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Publisher's Summary

Like Foxcatcher meets The Art of Fielding, Stephen Florida follows a college wrestler in his senior season, when every practice, every match, is a step closer to greatness and a step further from sanity. Profane, manic, and tipping into the uncanny, Stephen Florida a story of loneliness, obsession, and the drive to leave a mark.

©2017 Gabe Habash (P)2017 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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

Spectacular. I couldn't stop listening.

A compelling and disturbing listen that I can't recommend enough. The titular character is one of the more intriguing (unhinged, dislikable, yet fascinating) I've encountered in literature. The wrestling descriptions were spot on, and the storyline not predictable.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Stephen Florida is 2017's Fight Club

(My review here varies slightly from its original on the audible.com website.)

Stephen Florida reminds me of: Rocky Balboa, Timothy Leary and Donnie Darko. He notices everything. He understands his place in the world, adapts, survives, thrives.
Will Damron, the audiobook's narrator, gives a powerful reading: suspenseful at game time and introspective during injury and exploration.
The audiobook helps bring out the "sympathetic narrative" that may be lost when reading the text alone.
Stephen Florida learned early in life where and how to find an arena for his "madness." (Call it youthful vigor.) He gives me hope because I have known people just like him. Rural people. College kids. Single-minded survivors. He's no "Less than Zero" cynic. He's brave and courageous.

If you liked "Fight Club" by Chuck Palahniuk than "Stephen Florida" is sure to have you laughing, crying and cheering aloud all at once.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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

Intensity

The crazed single-minded determination of a nowhere college wrestler copes with normal life.

The narrator is always on the brink of a psychic break while pursuing his lifelong dream. I really enjoyed getting in his head. The voice is consistent and immersive, and the author has many choice turns of phrase.

A great listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Do it!

This has that in-your-face diction and inner dialogue you find in books like Choke by Chuck Palanuik. Great performance too!

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Absolutely brilliant, a knockout

Gabe Habash presents himself as a major talent with his debut. I'm amazed that this book was not on all the best of the year lists of 2017. The intensity and precision with which Habash goes into the mind of the lead character, the lonely, brilliant, borderline crazy and determined Stephen Florida is dazzling.
Stephen is the narrator, and he is as human and real a character as you are likely to come into contemporary fiction. In this day and age of literary and politically correct stereotypes, Stephen is a full fledged human being, alienated but not crazy, determined to win because winning is meaning. Through Stephen we see a whole universe of the troubled and troubling people which surround him, his peers, teachers, his deceased parents, his crazy aunt. The narrator is Stephen himself, and one of the great merits of the novel is that you never know what is going to happen next. Even if you could not really call this a thriller, it is written with that crazy intensity. The brilliance of Habash is reminding us that life is a thriller, especially for a young man involved in college competitive sporting. You don't have to like sports to like this novel. This novel is up there with recent great American novels like Billy Lynn`s Long Halftime Walk, The Sympathizer and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.
Will Damron`s performance is a big part of the success of this recording. He is the perfect voice to give life to Stephen. It's one of the best performances for a fiction audiobook I have ever listened to.
Jump right in. Unforgettable experience.