The Contortionist's Handbook

A Novel
Narrated by: Ray Porter
Length: 6 hrs and 40 mins
Categories: Fiction, Contemporary
4.5 out of 5 stars (231 ratings)

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

John Dolan Vincent was born with an extra ring finger on one hand. He was an abnormally gifted child with a proclivity for mathematics beyond his years, but he lacked social skills. Childhood ridicule and a difficult family life led him to use his talents in adulthood for criminal acts of forgery. When he starts getting untreatable migraines, his self-medication results in overdosing which sends him repeatedly to the emergency room. There, he risks being institutionalized as suicidal, so he draws upon his forgery skills to reinvent a new identity for himself each time. Identity theft, drugs, and crime drag his life into a downward spiral. His clients in the L.A. underworld lose patience, the hospital evaluator might not be fooled by his story, and the only person in as much danger as himself is the woman who knows his real name.
©2009 Craig Clevenger (P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

Clevenger has produced an utterly persuasive and compelling novel, combining the zest and enthusiasm of a new voice with the craft and the guile of a veteran. The movie is in production with Das Films for release in 2011.
"Clevenger cleverly creates a modern-day Mr. Ripley." - ( Booklist)
"[A] remarkable debut." ( Time Out New York)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    120
  • 4 Stars
    75
  • 3 Stars
    25
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    4

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    95
  • 4 Stars
    36
  • 3 Stars
    12
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    78
  • 4 Stars
    43
  • 3 Stars
    17
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    1

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

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Excellent narration!

The book was good, but the narration was excellent! A fantastic performance by Ray Porter.

1 person found this helpful

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

Excellent but short

There are book you finish reading and say "that was really good" and there are books you finish and say "that was really good...I have to tell people." This book is the latter.

1 person found this helpful

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

Tough book

Tough book at times. Narration very monoton at times, but still enjoyable. That's all .

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

Great book!

Great “read”. Definitely recommend this one. In the same genre as Chuck Palahniuk
Perfect narration

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Not for Me

Any additional comments?

When the first quarter of the book was about a guy trying to beat a WAY-overcooked suicide evaluation, I started to wonder if there was actually going to be a plot. I never found out because due to the author dragging out what should have been a scene into an act, I decided this wasn't for me.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Good pace and prose but a bit of a let down

I was very excited when downloading this as it had come very highly reccomended by Chuck Palahniuk and others and there is a strong flavour of Fight Club to storyline. It is a very gripping book that has a great sense of slickness and pace but the last 20 pages left me feeling a bit short changed. Worth a listen though, you may feel differently.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

I am Jack's utter lack of imagination

I enjoy Palahniuk's work so I should be the target audience for this book. The author has cribbed CP's style but there isn't much else going on here. If you are in the mood to be lectured by another hipster, bad boy savant with substance abuse problems for a few hours, have at it. The book is dull and aimless but the real crime is the pedantic tone which Ray Porter takes every opportunity to underscore with a snide, heavy handed reading. The bulk of the tale is given over to detailed descriptions of how to change your identity; the book might have been salvaged if the protagonist had some original or clever tricks to teach us. If you are looking for something in this vein try CP's Salvation - it is underrated.

3 people found this helpful

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

Great reading by Ray Porter

A great listen and very well read by the narrator. Was not sure what to expect from this title and I was pleasantly surprised.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for SteveLW
  • SteveLW
  • 02-25-10

Great until the end

Loved the book but the ending seemed abrupt. It wasn't a bad ending, it just wasn't a good or timely one. Still worth it despite the disappointment - well researched and written.

1 person found this helpful