Grasshopper Jungle

by | Read by Philip Church

Published by Listening Library

In the small town of Ealing, Iowa, Austin and his best friend Robby have accidentally unleashed an unstoppable army. An army of horny, hungry, six-foot-tall praying mantises that only want to do two things.

This is the truth. This is history. It’s the end of the world. And nobody knows anything about it. You know what I mean.

Funny, intense, complex, and brave, Grasshopper Jungle brilliantly weaves together everything from testicle-dissolving genetically modified corn to the struggles of recession-era, small-town America in this groundbreaking coming-of-age stunner.

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AudioFile Review

Grasshopper Jungle

Oh, the complications of being a teenager! Falling in love with your two best friends, one female, one male, then accidentally unleashing a plague that causes the end of the world. Philip Church narrates Smith’s novel with blunt tones, presenting a Vonnegut-like tale with straightforward prose. It works perfectly. The outlandishness of people turning into giant, murderous praying mantises is somehow perfectly balanced by the painful honesty of the teenage heart. Church takes the short, declarative sentences and, by simply performing them with a rapid, matter-of-fact delivery, captures the quick wit and sly thoughtfulness of the novel. Although Church has great energy and charm, be warned: The story’s narrator swears like a sailor. G.D. © AudioFile 2014, Portland, Maine

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