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Extended Audio Sample The Women: A Novel Audiobook, by T. C. Boyle Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (33 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: T. C. Boyle Narrator: Grover Gardner Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2009 ISBN: 9781455192298
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Having brought to life eccentric cereal king John Harvey Kellogg in The Road to Wellville and sex researcher Alfred Kinsey in The Inner Circle, T. C. Boyle now turns his fictional sights on an even more colorful and outlandish character: Frank Lloyd Wright.

Boyle’s account of Wright’s life, as told through the experiences of the four women who loved him, blazes with his trademark wit and invention. Wright’s life was one long howling struggle against the bonds of convention, whether aesthetic, social, moral, or romantic. He never did what was expected and despite the overblown scandals surrounding his amours and very public divorces and the financial disarray that dogged him throughout his career, he never let anything get in the way of his larger-than-life appetites and visions. Wright’s triumphs and defeats were always tied to the women he loved: the Montenegrin beauty Olgivanna Milanoff; the passionate Southern belle Maud Miriam Noel; the spirited Mamah Cheney, tragically killed; and his young first wife, Kitty Tobin. In The Women, T. C. Boyle’s protean voice captures these very different women and, in doing so, creates a masterful ode to the creative life in all its complexity and grandeur.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Boyle doesn’t just fiddle around with familiar autobiographical material. He inhabits the space of Wright’s life and times with particular boldness…With his rollicking short fiction and with novels…Boyle has been writing his own fascinating, unpredictable, alternately hilarious and terrifying fictional history of utopian longing in America. The Women adds a powerful new chapter to this continuing narrative, and it is Boyle at his best. It is a mesmerizing story of women who invest everything, at great risk, in that mysterious ‘bank of feeling’ named Frank Lloyd Wright.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “[A] potboiler about the love life of Frank Lloyd Wright…The Women is an altogether manic, occasionally baffling and yet strangely riveting novel…Call it a thinking man’s soap opera…It’s the writing that pulls you through, and it’s the writing that will reward you in the last scene of this altogether predictable and (sometimes deliciously) overwrought novel. Boyle is a marvel at descriptive prose.”

    Washington Post Book World

  • “Boyle’s latest novel…is full of vivid descriptions and turns of phrase that pop with a preternatural precision.”

    New Yorker

  • “Rising and falling in steady rhythm, soothing even when the story unsettles and surprises, Grover Gardner’s voice is a fine instrument. He delivers a stellar rendition of Boyle’s reimagining of Frank Lloyd Wright’s tortured relationships with his wives and lovers…Gardner, a regular prize-winner who’s done more than 650 audiobooks, is familiar to audio listeners, but he strikes new notes, hurdling over difficult names and nimbly skipping from character to character. Readers will be entirely immersed in the hothouse world of the architect and his women.”

    Publishers Weekly (audio review)

  • “The author is a master storyteller who takes literary license but never loses sight of his subject’s humanity. Narrator Grover Gardner has a deep nasal tone that, remarkably, sounds like an old radio broadcaster’s voice. This fits the mood of the book perfectly since the story takes place in the 1930s. Gardner is adept at employing pauses and emphasis to accentuate Boyle’s prodigious vocabulary.”

    AudioFile

  • “In his latest novel, Boyle returns to a familiar subject, that of a visionary tyrant and the communal society that orbits around him. Here it is famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright and four women who alternately loved and hated him, including scorned and vengeful ex-wives and lovers. Boyle throws in a fictional narrator to filter the events, Japanese-born Tadashi Sato, a Wright apprentice. Gardner displays his award-winning narrating chops with clear enunciation of the somewhat florid prose, precise renderings of various accents, and the ability to change pitch for the women characters. His portrayal of ex-wife Maude Miriam Noel is particularly noteworthy, as he expresses a startling range of complex emotions, from murderous rage to demure haughtiness. Gardner gives a bravura performance in this fascinating fictional look at a man who flouted convention and the women who paid dearly for their involvement with him.”

    Booklist (audio review)

  • “Grover Gardner, a Publishers Weekly Narrator of the Year (2005), skillfully voices Boyle’s lauded fictional account of Frank Lloyd Wright, as told through the experiences of four women who loved him. A Library Journal pick for Best Audiobooks of 2009.”

    Library Journal

  • New York Times Bestseller
  • A Library Journal Best Audiobook of 2009
  • A San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of 2009

Listener Opinions

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Connie | 2/9/2014

    " YUCK! Horribly written story. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kirsten | 1/28/2014

    " tells the story of 3 of Frank's women - leaving out his first wife. read this book after Loving Frank - which focuses on only his mistriss (N. Horan) - and it was difficult to get used to Boyle's devices. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Katy White | 1/17/2014

    " Thank goodness for women's lib. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jane | 1/15/2014

    " Fascinating book about Frank Lloyd Wright as told through the eyes of his Japanese-American apprentice Tadashi. The narrator recounts the stories of the four women in Wright's life. Employing a rarely used plotting device, the narrative works backward in time. You would think knowing the story of one woman would spoil the story of his previous paramour, but Boyle carries this off with aplomb. It is, however, jarring, when the point of view unaccountably shifts from Tadashi's first person recollection to a third person omniscient viewpoint, during which Tadashi is entirely forgotten. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Barbara | 1/11/2014

    " Disappointing. I still think he's a good writer, but I didn't like the way the book was structured. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bridgett | 1/6/2014

    " pretty good read...and interesting. i knew next to nothing about Wright before this. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Melinda | 1/3/2014

    " The Women is historical fiction at its best. The story, narrated by a Japanese apprentice, relates the four marriages of famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Based on actual events, the author unravels the story backward in time, with each woman encroaching on the life of her predecessor. Wright was a great architect but a terrible husband. His choice of women and his flaunting of the morals and traditions of his day make this a fascinating and entertaining read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Eve Perlman | 12/31/2013

