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Publisher's Summary

Exciting new fiction from James McBride, the first since his National Book Award-winning novel The Good Lord Bird.

The stories in Five-Carat Soul - none of them ever published before - spring from the place where identity, humanity, and history converge. They're funny and poignant, insightful and unpredictable, imaginative and authentic - all told with McBride's unrivaled storytelling skill and meticulous eye for character and detail. McBride explores the ways we learn from the world and the people around us. An antiques dealer discovers that a legendary toy commissioned by Civil War General Robert E. Lee now sits in the home of a black minister in Queens. Five strangers find themselves thrown together and face unexpected judgment. An American president draws inspiration from a conversation he overhears in a stable. And members of The Five-Carat Soul Bottom Bone Band recount stories from their own messy and hilarious lives.

As McBride did in his National Book Award-winning The Good Lord Bird and his best-selling The Color of Water, he writes with humor and insight about how we struggle to understand who we are in a world we don't fully comprehend. The result is a surprising, perceptive, and evocative collection of stories that is also a moving exploration of our human condition.

©2017 James McBride (P)2017 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"In this collection of previously unpublished short stories by the award-winning author of The Color of Water, an outstanding team of narrators portrays a variety of characters. Novelist McBride peels back the thin veneer on American life with intellect, emotion, and, at times, stinging humor." (AudioFile)

What listeners say about Five-Carat Soul

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    5 out of 5 stars

Listen. Just listen.

I love audiobooks and I listen to them all the time. I’ve got my favorites, but this one towers over anything I’ve ever heard before. The writing is genius, the narration is amazing, the stories are LOL funny and/or you’ll have to pull over because you’re tearing up. Amazing!
One caveat: skip the 1st story, which is merely good by comparison. Maybe leave it to the end as a cool-down. Thanks audible!! Thanks, James McBride! Thanks, talented cast of voice actors!

9 people found this helpful

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Exceptional

I picked this for my book group and was so happily blown away by how good it was. Going on now to try some of his other novels

1 person found this helpful

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Captivating

I didn’t fully read the description before reading this, so I didn’t expect there to be separate stories that don’t connect in the end. But in a way they all do connect thematically, but the stories were all brilliant. This is nothing like a book I’ve ever read before and I highly recommend it.

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very entertaining book with great characters

I wasn't quite sure what to expect but the reviews were positive. I really enjoyed the multiple stories, characters and the narration was fantastic. Definitely recommend this book.