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Publisher's Summary

It's 1934. Businesses went under by the hundreds, debt and foreclosures boomed, and breadlines grew in many American cities. In the midst of this misery, some folks explored unscrupulous ways to make money. Angel-faced John Partlow and carnival huckster Ginger LaFrance are among the worst of this lot. Joining together they leave their small-time confidence scams behind to attempt an elaborate kidnapping-for-ransom scheme in New Orleans.
In a different part of town, Curtis Mayhew, a young black man who works as a redcap for the Union Railroad Station, has a reputation for mending quarrels and misunderstandings among his friends. What those friends don't know is that Curtis has a special talent for listening...and he can sometimes hear things that aren't spoken aloud.
One day, Curtis Mayhew's special talent allows him to overhear a child's cry for help (THIS MAN IN THE CAR HE'S GOT A GUN), which draws him into the dangerous world of Partlow and LaFrance.
This gritty Depression-era crime thriller is a complex tale enriched by powerfully observed social commentary and hints of the supernatural, and it represents Robert McCammon writing at the very top of his game.
©2018 Robert McCammon (P)2018 Audible, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

“McCammon conjures believable characters whose sympathetic plight pulls the reader headlong into the novel’s volatile mix of crime and fantasy. Its tense finale, paced at breakneck speed, will have readers turning pages until its surprise-packed end.” ( Publishers Weekly)"McCammon masterfully combines historical thriller and supernatural horror in a compelling and suspenseful tale of race, class, and family…" ( Booklist)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Ila in Maine on 03-05-18

Southern Fried Horror Done Right

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Robert McCammon has done it again with The Listener.

Two young people who can communicate in a most unusual way that is thought to be a mental defect by those closest to them.

A femme fatale who can judge people more deeply than anyone, perhaps even she, is aware of.

Southern Town, rich, poor, some racial tension, and the Depression.

These things are the perfect mixture for a horror masterpiece by Robert McCammon.

I loved every moment of it.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Curtis was my favorite character because he was so brave, yet he was unaware of that bravery. He thought that he was plain, ordinary, and nothing special, yet without him the book would have been lacking a lot of its essence.

Which character – as performed by Marc Vietor – was your favorite?

It would be impossible to pick just one. I like to be able to forget a narrator while I am listening. If a narrator is great, then the characters come alive and you're involved with them, and the narrator fades into the background.

This was my first listen by Marc Vietor and he was great. He didn't, as my daughter calls it, break the 4th dimension. I will look for other things he narrates.

I was with the characters, experiencing the tale with them and not aware that I was listening to a book. I can't give a better compliment to a narrator.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, I did and I will listen to this book again. I will recommend this to my book clubs as well.

Any additional comments?

I'm very happy to see more unabridged Robert McCammon books on Audible. I am a big fan of his works. Listening to one of his wonderful stories on a rainy day is my idea of time well spent. Thank you Audible for making these available.

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13 of 13 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By DobieChuck on 03-05-18

Southern Delight

I really dug it... Some simply fantastic writing! A tale of good and evil, light and dark, have and have nots, and woven together so skillfully... It’s gotta slow pace for the most part, but that perfectly fits the evocatively vivid and nearly tangible settings, like a leisurely sw Louisiana spring afternoon... I could smell pontchartrain and the gumbo;). Especially taken by the Arthurian theme and Curtis as its exemplar... Definitely light suspense, and I in no way read it as horror, but just short and between.... I wish there were more bc it sucked me in and ended too soon....

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Simon on 02-28-18

A Listener Treat!

My only previous experience of Robert McCammon was the wonderfully epic post apocalyptic thriller Swan Song which I would recommend to anyone in a heartbeat. This is a very different and slightly more understated book but the quality of the writing once again stands out.

Set in the depressed background of 1930s America McCammon takes his time early on to draw out his three main characters. We are introduced to a deliciously twisted pair of villains and a true unlikely hero as well as some of the desperation of the times. It's all brought to life by a very steady performance from Marc Vietor who helps considerably in providing the atmosphere.

The supernatural plays an important role in the story but is very modest and the horror is provided totally by the humans in what is indeed a very human story. The pace is upped considerably in the second part of the book draws to a very exciting and satisfying conclusion. For those prone to tears though a hankie will be a sensible precaution at the end.

Well worth a credit and a reminder to me that I need to read more McCammon!

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13 of 16 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Graham G. on 03-04-18

Absolutely great!

The story is well developed from start to finish as are the characters. Marc Vietor's narration is perfect for this book. Highly recommended.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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