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The Tragic Age: A Novel Audiobook, by Stephen Metcalfe Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Stephen Metcalfe Narrator: Chris Patton Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2015 ISBN: 9781483083575
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The Tragic Age is a brilliant, debut coming-of-age novel about a misanthropic young man learning to love, trust, and truly be alive in an absurd world.

This is the story of Billy Kinsey, heir to a lottery fortune, part genius, part philosopher and social critic, full-time insomniac, and closeted rock drummer. Billy has decided that the best way to deal with an absurd world is to stay away from it. Do not volunteer. Do not join in. Billy will be the first to tell you it doesn’t always work—not when your twin sister, Dorie, has died, not when your unhappy parents are at war with one another, not when frazzled soccer moms in two-ton SUVs are more dangerous than atom bombs, and not when your guidance counselor keeps asking why you haven’t applied to college. 

Billy’s life changes when two people enter it. Twom Twomey is a charismatic renegade who believes that truly living means going a little outlaw. Twom and Billy become each other’s benefactor and friend. At the same time, Billy is reintroduced to Gretchen Quinn, an old and adored friend of Dorie’s. It is Gretchen who suggests to Billy that the world can be transformed by creative acts of the soul. 

With Twom, Billy visits the dark side. And with Gretchen, Billy experiences possibilities.

He knows that one path is leading him toward disaster and the other toward happiness. The problem is, Billy doesn’t trust happiness. It’s the age he’s at—the tragic age.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Less Than Zero meets Catcher in the Rye in this biting bildungsroman…Written in an insightful, frenetic tone that occasionally turns surreal, Metcalfe’s debut novel is a sexy, violent portrayal of disengaged youth attempting to feel something authentic in the antiseptic age of the Internet. Exhilarating and indicting.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “Seventeen-year-old Billy Kinsey has a low opinion of the world, the result of watching too much television, seeing how wealth has rendered his parents empty and purposeless, and grieving the death of his twin, Dorie, who died when they were eleven…Billy makes for a mordant, smart, and angry protagonist.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “An ambitious attempt to explore the mind of the modern teenager…Metcalfe’s taut prose and unique narrative choices mark him as a writer to watch.”


  • “Metcalfe snares readers’ attention with rich, fantastic characters…A wonderful read that is hard to put down, The Tragic Age will continue to haunt readers long after the last page.”


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About the Author

Stephen Metcalfe wrote the production drafts for Pretty Woman, Dangerous Minds, and Mr. Holland’s Opus, among other films. His stage plays have been produced in New York and at theaters throughout the United States, Europe, and Japan. He is an associate artist at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego and has been an adjunct professor in dramatic writing at the University of California at San Diego, the University of San Diego, and San Diego State University.

About the Narrator

Chris Patton has narrated over seventy-five audiobooks. His voice can be heard narrating such titles as Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, the dystopian juggernaut Yesterday’s Gone, Clive Barker’s Books of Blood series, and two titles by Joyce Carol Oates. Chris began his career in theater at age ten, and his voice-over career at twenty-nine. Since then, he has voiced over two hundred anime titles, numerous commercials and e-learning and industrial projects, and several video games. He’s also fronted a synthpop band called Paul Lynde Is Dead, written a teen urban fantasy about an emo vampire called Scene Immortal, and has appeared as a special guest at more than eighty-five pop-culture conventions.