The Mean

  • by John Arthur Long
  • Narrated by John Arthur Long
  • 8 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Told with elements of heartrending pathos, nerve-wracking tension, and scenes of disarming humor, The Mean is a riveting novel of school days that looks at the nature of true learning, the best and worst in public education, the drama of human relationships, and the threat of violence that has become such an integral part of our lives.
With a supply of sarin nerve gas as well as explosives and automatic weapons, members of a radical group who believe they have been betrayed by a high-level Middle East negotiator decide to seek revenge by attacking a Long Island high school attended by the negotiator's daughters. It is against the horrific shadow of this approaching attack that The Mean reveals the inner conflicts of Central High School through the humorous, sometimes sardonic, viewpoint of the school's assistant principal Brian Scarlucci as he deals with daily school issues, like an angry student leaving fecal deposits around the school, and a Mafia captain who tries to pay Scarlucci a huge amount of cash to make up for the crime figure's son's bad school behavior.
Scarlucci must also come to the defense of his best friend, a black English teacher named Ken Valentine, who is being brought to task for teaching meditation in his classroom while students listen to a recorded soundtrack of sacred Tibetan gongs on iPads because Valentine believes the tones can open their minds to the true learning of the Golden Mean. Unfortunately, before discipline can be taken, one of Mr. Valentine's female students commits suicide while listening to the meditation tape, and Scarlucci must summon all his skills to defend Valentine against what he knows are false charges.
It is in the midst of all these school-day conflicts and more that Scarlucci is suddenly confronted by an unimaginable horror as the terrorists arrive, capable of bringing death to all those in Central High on the meanest day of all.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

an outstanding book and wonderful narration

an outstanding book and wonderful narration of all the various characters by Mr. Long.
reading the book is one thing,
but if you want a true sense of the various characters and their personalities, the audio version is a must.
the audio was superbly done by:
ANTLAND PRODUCTIONS
Roy B Yokelson
Mr. Long has created a most interesting story about Central High School High,
located on Long Island, NY.
its a School most of us will feel we've attended.
but there's an underbelly to this that
Mr. Long understands all too well.
the social politics that exist in the teaching community-
from the process of receiving tenure
to entering the elite administration.
Mr. Long very realistically calls these administrators: " the empty suits",
whose goal at all costs is to maintain a non existence.
add to all this : gangs, terrorism,
living, dying, love, interpersonal school relationships, the mafia, sheep and gonging balls, and you have a book that is well worth the read --
and even better, the listening to!
thank you!
sincerely,
Josephine Ferreri
Commack High School
class of 1972
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- Robert Rinaldi

Thrilling, Suspense, Comedy and a lot of Heart

The Mean is a fantastic story told with a masterful performance! I can't believe how quickly I went through listening to this. I was so wrapped up in this story while listening in my car that I found myself trying to hide my emotions from people sitting in traffic next to me. I shouldn't be surprised, as a big fan of the author's previous novel The Harvard Man.

I would imagine educators everywhere would love this story celebrating the challenges and triumphs of helping young men and women through such an important time in their lives.

And for all of you lovers of fast paced suspense novels like that of Dan Brown, I think there is a lot to check out: in the intriguing mystery/ spiritual story at its core.

A story of really in depth evolved characters is so refreshing. Best friends, action, lovers, cheating spouses, love beyond limits. I really feel like this story has it all.

And the remarkable performance by the author of this story! All of these different characters voices, tone, real emotion, comedy at a breakneck speed. I'm going to have to listen to it again; there is so many great things here to enjoy. The immediacy with which the story is told from start to finish is something I've never experienced this way before in audiobooks.

After finishing the recording I saw that this audiobook is nominated for BEST PERFORMANCE by the author and best performance mystery/ suspense at the Voice Arts Awards this year in NYC!

Check this out, you will be happy you did! And then you'll hope there is a sequel or prequel!
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- XRoad Warrior

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-18-2017
  • Publisher: Vellum Publishing