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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.

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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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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.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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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....

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Mat
  • Lincoln, NE
  • 03-20-18

perfect.

I loved this story. The performance was spot on. I will listen again. McCammon has the ability to make the reader taste and smell characters that should never have crawled out of their holes.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Loved it!

As with most of Mr. McCammon's work, The Listener is an enjoyable and fast read. It's a story that describes the times, the depression in Louisiana, as well as the characters. Ultimately, it's a mystery and about the very best in people and the very, very worst. Don't miss this book!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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McCammon is still the master

Once again, Robert McCammon shows why he is America's undisputed master of story crafting and character development. And the performance will keep you wanting to listen just a little while longer, take an extra lap around the neighborhood before getting home and stopping for the night. Did I say "I love this story and the narrator. "

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Engrossing!

Very hard to stop listening! Many twists and turns. Great characters. A classic good vs evil tale.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

McCammon makes it real

I’ve been a McCammon fan since I was a young teenager and he wrote horror. Swan Song, to me, still beats The Stand as the ultimate post apocalyptic novel.

This novel, like Boy’s Life, is set in the south and is a Norman Rockwell Thriller (I just made that up). You get all the trappings of the old south but with horrors and a touch of the supernatural. This slight flavoring of the supernatural is actually one of my favorite aspects of his work. Like Koontz, he takes real life people and just gives them a little smattering of something more. Love it.

This novel felt too short. It’s not too short, it just felt that way.

I recommend.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Jim
  • Birmingham, AL, United States
  • 03-18-18

His best yet...

I’ve read all of McCammon’s books! And have known him personally since the early 1980’s when he was early in his career. His early books were in the “horror” genre. He hooked me. His later books were a little different, but have always had the theme of good vs evil and often with hints of paranormal. This latest book is his best yet! “The Listener” will be a classic. I loved it and you’ll love it. The narration is superb! This one is his best yet! I can see a movie made from this one.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Very exciting story

Loved it! Great premise and execution. Well done sir. Each new book by Robert McCammon is better than the last. The Listener is no exception.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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1930s Supernatural Tale

Im a huge Robert McCammon fan so I loved it.Its about an unlikely alliance that happens because a wealthy little white girl and a negro porter in the Great Depression South can communicate telepathically .This comes in handy when the little girl and her brother are kidnapped by an evil couple.The narration is decent and I listened to the whole thing fairly quickly.I would recommend it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Simon
  • 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!

13 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • Graham G.
  • 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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Lynda Yong
  • 05-04-18

I just enjoy this author ,he makes me stop and listen to his words and the tale he tells

I would always recommend this author
He tells a very good tale ,the story takes from my busy life and transports me to a different time and place and my imagination creates the faces and places , and It makes me relax
Because the story is so good , it encourages me to listen to more
And I always am disappointed when the tale finishes and I have to find a new book , keep writing , please

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Freda
  • 03-25-18

Another great book from Robert McCammon

Two con artists, a man who was what was known as a hearse chaser, selling bibles to bereaved widows and a woman who worked for a show giving sex lessons to men, unite to kidnap the two children of a millionaire. They managed to do this with the help of a cousin of the woman's who is something of a physco. But unknown to them a young black man named Curtis, working as a railway porter has a gift for listening to things other people cannot hear. He has been talking to the little girl in his mind for quite a while, she too is a listener. She manages to send him a message saying they are being driven in a car with their bodyguard with a woman and a man and they have a gun. The race to find and rescue the children is not easy for a black man in the 1930s. It is a hard road to travel. This book is a fast paced thriller with a hint of the supernatural. Nail biting in some parts and sad in others, a must read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-10-18

Very good novel

I’ve been a fan of McCammon’s work for more than 30 years. While there have been a few novels that don’t meet my expectations this is not one of them.
Fairly strong plot with excellent characterisations. I felt transported back in time to the 1930s and enjoyed this story which is told be a good narrator. Would not hesitate to recommend.