Closing Time

Closing Time

A Memoir

Downloadable Audiobook - 2009
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Joe Queenan's acerbic riffs on movies, sports, books, politics, and many of the least forgivable phenomena of pop culture have made him one of the most popular humorists and commentators of our time. In Closing Time, Queenan turns his sights on a more serious and personal topic: his childhood in a Philadelphia housing project in the early 1960s. By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, Closing Time recounts Queenan's Irish Catholic upbringing in a family dominated by his erratic father, a violent yet oddly charming emotional terrorist whose alcoholism fuels a limitless torrent of self-pity, railing, destruction, and late-night chats with the Lord Himself. With the help of a series of mentors and surrogate fathers, and armed with his own furious love of books and music, Joe begins the long flight away from the dismal confines of his neighborhood-with a brief misbegotten stop at a seminary-and into the wider world. Queenan's unforgettable account of the damage done to children by parents without futures and of the grace children find to move beyond these experiences will appeal to fans of Augusten Burroughs and Mary Karr, and will take its place as an autobiography in the classic American tradition.
Publisher: [United States] :, Tantor Audio :, Made available through hoopla,, 2009.
Edition: Unabridged.
ISBN: 9781400192168
Branch Call Number: eAudiobook hoopla
Characteristics: 1 online resource (1 audio file (12hr., 30 min.)) :,digital.
digital, Digital recording
data file, rda
Additional Contributors: Heller, Johnny
Alternative Title: hoopla (Digital media service)


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Jul 02, 2013

I am glad I read _Closing Time_. For one, Queenan's descriptions of Philadelphia neighborhoods and Center City are spot on and evoke the city and its past in a way that resonated with me, helped me understand that city better. For another, Queenan does make numerous important observations as to what it means to grow up poor, not only economically, but culturally. However, I wanted more of that kind of analysis. While I appreciate and understand how Queenan's relationship with his brutal father colors his entire existence, at times, I thought that the narrative became repetitive, or self-indulgent, as another critic put it.

Jul 07, 2012

The content of this book is very good - I gave it four stars - but this CD version is dreadful. I have the impression that the reader has a limited vocabulary because of the number of words he mispronounces: the worst was "Giuseppe Verdi" when he pronounced the "G" as a hard G as in "gill."

This is the second book read by Johnny Heller that I have listened to and I just can't recommend him. I gave the written book 4 stars but this one only gets 2.5 for the lousy reading.

Aug 01, 2010

I could not get through more then the first cd. I wonder if the gloom ever lifted. A tortured beginning, and I hope it went on to a better end.

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