Fire Shut Up in My Bones

  • by Charles M. Blow
  • Narrated by Charles M. Blow
  • 10 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A gorgeous, moving memoir of how one of America's most innovative and respected journalists found his voice by coming to terms with a painful past.
New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow mines the compelling poetry of the out-of-time African-American Louisiana town where he grew up - a place where slavery's legacy was felt astonishingly close, reverberating in the elders' stories and in the near-constant wash of violence.
Charles's attachment to his mother - a fiercely driven women with five sons, brass knuckles in her glove box, a job plucking poultry at a nearby factory, a soon-to-be-ex husband, and a love of newspapers and learning - cannot protect him from secret abuse at the hands of an older cousin. It's damage that triggers years of anger and searing self-questioning.
Finally, Charles escapes to a nearby state university, where he joins a black fraternity after a passage of brutal hazing, and then enters a world of racial and sexual privilege that feels like everything he's ever needed and wanted, until he's called upon, himself, to become the one perpetuating the shocking abuse.
A powerfully redemptive memoir that both fits the tradition of African-American storytelling from the South, and gives it an indelible new slant.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Authors should NOT read their books.

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

No, it might have been had a professional read the book. It's a rare talent and generally authors don't have it. This is an example. It sounded like "pressured speech". Barbara Kingsolver, Simon Winchester, Alexander McCall-Smith and John Le Carre' can do it, but most authors should leave it to the professionals


Would you be willing to try another book from Charles M. Blow? Why or why not?

Definitely YES, if he did not read it.


What didn’t you like about Charles M. Blow’s performance?

The pace/cadence. Again, it seemed like "pressured speech. Way too slow and the sentences did not flow appropriately.


If this book were a movie would you go see it?

I don't think so. It might depend on the cast.


Any additional comments?

I've listened to over 900 books in the past several years and I've come to appreciate what a talent "performing" a book is.

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- Dan

Best books of 2014 -this is on the short list

Would you listen to Fire Shut Up in My Bones again? Why?

Yes, reads like a good nivel, keen isights beautiful wring , funny and prodound


What was one of the most memorable moments of Fire Shut Up in My Bones?

The portrayal of Charles Blows community growing up where everyone called him Charl s baby and then moving to a new neighborhood where he not only was no ones baby but not even noticed


Which scene was your favorite?

Pistol packing women of his youth , the job fair ith the New york times


Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Hilarious at times stunning in its ability to make you think about big life issues


Any additional comments?

This hould bevome one of those books that everyone should read in high school. Like rubyfruit Jungle it tells awarm story of sexual identity Wakening

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- Joanne Cooper Layne

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-23-2014
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio