The First Bad Man

  • by Miranda July
  • Narrated by Miranda July
  • 8 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

From the acclaimed filmmaker, artist, and best-selling author of No One Belongs Here More Than You, a spectacular debut novel that is so heartbreaking, so dirty, so tender, so funny - so Miranda July - that listeners will be blown away.
Here is Cheryl, a tightly-wound, vulnerable woman who lives alone, with a perpetual lump in her throat. She is haunted by a baby boy she met when she was six, who sometimes recurs as other people's babies. Cheryl is also obsessed with Phillip, a philandering board member at the women's self-defense nonprofit where she works. She believes they've been making love for many lifetimes, though they have yet to consummate in this one.
When Cheryl's bosses ask if their 21-year-old daughter Clee can move into her house for a little while, Cheryl's eccentrically ordered world explodes. And yet it is Clee - the selfish, cruel blond bombshell - who bullies Cheryl into reality and, unexpectedly, provides her the love of a lifetime.
Tender, gripping, slyly hilarious, infused with raging sexual obsession and fierce maternal love, Miranda July's first novel confirms her as a spectacularly original, iconic, and important voice today, and a writer for all time. The First Bad Man is dazzling, disorienting, and unforgettable.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Yes, yes, yes.

Miranda July really has a thing for writing about everyday people but in the most shocking, interesting, and detailed of ways. This more than anything I've read or watched of hers had what I've come to love about her unique literary voice with the added perk of it being a novel where so much more exploration and depth could be mined. The way she writes comedic moments is so unlike anything I've seen, unexpected, hilarious, and weird (but in a good way). On top of that, while I worried there might be just a bunch of dry humor without going any deeper, she did go deeper, and made me feel a lot of things. Cheryl and Clee are characters I'll never forget. The way the book unfolds, the ways you can feel so many conflicted emotions about certain scenes, characters, and resolution is what makes it such a rich satisfying read. I can't wait to go back and read it again and again.

P.S. Miranda July's narration was also top notch, it's a treat to hear her gravelly calming voice impart the story to you with such subtlety and care.
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- Joe

The book we've been fighting for

Where does The First Bad Man rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Brilliant first novel. Are there really so few that stream the consciousness of lonely people?

What was one of the most memorable moments of The First Bad Man?

whatever moments inspired my meditations on impaired narrators and the readers' superior insight; on how lost souls are driven by biology, since they have no other compass; on how playing games opens one up, and then its not a game.
And the crtical recognition that exactly what we do in bed, the specific acts, with others and with ourselves, emerge from and are continuations of who we are, our wishes, fears and fantasies, and so very important in understanding these things, every bit as important as our speech and our acts, and our non-sexual thoughts and dreams..

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


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

yes, yes

Any additional comments?

This is, of course, a dirty book, a very dirty book. It could not be otherwise.
Fortunately we are in the hands of a generous author, and all that dirt, and the hot sex, and the other kind, are all in the service of an honest and warm showing of life, and how it works out, rewarding some very satisfying consolations to those who open to it.

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- alan

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-13-2015
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio