The Extra Man

  • by Jonathan Ames
  • Narrated by Jonathan Ames
  • 13 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Meet Louis Ives: well-groomed, romantic, and as captivating as an F. Scott Fitzgerald hero. Only this hero has a penchant for ladies clothes, and he's lost his teaching post at Princeton's Pretty Brook Day School after an unfortunate incident involving a colleague's brassiere.Meet Henry Harrison: former actor, failed but brilliant playwright, and a well-seasoned escort for New York City's women of means. He dances alone to Ethel Merman records, second-acts operas, and performs his scrappy life with the dignity befitting a self-styled man of the world. What can this ageless Don Quixote of the Upper East Side have to offer a young gentleman such as Louis? What, indeed.
Well, the answer lies somewhere between the needs of an irascible mentor and the education of his eager apprentice, between cocktails on the Upper East Side and an even more intoxicating treat along the secret fringes of Times Square, and between friendship and longing.


What the Critics Say

"A miracle....This novel is not to be missed." (Booklist)
"A sure-footed exploration of sexual confusion and a loopily elegant, surprisingly moving urban comedy of manners." (The New York Times Book Review)
"By updating the moral education of a young gentleman, Ames has written a Bildungsroman for the end of our century." (The Washington Post)
"Ames has the one thing Fitzgerald lacked: a sense of humor...The Extra Man wins us over with its sheer energy and good will, its confidence in the ability of its own humor and intelligence to widen our ideas about the possibilities of love, and about the permissible range of inner and outer lives to which today's young gentleman may properly aspire. (The New York Observer)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A Classic-to-be

Though this charming novel boasts many elements that typical readers might not normally find endearing--drag queens, a WASPY-Jewish fancier of outmoded gentlemanly ideals, a filthy New York apartment--"The Extra Man" is an undiscovered modern classic. Ames writes about taboo topics with a mixture of panache and vulnerability to utterly charming results. Henry Harrison, the aged/ageless man-about-town and centerpiece of the novel, is one of the most memorable and endearing characters I've encountered in a work of fiction in years, and Ames' excellent reading of the Harrison part only adds to the appeal of this recording. One warning: while Ames writes about perversions with delicacy and care, this book is not for prudes.
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- Sara

Why was this book written?

There is no plot and no development. There was not a single element that captivated me. There a numerous better books covering controversial issues and contemporary society.
And the slightly bored narration tested my patience. I finished it but was relieved when it was over.
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- Andrea

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-07-2006
  • Publisher: Audible Studios