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In Zanesville

Narrated by: Jo Ann Beard
Length: 9 hrs and 4 mins
Categories: Fiction, Historical
3 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The 14-year-old narrator of In Zanesville is a late bloomer. She flies under the radar - a sidekick, a marching-band dropout, a disastrous babysitter, the kind of girl whose eureka moment is the discovery that "fudge" can't be said with an English accent. Luckily, she has a best friend with whom she shares the everyday adventures of a 1970s American girlhood, incidents through which a world is revealed and character is forged.

In time, their friendship is tested - by their families' claims on them, by a clique of popular girls who stumble upon them, and by the first startling, subversive intimations of womanhood.

With dry wit and piercing observation, Jo Ann Beard shows us that in the seemingly quiet streets of America's innumerable Zanesvilles is a world of wonders and that within the souls of the overlooked often burns something radiant.

©2011 Jo Ann Beard (P)2018 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"Masterfully wrought...downright hilarious and often hold-your-breath-and-hope-for-the-best suspenseful. The restraint with which Beard deploys moments of tension and humor make each page glimmer." (Samuel Reaves Slaton, O Magazine)

"A fierce, funny, brave, and bracingly honest new novel.... Every bit as poignant and powerful as The Catcher in the Rye." (Julia Keller, Chicago Tribune)

"An exuberant first novel.... Beard has a knack for melding the funny and the sad, amplifying small moments into something big." (Susannah Meadows, New York Times)

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  • Tula
  • LOUISVILLE, KY, United States
  • 09-02-18

Narrator Drifts Off to Sleep

Why do authors who have no gift for acting decide that it's a swell idea to read their own books? Here is an author who should not be allowed to read aloud. Ever. To anyone. I wouldn't be surprised if her children gave up on books after she read them bedtime stories. (OK, I don't know if she has children. If she does, I'm sure she's an excellent mother. It's hyperbole. It's just that she is such an awful reader, she is driving me to hyperbole! And exclamation points!!! I'm simply trying to counteract the near-vegetative state induced by listening to her! OK. More exaggeration. More exclamation points. Sorry.) But really: She drones. She avoids expression. She ruined what seems to be a perfectly good story. There are GREAT narrators out there. Bring one in! Almost all authors should recognize that they are rarely among the great narrators. (OK, I can think of many author-exceptions to that. It's the hyperbole lever. It seems to be stuck.) Too bad. I was enjoying the story. But I just couldn't get past the voice. Maybe Hachette Audio could do a better job and not let this happen.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful