• Grasshopper Jungle

  • By: Andrew Smith
  • Narrated by: Philip Church
  • Length: 9 hrs and 20 mins
  • 3.8 out of 5 stars (178 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2014 Andrew Smith (P)2014 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

“A literary joy to behold.... reminds me of Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five, in the best sense.” (The New York Times Book Review)

"A meanderingly funny, weirdly compelling and thoroughly brilliant chronicle of ‘the end of the world, and shit like that’...a mighty good book." (Kirkus, starred review)

"Filled with gonzo black humor, Smith's outrageous tale makes serious points about scientific research done in the name of patriotism and profit, the intersections between the personal and the global, the weight of history on the present, and the often out-of-control sexuality of 16-year-old boys." (Publishers Weekly, starred review)

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What listeners say about Grasshopper Jungle

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

What just happened?

Be prepared for a horny teenage boy in this apocalyptic-coming-of-age story where our protagonist, Austin, is a history obsessed boy who is in love with his girlfriend and his best friend. Read the book description, it will tell you better. What I will tell you is this: 1) Read this book. Don't think about it, just do it. Cursing give you the willies? Get over it and read this book. 2) Be prepared for repetition - these are teenagers and they hear things in their heads over and over... and we're just along for the ride. 3) Laugh. Gasp. Think. and 4) Read everything else by Andrew Smith, just so you will know he's a fabulous author, but this book is so far above everything else - it's almost a little daunting.

My only drawback is listening to it - Philip Church has a pleasant voice, almost news-broadcaster-esque. It almost doesn't fit for this story, but at the end, I think I see why they chose him.

5 people found this helpful

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

Couldn't get past the horrible narrator

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

A different narrator

What didn’t you like about Philip Church’s performance?

He sounded like my old Kindle Keyboard text-to-speech...monotone droning. I know everyone has their own style, and typically within 15-30 minutes I can get in the groove, but his performance kept getting worse and worse. His voices were like someone reading to a child...trying to elicit a giggle. He made the dad sound stupid (darp). I can't even explain how bad his voices were. Everyone in the book sounded like they were retarded. I tried, but I couldn't get past how bad his narration was.

Any additional comments?

I adore Andrew Smith. However, I couldn't force myself to finish this audiobook. I will get the Kindle version, and just read it.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Read this book and loved it

I read this book an absolutely loved it, so I got the audio book as a familiar story that I could fall asleep to without being so hooked that it would keep me awake (as I already knew the story) but it sounds like Microsoft Sam is reading it to me in 2004. It is such an amazing book, and I think anyone who experiences it for the first time through this reading won't be able to get past the read quality to be able to appreciate the story.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

it was funny until it was not

I wanted to like this book. I thought it was funny and unique spin on the teen apocalyptic genre--teens being teens while the world ended. Once I figured out what the unstoppable soldier was a metaphor for, the story dragged and wasn't funny anymore. It seemed mean. Also, there were so many jokes and talk about testicles that I thought I was stuck back in middle school. Ugh.

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Read by a Robot

Is there anything you would change about this book?

The writing was smart and funny. Really great story.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Main character.

Would you be willing to try another one of Philip Church’s performances?

Maybe if it was a reading of the phone book. Or a dictionary.

Did Grasshopper Jungle inspire you to do anything?

Read another book.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Better Suited for a Movie

Complex character relationships andcompelling themes make for a satisfying story but it's all overshadowed by a tedious writing style, which, while comically dry and suitable, given the context, is too often repetitive and rambling. Edgar Wright's film adaptation will undoubtedly be better.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

In your face

This book is an in-your-face anti Christian/Lutheran propaganda piece to expose teens to gay semi-erotic "literature" disguised as science fiction.

1 person found this helpful