Scratch Beginnings

  • by Adam Shepard
  • Narrated by Peter Berkrot
  • 7 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

What can you get with 25 dollars and a dream? Adam Shepard graduated from college feeling disillusioned by the apathy around him and was then incensed after reading Barbara Ehrenreich's famous work Nickel and Dimed- a book that gave him a feeling of hopelessness about the working class in America. He set out to disprove Ehrenreich's theory - the notion that those who start at the bottom stay at the bottom - by making something out of nothing to achieve the American Dream. Shepard's plan was simple. With a sleeping bag, the clothes on his back, and $25 in cash, and restricted from using his contacts or college education, he headed out for Charleston, South Carolina, a randomly selected city, with one objective: to work his way out of homelessness and into a life that would give him the opportunity for success. His goal was to have, after one year, $2,500, a working automobile, and a furnished apartment. Scratch Beginnings is the earnest and passionate account of Shepard.


What the Critics Say

"Don't believe the naysayers. The American dream---the fable that says if you work hard and follow the rules, you'll make it---is alive and well." (New York Post)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A pleasant read, nice alternate to Nicked/Dimed

I really enjoyed the casual, entertaining writing style from the author. And, the narrator did a wonderful job bringing it all to life in an appropriate southern accent. While the comparisons to Nickled and Dimed are hard to avoid, I thought the author produced a compelling message and pleasant alternative to alot of the negativity today. He seemed like an intrinsically more optimist, hopeful person than Barbara Ehrenrich. Some parts of the dialog felt more like a reality TV show than an essay on why the American Dream is still achievable, but I didn't consider that a bad thing, as long as you are not just looking for a serious coverage of the topic, but wanting equal parts entertainment. He really brought it back together in the epilogue and formulated his conclusions in a compelling way in the end. Great job and I highly recommend it!
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- Tom

Inspirational listen

What made the experience of listening to Scratch Beginnings the most enjoyable?

That someone would have the guts to give up all & go off looking to enrich themselves through experience while helping others.

What did you like best about this story?

The simple proof that with hardwork & long term thinking anyone can go anything they wish. There are no limits, only those imposed by you.

Have you listened to any of Peter Berkrot’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

no, i have not.

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


Any additional comments?

The moving company section of the book went on & on a bit.. There was way too much detail about this to the point some parts were boring. That aside, great listen.

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- Timothy R.

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-21-2011
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio