ordinary son of a brilliant physicist. From an early age, his father has doggedly prodded him toward greatness, enrolling him in whiz kid summer camps and teaching him college algebra. By the time Nathan is seventeen, hopes for a late-blooming prodigy seem dashed. Then, in the summer of 1987, everything changes. A tragic accident and ensuing coma leave Nathan with a profoundly altered mind that allows him to memorize vast amounts of information. Nathan’s father, seeking an application for the new talent, sends him to a research institute where, amid misfits and savants, Nathan tries to find a purpose for the new way he perceives the world.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “With an exquisite ear not just for language but for emotional truth as well, Dominic Smith has written an ambitious and strikingly unusual tale about what it’s like to grow up in the shadow of a brilliant father and under the force of his expectations. I finished this book in awe of Smith’s imagination—and of his enormous heart.”

    Julia Glass, New York Times bestselling author of Three Junes and The Whole World Over

  • “[Smith] conjures Nathan’s colorful, mysterious new existence with vivid detail. The real story in this touching, gracefully wrought novel lies around the edges of the plot. It is really about the weight of family dreams and expectations.”

    Boston Globe

  • “Fantastic…an utterly fresh look at how a child can grow beyond parental expectations and find the genius of being himself.”


  • “Garcia, a stage actor by training, treats Smith’s novel as an extended monologue to be performed, summoning the moods and sensations of its prose via subtle shifts of emphasis. The result is a performance-driven audiobook, rendered in minimalist fashion.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “This unusual, gorgeously written novel is filled with pleasures.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “[A] finely modulated second novel…a luminous addition to novels about fathers and sons.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Robin Cicchetti | 1/17/2014

    " A coming-of-age story of the intellect, this was one of the best books I have ever read. Nathan is the son a genius, and is raised with the expectation that he will also have a great mind, if only he applies himself. He is a good kid and very, very smart, but not brilliant. This is a character study of the father, a quantum theory physicist, a son who lives in the shadow of expectation, a mother who believes that by cooking spectacular meals and having family games of rummy will make them all normal, and the third-wheel best friend of the Dad's who is a former astronaut. They all manage to hold it together until there is a terrible accident, and Nathan has a brain injury that changes the family's trajectory in profound ways. The writing is lyrical, the plot tightly paced, and the characters full, flawed, and believable. I loved every moment. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Erica | 1/14/2014

    " Okay. The story was really good and really well written in the beginning, when the not-so-brilliant son of a genius was trying to stay real to himself and not let his genius father ruin him. I was really with him until the unfortunate incident involving his father. The story just seemed to jump around a lot without any real connection between plot points. I just basically gave up by two last chapters. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Kath | 1/8/2014

    " Great title, fun to read, interesting topic (boy whose father is a math/science genius, who wants his son to be one too--via an accident the boy acquires an extraordinary ability to remember things--relationship between the two--) "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Paula | 1/8/2014

    " Parts of this book were clever and rich, but it is rather uneven and plodding. "

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