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Extended Audio Sample The Loop, by Joe Coomer Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (243 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Joe Coomer Narrator: Paul Michael Garci Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Lyman, a thirty-year-old loner, is sipping coffee on the front steps of the trailer he calls home one morning, when a parrot suddenly alights on his screen door. The parrot arrives with a mysterious past and beak full of cryptic sayings, such as “That which hath wings shall tell the matter.” Convinced that heeding the bird’s wisdom will lead him to answers about himself that he so desperately seeks, Lyman combines his night job as a courtesy patrolman, circling the highway that loops around Fort Worth, with days in the library. Together with Fiona, the loquacious and sexy librarian, he traces his adopted pet’s origins, and while what Lyman ultimately discovers may not help him piece together his own past, it paves the way for a future he never imagined.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Read this book—and feel better while you wait for the world to make sense.”

    New York Times

  • “Impossible to resist.”

    New Yorker

  • “Coomer writes so well, with such freshness and authenticity that we hate to put the book down.”

    Boston Globe

  • “Joe Coomer is a marvelously creative comic writer: Lyman’s lonely, lively mind, his generous and timid spirit, Fiona’s quirky originality, and, of course, the aged parrot who proudly announces, ‘I’m an eagle,’ take the reader on an adventurous, and all too brief, ride around the Fort Worth loop.”

    Washington Times

  • “Funny, briskly paced…heartwarming…A wonderful book.”

    Dallas Morning News

  • “Coomer’s deliciously quirky and perceptive fourth novel...both heartens and satisfies.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Every night, devoted Texas Highway Department employee Lyman drives around the seemingly endless loop that surrounds the city of Fort Worth, helping stranded drivers, removing dead animals, and otherwise seeing that the road is clear. His is a life of monotony that serves to keep order and balance in his lonely existence—that is, until a chance encounter with a very intelligent parrot opens his eyes to the world around him. As Lyman, narrator Paul Michael Garcia speaks with the contented tone of a man who fails to recognize the isolation of his existence. But when Garcia assumes the role of Fiona the librarian, he slyly adapts Lyman’s tone to that of a man who is being rapidly awakened to new possibilities.”


  • “[In] this beautifully written novel…Coomer’s gentle insight, quirky characters, and philosophy will remind listeners of Anne Tyler’s early classics like Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant or The Accidental Tourist. Actor and director Paul Michael Garcia’s outstanding, gentle reading exactly captures each poignant character, smoothes out the uneven plot, and even humanizes the cranky parrot and Fiona’s beloved dog. For adults and mature teens.”


Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Helen Hayhurst | 2/18/2014

    " A unique and entertaining story about a socially inhibited but likeable guy trying to find meaning and structure in his life - inspired by the new arrival of a talking parrot. The sex scene late in the book, while necessary to character development, seemed to me to be overly graphic and out of place with the style and tone of the rest of the novel, and it almost put me off continuing, but I had to find out what happened to the bird! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Nicole | 2/12/2014

    " The talking parrot as messenger of God theme is quite fascinating. We all seek meaning in the events of our lives, Lymen is seeking his in the vision of a bird's sayings encapsulating his life. Counterpoint to his world view are the previous owners of the bird and the librarian who helps him search. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Sally Fouhse | 2/4/2014

    " Quirky and different - really good. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Judy | 1/30/2014

    " This is a little book with a great big heart. Probably no one has read it...and I think it's out of print. "

  • > Show All
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About the Author
Author Joe Coomer

Joe Coomer is the author of Apologizing to Dogs, Beachcombing for a Shipwrecked God, Sailing in a Spoonful of Water, and an award-winning book of nonfiction, Dream House. He lives in Azle, Texas, and Eliot, Maine.