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Extended Audio Sample The Women: A Novel, 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 (5,145 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:
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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.”


  • “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 by Connie | 2/9/2014

    " YUCK! Horribly written story. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by 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 by 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 by 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. "

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