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Publisher's Summary

“An extraordinary accomplishment.... A remarkable book that will be of great value to people who feel isolated, alienated and overwhelmed by the circumstances of their lives.” --Hubert Selby, Jr., author of Last Exit to Brooklyn

“[Stahl] is a better-than-Burroughs virtuoso.” --Thomas Mallon, The New Yorker

“Original, appalling, indelible picture of a man trying to swim and drown at the same time. Stahl has nerve, heart, a language of his own and a ghastly, riotous humor.” --Tobias Wolff, author of This Boy’s Life

Permanent Midnight is one of the most harrowing and toughest accounts ever written in this century about what it means to be a junkie in America, making Burroughs look dated and Kerouac appear as the nose-thumbing adolescent he was.” --Booklist

A searing confessional infused with the darkest humor, Permanent Midnight chronicles the opiated abyss of a Hollywood screenwriter and his formidable climb into sobriety. 

Made into a major motion picture starring Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson, Permanent Midnight is revered by critics and an ever-growing cult of devoted fans as one of the most compelling contemporary memoirs.

©2015 by Jerry Stahl (P)2015 by Rare Bird Books, all rights reserved. Music © 2015 by Joe Cardamone.

What listeners say about Permanent Midnight

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Point deduction for the recording

This is hands down one of the most incredible books I have ever “read”. The author is a true master of language and I often LOL with his creative word play. The story is beyond amazing. This is a MUST-READ. However, the recording contains this awful looped ambient music that persists throughout the entirety of the book and sits almost at the same volume as the narrator’s voice. I found it terribly distracting and I would urge the publisher to re-release it without this feature.

5 people found this helpful

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Background Music

I wanted to love this but I wasn’t able to get past the background music.

4 people found this helpful

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Irritating music score

The music lasts throughout the entire book and hinders listening. The story itself is powerful.

2 people found this helpful

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The Movie is much better

I really liked the movie, and assumed the book would reveal nuance and detail which was probably left on the editing room floor. And maybe that’s true. However, the narration and (perhaps) the writing is so highly affected that I couldn’t stick with it. I don’t need a narrator overly dramatizing, whispering and desperately gasping this story out right up on the mic in order to get it. Just knowing the outline, I’m sufficiently informed that it’s a desperate tale. Therefore, honest direct spoken word should work just fine. This kind of thing makes me wonder - is there a production team involved when books are committed to spoken word? A beta-team of test listeners to get an overview of timing and quality before the title is released for sale? Maybe it’s just me. Regardless, I went into this book just sure I was going to love it, and wow, was I wrong. It was torturous. Creepy.

2 people found this helpful

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Rapid Staccato Oft-Putting

I wanted to enjoy this audiobook. I may go back and read the print version. I think it is an interesting story. I couldn’t get passed the first few chapters. The rapid fire staccato reminded me of a poetry reading. While I have nothing against poetry I couldn’t handle more than a few chapters. Definitely download the sample and see if it is for you.

1 person found this helpful

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WOW; Brutally Honest!

From page one gut reaching, raw and real addiction experiences of Jerry Stahl. The asks over and over- How is this man still alive? He truly has an Angel on his shoulder.
Well worth the read!

1 person found this helpful

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permanent change

glad i listened. a visceral journey through the bedevilment on addiction. amazing story. inspired by its truth.

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Such an unforgettable book ruined by frenetic guitar riffs

Honestly, I love this book and I enjoyed the voice of the narrator. I was so put off by the constant distraction of the background “music” (if you could call it that). It sounded like a meetup for 80s hair band guitarists, all warming up at once on an echoey stage. It made listening to this book resemble a subtle form of torture.

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Good story, distracting music

The story is real and raw and entertaining. The problem is that there is this awful jazzy music playing in the background the whole time. I tried getting my credit back, it was that distracting for me. I regretted this purchase.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-26-19

Music in the background driving me mad!!!

I've listened to a lot of audiobooks now and never heard any with a background track and to be honest I don't know if I'll be able to finish the book..... It's doing my head in!!!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Alfred
  • 06-20-20

Don’t download this audio:

This is the worst recording of an audiobook I’ve come across. The narrator is in an echoey room and there’s a backing track for the whole book. It’s an absolute waste of money and the producers of it should be thrown out of a plane.