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Download The Crazyladies of Pearl Street Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample The Crazyladies of Pearl Street (Unabridged), by Trevanian
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (394 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Trevanian Narrator: Lee Leoncavallo Publisher: Books on Tape Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2005 ISBN:
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Legendary writer Trevanian brings readers his most personal novel yet: a funny, deeply felt, often touching autobiographical novel destined to become a classic American coming-of-age story.

The place is Albany, New York. The year is 1936. Six-year-old Jean-Luc LaPointe, his little sister, and their spirited but vulnerable young mother have been abandoned, again, by his father, a charmer and a con artist. With no money and no family willing to take them in, the LaPointes manage to create a fragile nest at 238 North Pearl Street. For the next eight years, through the Great Depression and Second World War, they live in the heart of the Irish slum, with its ward heelers, unemployment, and grinding poverty. As Jean-Luc discovers, it's a neighborhood of crazyladies: Miss Cox, the feared and ridiculed teacher who ignites his imagination; Mrs. Kane, who runs a beauty parlor/fortune-telling salon in the back of her husband's grocery store; Mrs. Meehan, the desperate, harried matriarch of a thuggish family across the street; lonely Mrs. McGivney, who spends every day tending to her catatonic husband, a veteran of the Great War; and Jean-Luc's own unconventional, vivacious mother.

Jean-Luc is a voracious reader who never stops dreaming of a way out of the slum. He gradually takes on responsibility for the family's survival with a mix of bravery and resentment while his mom turns from spells of illness and depression to eager planning for the day when our ship will come in. It's a heartfelt and unforgettable look back at one child's life in the 1930s and '40s, a story that will be remembered long after it ends. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ruth | 2/18/2014

    " Good. satisfying read. Not a fan of the ending....but if it is supposed to be autobiographical...... "

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

    " This book was a pure pleasure to read. I so want to give it five stars, but it just doesn't quite measure up to those all time favorites of mine that I have rated five. But The Crazyladies of Pearl Street is still a pure delight. Are there things one can criticize about this book? Sure, if you're so inclined . . . but from the first page this book will draw you in so thoroughly that you feel you are right there with the narrator, on Pearl Street during the Great Depression. Some have said i...more This book was a pure pleasure to read. I so want to give it five stars, but it just doesn't quite measure up to those all time favorites of mine that I have rated five. But The Crazyladies of Pearl Street is still a pure delight. Are there things one can criticize about this book? Sure, if you're so inclined . . . but from the first page this book will draw you in so thoroughly that you feel you are right there with the narrator, on Pearl Street during the Great Depression. Some have said it is a difficult read because it is not a very happy book and if you look simply at the events it is an extremely unhappy book -- being poor during the depression was an awful existence. But throughout this book the love that existed within this family is a comforting presence that makes the difficult events being retold tolerable. While this book is not a comedy by any standard, it is one of the few books that have actually made me laugh out loud at points. Yes, there was humor, too, during the depression. As someone else has mentioned, you may want to have a dictionary handy when you read this, as the author pulls out a fair number of words we of less-than-genius stature are not going to recognize. The amazing thing, though, is that Trevanian weaves those words in so expertly that the prose doesn't seem forced the way it often does with authors of lesser skill. The Crazyladies of Pearl Street is beautifully written and managed to creep into my heart very early on and not let go . . . and at the end I had tears in my eyes. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maureen | 2/12/2014

    " Setting is Albany, NY , therefore had to read it. Touching story of poverty at the turn of the century in an American/ Irish neighborhood "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kelly | 2/1/2014

    " At first I found this novel long, drawn out and basically a boring version of Angela's Ashes. However, as I got closer to the end I enjoyed it more. Especially with the economy the way it's going these days, this book made me see that we could have it a WHOLE lot worse. And I've come to know and love the character's who I want nothing but their ship to come in for them. I was disappointed with the ending as I did not agree with the authors view of things. "

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

    " This was another title I didn't really want to read. I had not read his other books (which were not really my style) and the title itself was not appealling to me. I could just imagine someone thinking of myself or my mother as one of the 'crazy ladies' of our street and was turned off! However, once I got into the story and realized that it was about much more than crazy ladies, I started enjoying this for what it was. A memoir of the people who influence the author and started him on his way in life. Good or bad, they all played a part in where he ended up and that is always an interesting story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andrea Lee | 1/16/2014

    " Trevanians swan song is a wonderful exploration of pre-adolescent character formation, imagination bending ritual, and a historical stroll through a less explored genre of demographics than your typical depression-era biography. It rocks the neighborhood, exploding bullies and sluts, crazy ladies and lonely, drunk, frightened men alike. There is nothing sacred to the boy or the man he becomes. I love that he spends hundreds of pages on his young life , where he hadfew choices or control, and then about five pages covering decades of his life in which most choices were his own to make, and he was so much more in control of his life. But clearly it was his youth, spent hiding out from street kids (none of whom he seemed to connect w/or have fond memories of) and the crazy ladies the most stronglt influenced his imaginative and intellectual faculties. The book is etomogically garish, but that is truly who Trevanian was! He was true to character in this book, and I really enjoyed his journey. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Linda | 1/12/2014

    " Rodney Whitaker aka Trevanian wrote The Crazy Ladies of Pearl Street as a novel; it is also listed as semi-autobiographical. Whitaker grew up in poverty in Albany, New York - his story is the story of the people and reminiscences in his neighborhood as seen through the eyes of a young boy during the 1930's to 1940's. Excellent reading. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cindy | 1/9/2014

    " this was a nicely written story of a boy who grew up with his mom and sister in NY in the late 30's and early 40's. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ann Wilcox | 12/22/2013

    " Unfortunate title for a really worthwhile book. The same Trevanian who brought us The Eiger Sanction and The Summer of Katya has written what some say is an autobiographical account of his early years with a less-than-tightly wrapped mother. Great period piece, brilliantly written. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cheryl S. | 12/10/2013

    " Came close to being 5 stars for me. Loved the nostalgia and humor and the writing is superb. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cathy | 11/16/2013

    " A strangely uplifting depression era book "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maggie | 7/11/2013

    " This was a fun book. While the author liked to throw in some big words and seemed a little full of himself he made it work. It's about a boy growing up during the depression without a dad and the things that happened for people in every day life in his neighborhood. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lisa | 7/2/2013

    " This was not an easy book to read because it is not a book that keeps drawing you back to it. That said,it is well written with wonderful descriptions. I have had my fill of depression era stories and dysfunctional families. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Liz | 4/16/2013

    " I did NOT like this book. I thought the narrator was amazingly pretentious and the story was inconsistent. It had some beautiful passages, which saved it from getting only one star, but it is not a book I'd ever recommend to anyone. Unless you like jerks. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brenda | 1/28/2013

    " A great read-- an entertaining and informative coming of age story set in 1930's urban America. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chelsea Heath | 3/15/2012

    " I learned a lot about what life was like during the Great Depression and WWII. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Margaret | 11/29/2011

    " rich with stories within the total, like perfect tiny movies. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bonnie Hunter | 6/29/2011

    " One of the better books I read this summer. Lovable characters and circumstances that take place in the 1930s. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karen | 4/18/2011

    " being a born and raised Albanian, this story was as if I was peeking into the lives of my father's family. I really enjoyed this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Julieb | 12/20/2010

    " I can't believe I've never read Trevanian before. This book made me laugh out loud in public places which drew strange looks from people nearby. Will definitely read another of his jewels very soon "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Liz | 12/6/2010

    " I did NOT like this book. I thought the narrator was amazingly pretentious and the story was inconsistent. It had some beautiful passages, which saved it from getting only one star, but it is not a book I'd ever recommend to anyone. Unless you like jerks. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 jenu | 11/9/2010

    " I just can't get into this book, as much as I want to. I love period books with a coming-of-age theme, but this one is simply not catching my interest. Maybe I will come back to this at another time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kataklicik | 10/7/2010

    " Only one complaint - Trevanian sure does love his long, long sentences within his long, long paragraphs! Otherwise, a brilliant read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lisa | 9/21/2010

    " This was not an easy book to read because it is not a book that keeps drawing you back to it. That said,it is well written with wonderful descriptions. I have had my fill of depression era stories and dysfunctional families. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ann | 9/10/2010

    " Unfortunate title for a really worthwhile book. The same Trevanian who brought us The Eiger Sanction and The Summer of Katya has written what some say is an autobiographical account of his early years with a less-than-tightly wrapped mother. Great period piece, brilliantly written. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cindy | 8/24/2010

    " this was a nicely written story of a boy who grew up with his mom and sister in NY in the late 30's and early 40's. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Margaret | 7/6/2010

    " rich with stories within the total, like perfect tiny movies. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sheri | 6/21/2010

    " Gives a perspective on poverty and the depression "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patricia | 6/8/2010

    " One of my favorite authors. Great character development. "

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