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Extended Audio Sample The Loop Audiobook, 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 Garcia Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2006 ISBN: 9781455192267
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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.”

    AudioFile

  • “[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.”

    SoundCommentary.com

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 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 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 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 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. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hikerdee | 1/18/2014

    " I could not put it down because I wanted to know what happened next to these curious characters. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marilyn | 1/17/2014

    " Very entertaining, interesting characters. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nettie Einhorn ˚͜˚ | 1/16/2014

    " 3.5 stars. Ending so-so. Rest of book good, ending anticlimactic "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laura | 1/6/2014

    " One of the best feel good books I have read in a long time! I couldnt put it down and loved the quirky yet totaly believable characters. It is odd reading a book with local references in it, but it didnt take away from the story for me at all. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gretchen | 11/22/2013

    " unique short read. Details of Lyman's third shift Courtesy Patrol job and what he did with his time off were interesting. Ending seemed a bit improbable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karen Fyke | 11/10/2013

    " Lyman befriends a lost parrot that changes his orderly if dull existence. A librarian named Fiona gets into the mix, and by the end he's completely out of his rut and off to new adventures. Unpredictable plot, interesting characters. I like the bird. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patsy McQuade | 10/13/2013

    " Good story. They made a movie out of this, too. I just happened across it and rented it. Was good. Oh, they changed the title to "A Bird of the Air." "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nancy Glassman | 9/21/2013

    " Fiona, is a community college librarian who likes to talk loudly in other people's libraries. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michelle | 7/19/2013

    " Not my favorite Coomer novel (that would HAVE TO be One Vacant Chair), but still a fun quirky novel with unforgettable characters. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Courtney | 6/3/2013

    " An odd look into the lonely life of an orphan. As a bird lover i enjoyed the story of the oarrot much more than the story of the main character. The end left me wanting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 John | 8/11/2012

    " I'm not sure I would've stuck with the print version, but the audio narration worked well for me. Reminded of Anne Tyler's style, for those who might be fans of hers. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nadine | 11/12/2011

    " A quick read that really grew on me. Main character Lyman is simple and complicated at the same time - that's an amazing feat of writing right there! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Suzie | 5/31/2011

    " If we look around we are never truly alone. There is always someone who will befriend us no matter how much we try to isolate. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Ellie | 2/8/2011

    " This is a NYT Notable book? Gimme a break. It was TERRIBLE. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy | 2/5/2011

    " was so not into reading this, but it turned out to be completely quirky and funny. so glad i read it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nettie | 8/29/2010

    " 3.5 stars. Ending so-so. Rest of book good, ending anticlimactic "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 John | 4/8/2010

    " I'm not sure I would've stuck with the print version, but the audio narration worked well for me. Reminded of Anne Tyler's style, for those who might be fans of hers. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karla | 10/27/2009

    " Someone introduced my to Joe Coomer. This was the first book I read by him and it lead me to more. Such a delight. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Suzie | 4/20/2009

    " If we look around we are never truly alone. There is always someone who will befriend us no matter how much we try to isolate. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hikerdee | 1/5/2009

    " I could not put it down because I wanted to know what happened next to these curious characters. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Judy | 8/18/2008

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

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karen | 4/9/2008

    " Lyman befriends a lost parrot that changes his orderly if dull existence. A librarian named Fiona gets into the mix, and by the end he's completely out of his rut and off to new adventures. Unpredictable plot, interesting characters. I like the bird.
    "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Ellie | 12/12/2007

    " This is a NYT Notable book? Gimme a break. It was TERRIBLE. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nancy | 12/4/2007

    " Fiona, is a community college librarian who likes to talk loudly in other people's libraries. "

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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.

About the Narrator

Paul Michael Garcia, an AudioFile Earphones Award winner and former company member of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, received his classical training in theater from Southern Oregon University, where he worked as an actor, director, and designer.