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Publisher's Summary

“An extraordinary accomplishment.... A remarkable book that will be of great value to people who feel isolated, alienated and overwhelmed by the circumstances of their lives.” --Hubert Selby, Jr., author of Last Exit to Brooklyn

“[Stahl] is a better-than-Burroughs virtuoso.” --Thomas Mallon, The New Yorker

“Original, appalling, indelible picture of a man trying to swim and drown at the same time. Stahl has nerve, heart, a language of his own and a ghastly, riotous humor.” --Tobias Wolff, author of This Boy’s Life

Permanent Midnight is one of the most harrowing and toughest accounts ever written in this century about what it means to be a junkie in America, making Burroughs look dated and Kerouac appear as the nose-thumbing adolescent he was.” --Booklist

A searing confessional infused with the darkest humor, Permanent Midnight chronicles the opiated abyss of a Hollywood screenwriter and his formidable climb into sobriety. 

Made into a major motion picture starring Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson, Permanent Midnight is revered by critics and an ever-growing cult of devoted fans as one of the most compelling contemporary memoirs.

©2015 by Jerry Stahl (P)2015 by Rare Bird Books, all rights reserved. Music © 2015 by Joe Cardamone.

What listeners say about Permanent Midnight

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Point deduction for the recording

This is hands down one of the most incredible books I have ever “read”. The author is a true master of language and I often LOL with his creative word play. The story is beyond amazing. This is a MUST-READ. However, the recording contains this awful looped ambient music that persists throughout the entirety of the book and sits almost at the same volume as the narrator’s voice. I found it terribly distracting and I would urge the publisher to re-release it without this feature.

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Background Music

I wanted to love this but I wasn’t able to get past the background music.

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Irritating music score

The music lasts throughout the entire book and hinders listening. The story itself is powerful.

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The Movie is much better

I really liked the movie, and assumed the book would reveal nuance and detail which was probably left on the editing room floor. And maybe that’s true. However, the narration and (perhaps) the writing is so highly affected that I couldn’t stick with it. I don’t need a narrator overly dramatizing, whispering and desperately gasping this story out right up on the mic in order to get it. Just knowing the outline, I’m sufficiently informed that it’s a desperate tale. Therefore, honest direct spoken word should work just fine. This kind of thing makes me wonder - is there a production team involved when books are committed to spoken word? A beta-team of test listeners to get an overview of timing and quality before the title is released for sale? Maybe it’s just me. Regardless, I went into this book just sure I was going to love it, and wow, was I wrong. It was torturous. Creepy.

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Rapid Staccato Oft-Putting

I wanted to enjoy this audiobook. I may go back and read the print version. I think it is an interesting story. I couldn’t get passed the first few chapters. The rapid fire staccato reminded me of a poetry reading. While I have nothing against poetry I couldn’t handle more than a few chapters. Definitely download the sample and see if it is for you.

1 person found this helpful

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WOW; Brutally Honest!

From page one gut reaching, raw and real addiction experiences of Jerry Stahl. The asks over and over- How is this man still alive? He truly has an Angel on his shoulder.
Well worth the read!

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Gritty, no holds-bar, gut wrenching... HEROIN

Wow, where do I begin? This is as real as it gets. You want to know about heroin addiction?
This book is it. I laughed, I cringed, I was astonished. By far thee most down in the dumpster pit of addiction I've yet to read/listen to.
This blows the movie away.
Get this!
BRAVO to JS for having the soul-searching honesty to write this

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OK for a supposed classic

I am a fan of this type of material. I love transgressive fiction and bios that relate to that kind of subject matter. I put this one off for years and finally got around to it. While the overall story is ok, it needed some heavy editing. It's easy to lose track of where you are in his life when when every few pages is a relapse, something disgusting happens, rehab repeat ad nauseum. My favorite part is where he still had things relatively together particularly his time with Hustler magazine. As for this Audible version...phew...not well produced at all. While I appreciate having an author do the narration, Jerry Stahl has a severe lisp and talks very fast which gets almost into mumble territory at times. To make matters worse, the music background is jarring and unnecessary, and way too loud. Glad I finally got through this one but it was a chore.

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Background music makes it impossible 2 get through

Unable to get through Chapter 1, nearly had a heart attack on the highway, a real loud crash of the music shocked me in chapter 1 on my way home from work. I can't get focus with the background noise. What a waste of money.

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permanent change

glad i listened. a visceral journey through the bedevilment on addiction. amazing story. inspired by its truth.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-26-19

Music in the background driving me mad!!!

I've listened to a lot of audiobooks now and never heard any with a background track and to be honest I don't know if I'll be able to finish the book..... It's doing my head in!!!

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  • Clarice Wilson
  • 04-26-22

Great Book

Absolutely awful idea to put music in the background however Jerry Stahl is a great writer who's talent is not drowned out.

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  • Alfred
  • 06-20-20

Don’t download this audio:

This is the worst recording of an audiobook I’ve come across. The narrator is in an echoey room and there’s a backing track for the whole book. It’s an absolute waste of money and the producers of it should be thrown out of a plane.