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Publisher's Summary

The unforgettable voyager of this dark picaresque is I. B. "Berl" Pickett, M.D., whose die was probably cast the moment his mother thought to name him after Irving Berlin. Other insults piled on apace thereafter: the spasms of Pentecostal Sunday worship; the social debilitation of following his parents' itinerant rug-shampooing business; the erotic initiation at the hands of his aunt. It's hard to imagine what would have become of him had he not gone to medical school.

But there must be meaning to existence beyond professional accreditation, and though scantly equipped, Berl Pickett has been on a mission to find it, despite being charged with negligent homicide in the death of his former lover. Will he at last find his spiritual awakening?

©2010 Thomas McGuane. All rights reserved. (P)2010 AudioGo

Critic Reviews

“No American novelist provides greater pleasure—sentence by sentence, paragraph by paragraph, page by page—than this Montana icon.” (Chicago Sun-Times)
“Excellent. . . . Expertly quilting together the sacred and the profane, the comic and the tragic. . . Driving on the Rim should be read aloud and savored.” (The Boston Globe)
“Triumphant. . . . McGuane’s funniest novel, absurdist in an inimitably American way. . . . One of this country’s greatest comic novelists, right up there with Mark Twain.” (Men’s Journal)

What listeners say about Driving on the Rim

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Delightful

I came across Driving on the Rim when I accidently clicked on the wrong audio blog on iTunes and got a reading my Thomas McGuane (instead of New York Times Book Review). I enjoyed his reading and bought this one on the spot. I don't listen to fiction as a rule and generally find myself disappointed. Driving on the Rim is a pleasant "listen in the car on a trip" book, however. It concerns Berl Pickett who is a housepainter come doctor who practices in Livingston, Montana. The beauty of the book is the descriptions McGuane offers the reader on fishing, patients, clinic infighting by personnel, birding, and generally what it is like to live in a rural area. The reading of Traber Burns is very good.

3 people found this helpful

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Excellent

A wonderful journey. And a fabulous, cleverly written life history. Written by a writer, not a voyeur.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

What fiction can be

It seemed like the story was not being told in chronological order, yet it was. Like the beautiful silk lining of a fine coat, there were stories layered into stories, stitched with hidden threads, told in a way that didn't make sense till you moved forward or thought back. Then, once you understand what the author's doing and has done, you move into the more straightforward part of the story and it becomes a wonderful novel, with deep characters and plenty of plot. I really liked the narrator (first book I ever listened to and I must say it spoiled me compared to others I've heard since).

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Never Evolved

I had the dubious luxury of listening to this entire audiobook in one sitting on a very long drive. It seems like Thomas McGuane is drawn to narratives of a particular type of romatic conquest, and he provides example after example of this here. After the 4th or 5th example I began to grow weary. By the ninth example, I was fed up. this audiobook has successfully cured me of my interest in the writing of Thomas McGuane.

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Absolutely gorgeous writing !

I was very excited to hear Thomas McGuane . I’ve only heard short stories from The New Yorker. He’s brilliant and the narration was good. I prefer the single reader who uses inflection for different characters. I highly recommend this book for its honest and captivating characters.

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Disjointed anecdotes

This lumbering series of hard-to believe disjointed anecdotes and themes in the life of a young small-town doctor really beg for an editor. I wish I hadn’t used up a credit or the time.

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McGuane is now a favorite writer

As I listen to the story I wonder if McGuane is a perfectionist and hardworking author or is he just that gifted to write so many unique and profound turns of phrase and descriptions. Perhaps he is both.
The performance was also a part of my experience. I love the voice.