The Paperboy

  • by Pete Dexter
  • Narrated by Sean Runnette
  • 10 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The sun was rising over Moat County, Florida, when Sheriff Thurmond Call was found on the highway, gutted like an alligator. A local redneck was tried, sentenced, and set to fry.
Then Ward James, a hotshot investigative reporter for the Miami Times, returns to his rural hometown with a death row femme fatale who promises him the story of the decade. She's armed with explosive evidence and aims to free - and meet - her convicted "fiancé."
With Ward's disillusioned younger brother Jack as their driver, they barrel down Florida's back roads and seamy places in search of the story, racing flat out into a shocking head-on collision between character and fate as truth takes a backseat to headline news.
Pete Dexter is the author of the National Book Award-winning novel Paris Trout, among others. He has been a columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News and the Sacramento Bee and has contributed to many magazines, including Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and Playboy. His screenplays include Rush and Mulholland Falls.

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What the Critics Say

"An eerie and beautiful novel. Its secrets continue to reveal themselves long after the book has been finished." (New York Times)
"[Dexter] has written as sparsely here as in any of his previous books, and most of what carries the reader along so irresistibly lies beneath the surface of his prose."-New York Times
"With clarity and an amazing capacity for simplicity of language and down-home metaphor, Dexter weaves a tale that exposes the extremes of goodness and nastiness that exist in newspaper life."-Washington Post

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Newspaper v. Corruption down South

This is an all American tale of a murky little town down South, run by a sheriff renowned for killing black men and anybody else who takes his fancy. He has received his come uppance (sliced down the middle like an alligator) and a relative of his most recent victim is on death row. Job done? Of course not. The Paperboy of the title refers to the narrator of this story. He is a young man, thrown out of college, and now working as a delivery boy on his father's newspaper. His brother Ward is a charismatic reporter working on the Miami Times and he and his sidekick, Yardley Acheman, take it upon themselves to investigate the crime. In walks a femme fatale in the shape of Charlette Bless, a curiously determined yet vulnerable woman who writes to death row prisoners and has become engaged with the suspect without ever meeting him.
This is a brooding ponderous tale filled with murky characters some of whom are bordering on insanity. The one shining light is the relationship between the brothers. The younger man is perfectly aware of Ward's secrets but remains non-judgemental and constant throughout the story. The is far more to this than a straightforward detective story and the conclusion is intelligent and thoroughly satisfying.
Sean Runnette reads this in a slow reflective manner and initially I wanted him to speed things along. After a while I became almost hypnotised by his voice and realised he is perfect for this material.
This was a fantastic find on Audible and one that is thoroughly recommended.

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- Kaggy

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-10-2012
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.