• The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint

  • By: Brady Udall
  • Narrated by: Scott Shina
  • Length: 16 hrs and 11 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (200 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

This astonishing novel was chosen as a Best Book of the Year by the Los Angeles Times, Entertainment Weekly, Publisher's Weekly and Newsweek. Contained within is the story of Edgar Mint, the half-Apache, mostly orphaned child who overcomes a serious childhood injury to embark on a life of tragedies, including a boarding school for Native Americans and a dysfunctional Mormon foster family.

©2001 Brady Udall (P)2002 Recorded Books, LLC

Critic Reviews

"A bit of a miracle in its own right." ( Kirkus Reviews, starred review)

What listeners say about The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint

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

Master Storyteller

If you could sum up The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint in three words, what would they be?

Detailed, Journey, Perseverence

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint?

There were many poignant moments. I was most affected when Edgar visits Cecil for the last time.

If you could take any character from The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint out to dinner, who would it be and why?

I would take Art. He is cantankerous, unassumingly funny, and says the darndest things.

Any additional comments?

Brady Udall's first novel is a detailed, tale of a half-apache mostly-orphaned boy who travels through one difficult situation to another. The story slowly unfolds with a mixture of anguish and all-out laughter. Settle in for a good listen.

57 people found this helpful

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

The Miracle In All of Us

In the long-term-care ward of a hospital, a little boy wakes up, a helmet of sorts secured around his head, his mind a blank slate---and so begins a sprawling adventure: Edgar's journey to find out just who, and why, is Edgar Mint. Edgar narrates the tale, and if he "could tell you just one thing", he would want you to know that "when I was 7 yrs. old, the mailman ran over my head." That, more than his name or what he has been told, is the identity he is sure about. He learns about his heartbreaking past and abandonement, he experiences cruelty and rejection, ridicule for being the "retarded" half-breed Indian kid, but he remains above all else, the kid that got his head run over by a mailman, detached but observant, driven to find a purpose, and where he belongs.

Publishers praised Udall's novel saying the characters were "Dickensenian;" critics said the writing was reminiscent of John Irving's; similarites to One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest were noted; readers' reviews were over the top (many saying this is now in their top 10 favs); and Michael Stipe (of R.E.M. fame) liked the novel enough to purchase film rights.

Reviews, even as lofty and complimentary as these have been, can be dangerous, and I wish I hadn't read most regarding Edgar Mint, because sometimes you get front-end-loaded by reviews--your experience of a book is colored by them. And that was the case for me. At times, I thought of Huck Finn, but I never had an Owen Meany moment. The characters are memorable, but lack the patina of Dickens' wonderful characters that have weathered the years. The only similarity I could see to Kesey's fabulous Cuckoo's Nest (one of my favorites) was a Native American with mental issues. I do think it will make an amazing movie, and it may be in my top 100.

Without comparisons, Udall can stand on his own merits. He is a very creative and original talent. He has created a beautiful, but often dark and drepressing, book with his own style of grand characters. His writing flows easily; he is descriptive but not verbose, and even in some pitiful moments is able to create humor. One noticeable strength in this book (and a remarkable achievement) is how Udall gave an authentic voice to Edgar, capturing that disconnect and trauma of someone that hasn't experienced a childhood and all the developmental stages we go through--but rather has been fed his childhood, like a bedtime story. Of course, being a talented writer, he weaves into this purposeful tale the inherent need in all of us to be loved, and the real "Miracle"...the power of the heart to love and to forgive.

My background is in psychology so I understood what Udall was doing with Edgar, (and I enjoyed the symbolic trunkload of typing Edgar hauls about) but still I had trouble connecting with him, even though I liked him. I wonder if sometimes Udall was a little too sparse with Edgar's emotions-- perhaps handling that detachment a little too well. But, inspite of my personal little problem, I think this book has broad appeal, with the exception of readers that may be offended with some language and sexual situations. I highly recommend and think that anyone that chooses to listen will have an unforgettable experience. And who knows...Edgar Mint, in time, may join the ranks of Huck Finn, Oliver Twist, Pip, David Copperfield, even "Chief" Bromden.

18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

One of my favorites

I've downloaded close to 100 books from Audible and this has to be one of my top 5 favorites.
A great story and a wonderful lead character.
The reader was also excellent. He handled dialogue from a range of characters with great versatility. Even his recreation of the occasional sound was a plus and not an intrusion.
I'll look for more books from the author and the narrator.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Worth a Listen

The book starts slow, but all of the detail is used well later on, and it all comes together nicely. I would recommend you give this a listed. I liked Owen Meany and although the storied are not similar, it is like these two boys are somehow related.

4 people found this helpful

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Highly Recommend

This story has it all, especially unforgetable characters. It's completely unpredictable and never takes a boring turn. I don't want to revel anything about this surprising book, so just take my word that you won't regret putting this one in your shopping cart.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A worthwhile read!

Brady Udall manages to draw you in, fully develop characters, and still keep the book moving! Twists and turns along the way and times when I thought, "Nah, this won't happen - there will be some type of happy fix for this problem," I was wrong. I'm already looking for more of his books!

The narrator, Scott Shina, is also fantastic!

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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What a great book!!!.....

.....It definately runs along the lines of a John Irving novel which really pleases me since I adore John Irving!....Edgar Mint gets straight into your heart and you just can't let go....from the stark and sad beginning to the incredible surprise ending......Edgar Mint is a survivor and someone that you will constantly root for. He makes many mistakes along the way but he always survives the most harrowing of life events by coming out on top......as Edgar mentions in the end of the book......he lives his life backwards by starting out having to make all the hard decisions and live all the hard ways of life and ending with being protected and loved and taken care of like a child....This is definately a hard book to put down and one that will bring out many different emotions from the reader.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great Book

Would you consider the audio edition of The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint to be better than the print version?

I think that the print may be better for this audiobook. I found that personally the story affected me more when I was reading it in print.

What other book might you compare The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint to and why?

Anything Dickens.

What about Scott Shina’s performance did you like?

You can tell that he was committed to Edger as a character and was totally convincing in almost all of the roles. The accounts of abuse touched me more in print. I do not know if that is the fault of the narrator or a personal preference.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

This book touched me in a big way. Start to finish the narrative griped me.

1 person found this helpful

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Different

This is a very different story written in a different way. Overall, the story isn't so bad. The ending is sweet. I would have given it a higher rating without so much swearing, and crude language / topics (ie. masturbation). I wish I had a way to know about those faults before hand so that I never would have bought this book.
Warning: there is A LOT of swearing in the first half of this book.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

I Flew Over the Kuckoo's Nest

I've listened to about 50 well selected books so far. The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint was the only one that had me laughing out loud many, many times. The part where Edgar has a long stay in the hospital reminded me of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. In fact, because my earplugs kept people from recognizing I was listening to something, when I'd burst out in laughter, they must have thought I too had ascended to the Cuckoo's nest. WONDERFUL BOOK!

1 person found this helpful