• Substitute

  • Going to School with a Thousand Kids
  • By: Nicholson Baker
  • Narrated by: Tom Zingarelli
  • Length: 22 hrs and 26 mins
  • 2.9 out of 5 stars (10 ratings)

1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $41.99

Buy for $41.99

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

In 2014, after a brief orientation course and a few fingerprinting sessions, Nicholson Baker became an on-call substitute teacher in a Maine public school district. He awoke to the dispatcher's five-forty a.m. phone call and headed to one of several nearby schools; when he got there, he did his best to follow lesson plans and help his students get something done. What emerges from Baker's experience is a complex, often touching deconstruction of public schooling in America: children swamped with overdue assignments, overwhelmed by the marvels and distractions of social media and educational technology, and staff who weary themselves trying to teach in step with an often outmoded or overly ambitious standard curriculum. In Baker's hands, the inner life of the classroom is examined anew as the author and his pupils struggle to find ways to get through the day. Baker is one of the most inventive and remarkable writers of our time, and Substitute, filled with humor, honesty, and empathy, may be his most impressive work of nonfiction yet.

©2016 Nicholson Baker (P)2016 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Compelling, enormously detailed, [and] endlessly surprising." ( Booklist)
"Tom Zingarelli sounds like he's having as much fun narrating this audiobook as the author must have had in writing about his 28-day experience as a substitute teacher in a Maine public school district.... Zingarelli has a voice and style that don't fit neatly into categories. His rich, deep, slightly fuzzy voice dips and soars, quickens and slows, and renders heartfelt character voices that ring true. He also grabs Baker's style - sarcastic, realistic, sympathetic - and translates it for the spoken word. It's a fun book and worth a listen." ( AudioFile)

What listeners say about Substitute

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    2
Performance
  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    2
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    4
Story
  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    2
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

BONG BONG BONG BONG BONG BONG

I tried. I really tried. I thought it was a great concept but the loud "BONG" sounds every 5 min or so made this selection unlistenable.

2 people found this helpful

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

Terrible

I rarely leave reviews when I don’t enjoy a book, but this one was so truly awful that I can’t put it behind me.

The premise behind this book had me so interested. The author spent 28 days as a public school substitute teacher, and documented his experience. As both a former teacher and current substitute, I was excited to hear about his experience and have an “outsider” view of what teaching was like to someone who had never really experienced it.

Instead, we followed along as Mr. Baker was merely a warm body adult in a classroom. No real attempt at teaching was made. He disregarded teachers lesson plans and seasoned teachers advice. He documented his inability to even show up on time for assignments, because he was “tired”. And probably the worse part was how he stereotyped and described students, more often using negative attributes.

This book is nothing more than him being a fly on the wall and regurgitating a months worth of boring, overheard conversations from students. He never even made an attempt to teach.

A complete waste of time and money.