Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks, and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Audible Plus auto-renews for $7.95/mo after 30 days. Upgrade or cancel anytime.
Bullet in the Brain  By  cover art

Bullet in the Brain

By: Tobias Wolff
Narrated by: Anthony Heald
Try for $0.00

$7.95 a month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Buy for $1.50

Buy for $1.50

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's summary

The story of a book critic and his final thoughts from short-story master Tobias Wolff...

Anders is an angry, cynical man. A book critic known for his scathing reviews, he finds any excuse to dismiss, belittle, or insult. This afternoon is no more agitating than the next. Angers finds himself in a long line at the bank, waiting to reach a teller. Even after two men - wearing masks and carrying guns - take control of the building, Anders is unfazed. It's this behavior that lands him with a pistol against his stomach and a man screamingin his face. And when the bank robber, indignant over Anders' behavior, shoots the book critic in the head, his mind floats through the memories of his life, settling on one particular event....

©1996 Tobias Wolff (P)2013 Blackstone Audio

What listeners say about Bullet in the Brain

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    163
  • 4 Stars
    61
  • 3 Stars
    36
  • 2 Stars
    12
  • 1 Stars
    5
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    165
  • 4 Stars
    55
  • 3 Stars
    25
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    2
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    150
  • 4 Stars
    47
  • 3 Stars
    33
  • 2 Stars
    13
  • 1 Stars
    6

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The Perfect Example

I had a professor who said while it is impossible to write the perfect novel, it is possible to write a perfect short story. If I remember correctly, he assigned this one as the perfect example.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Unnecessary "Adult Content"

Stopped this one just a few minutes in when the, totally unnecessary, graphic sexual language kicked in. Might have been a great story, and IMHO, could have been just as great with out the nasty innuendos. Guess I missed the Warning on this one !?!

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great short story.

Short but compelling. Captures what a short story should do. I'm seeking out more by Tobias Wolff to read.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

They is; they is......

A snooty art critic with a droll sense of humor plucks the last nerve of a bank robber who then shoots the man in the head. The victim sees, in slo mo, a lifetime of memories and experiences as the bullet travels through his brain. Very creative!

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Surprising, in a good way.

This short little read was surprisingly fantastic. I’d read a brief synopsis of the story before starting it, but it still surprised me a bit.

This is a story about the last moments of a rather hum-drum critic who is more than a little stuck on himself. His actions and inability to curb his own tongue get him shot. The author presents what could or should have gone through the critic’s mind while he was dying (other than the bullet), and wraps up by telling us what did go through his mind instead. He gives us the “why” behind it as well. Truly food for thought where those last few seconds of life are concerned. Maybe we won’t think at all of what we think we will!

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Such a Perfect Short Story

This brilliant story is a must read by all writer’s of short fiction. Listen to how much happens in a single scene. You learn Anders is a burnt out editor, and as he edits the bank robbers movie script lines, the humor and tension can be felt leading up to the bullet in the brain. Then comes the description of the bullet from its entrance into the brain until it exits, with a special focus on what’s in between.

Instead of beginning by describing the thoughts that go through the narrator’s head as the bullet enters, Wolff adds a lot of history in what was not thought of. So many memories he expected that would flash in front of his eyes were passed over, and by opening that to the reader, we can see the history of Anders.

They often ask what the payoff is to a story, and we get not only a single scene of a man standing in line and being shot in the head, but how a writer, a true artist, can weave in a single scene a man being murdered at a bank, summarizing his life by what doesn’t cross his mind, and showing us what led him to this moment where he puts himself in a situation to die.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great.

Fantastic quick read. Unique perspective and story. Glad I found this one. Narrator is also fantastic!!

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

This actually made me laugh out loud

I love short stories because it takes quite a bit more creativity to pack a lot into a small bit of storytelling.
This story is proof that it can be done and I definitely enjoyed the story.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Favorite reading of a favorite masterpiece

I listen to this every few months myself or sharing it with someone knew. The artistry of both the story and narration are for all time.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A perfect short story. Perfect.

I am reminded about why I loved short stories, but had fallen out of the reading habit. Time to dive in again!

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!