    " way to long!!! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kristina Hoerner | 11/13/2013

    " This novel covers three relationships in Frank Lloyd Wright's life starting with his third wife and working backward to the woman he left his first wife for. I did not enjoy this book as much as Loving Frank. It was slower going for me and none of the characters were particularly likable. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pauline | 11/13/2013

    " 3 stars. I liked it. I didn't care for the other inwhich Boyle tells the stories but overall it was a nice followup to Loving Frank by Nancy Horan! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Falene | 11/11/2013

    " After reading Loving Frank, this was long and drawn out. Did not like the narrator's voice - didn't ring true - would have rather it just have been told as a story without his interjections. But it did give some more background into an intersting life "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah | 9/16/2013

    " I had *no* idea that Frank Lloyd Wright's life was so scandalous. I feel like a bit of a failure as a Wisconsinite. ;) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kari Coughlon | 7/12/2013

    " A look at the lives and tribulations of Frank Lloyd Wright's different "wives" and his wreck of a life. His life is like a bad reality TV show that you just can't stop watching, I am addicted. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Allison | 6/20/2013

    " Well, Frank Lloyd Wright was clearly insane. So were the women in his life. I didn't so much enjoy the author's writing style. He tended to belabor things a little beyond what I could tolerate. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Shea | 5/27/2013

    " Okay, so I didn't really finish it, but I don't intend to so it goes in the 'read' file. It was hard to read about the constant dysfunction of architect Frank Lloyd Wright and the women in his life. I guess I wasn't in the mood for that kind of story because it felt like it might never end. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Beth Atkins | 5/15/2012

    " As with Road to Wellville and The Inner Circle, Boyle take facts and other biographical information and creates a fictionalized account of the life of Frank Lloyd Wright. Fascinating and filled with little bits and factoids that make me want to know more. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Natasha | 2/4/2012

    " Really enjoyed reading about all of Wright's mistresses, but I think having read Loving Frank before this spoiled the ending for me. Also, the author has a lot of footnotes that I personally feel I have to read and then it seemed to break the flow of the story. Overall enjoyable though. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Barbara Rall | 12/13/2011

    " I read this right after "Loving Frank." It was interesting although I could not understand why he chose to do the chronology in reverse. After these two books I knew more about Frank Lloyd Wright than I will ever need to know. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Robyn | 8/23/2011

    " Wow...this one took me a LONG time to get through. Very interesting portrayal of architect Frank Lloyd Wright and the stories of the many women in his life. The footnotes on nearly every page just about drove me crazy, but a worthwhile read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lana | 7/7/2011

    " 4.5 stars. If you love Frank Lloyd Wright, then you love this book. Some reviewers more aqcuainted with his life didn't seem to like it that much; but I didn't know much about his personal life and thoughroughly enjoyed reading it. I want more now. More FLW. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Janet | 5/8/2011

    " I was a little disappointed with this book. Frank Lloyd Wright was such an eccentric character that needed little embellishment of his life and loves....clearly good material for a historical novel from the viewpoint of the women in his life. Yet this book barely kept my attention. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ldrmacich | 5/6/2011

    " Not one of my favorites :( "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Susan | 4/28/2011

    " Hated every character in this book. Frank Lloyd Wright was a truly rotten human being who was attracted to very strange women. It's a strange book in that events are out of order. Couldn't wait to finish this and be done with it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karen | 4/27/2011

    " T. C. Boyle didn't disappoint. If anyone read "Loving Frank" about Frank Lloyd Wright's ill-fated lover, this book has more detail about the other women in his life. A fictionalized account of the architect's love life and character, this book was a great read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jean | 4/22/2011

    " I had no idea how dark and sad the life of Wright was nor how he managed his relationships with women. I loved this book in a dark and stormy way. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jacqueleen | 4/19/2011

    " I'm trying to be invested, but the narrator hasn't convinced me this is 100% worth it yet. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carol | 4/12/2011

    " I liked "Loving Frank" so much I wanted more. It's the story of Frank Lloyd Wright and the women in his life as told by one of his apprentices. In my eyes, this one is nothing compared to "Loving Frank." "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ke | 4/10/2011

    " I expected more about architecture, but it seems like most people are as literary as he is.

    I found the story too soap-like.

    The story was interestingly fragmented though. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sue | 4/9/2011

    " The women in Frank Lloyd Wright's life. Interesting but nothing special "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Penny | 4/7/2011

    " This is the fictional story of the women in Frank Lloyd Wright's life. Aside from the narrator, none of the characters are really likable. I did enjoy it, but not as much as I normally enjoy T.C. Boyle. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kelly | 4/4/2011

    " I wanted to like this book more than I did. I liked the Tortilla Curtain so much, and I am such a big fan of Frank Lloyd Wright. I do look forward to reading others by this author, though. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ulf | 4/3/2011

    " Very funny and fascinating like all books written by Boyle that I have read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jill | 3/30/2011

    " I liked this better than Loving Frank by Horan "

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About the Author

T. C. Boyle is the author of more than a dozen novels, including Drop City, which was a finalist for the National Book Award, and World’s End, winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award. He has also written numerous short-story collections. He lives near Santa Barbara, California.

About the Narrator

Grover Gardner (a.k.a. Tom Parker) is an award-winning narrator with over eight hundred titles to his credit. Named one of the “Best Voices of the Century” and a Golden Voice by AudioFile magazine, he has won three prestigious Audie Awards, was chosen Narrator of the Year for 2005 by Publishers Weekly, and has earned more than thirty Earphones Awards.