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The Neon Bible  By  cover art

The Neon Bible

By: John Kennedy Toole
Narrated by: Nick Sullivan
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Publisher's Summary

John Kennedy Toole - who won a posthumous Pulitzer Prize for his best-selling comic masterpiece A Confederacy of Dunces - wrote The Neon Bible for a literary contest at the age of 16. The manuscript languished in a drawer and became the subject of a legal battle among Toole's heirs. It was only in 1989, 35 years after it was written and 20 years after Toole's suicide at 31, that this amazingly accomplished and evocative novel was freed for publication.

©1989 W. Kenneth Holditch, Marion Toole Hosli, Sharon H. Muniz, Althea Toole Farley, and Mary Toole McGuire. Recorded by arrangement with Grove Atlantic, Inc. (P)2014 Audible Inc.

What listeners say about The Neon Bible

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  • Overall
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Brilliant

I had purchased, heard, and loved John Kennedy Toole's A CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES on Audible, so when I saw that his other book was available, I immediately purchased it. The narrator is absolutely perfect, with his Southern accent and perfect imitation of both male and female characters. His inflections are perfect, too, as well as the overall pace of the reading. As a child of the South, born in Biloxi, and doomed to suffer as a spiritual seeker in the Bible belt, I appreciate this story so much for so many reasons. Thank you, John Kennedy Toole, wherever you are, you perfect writer.

9 people found this helpful

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Early Masterpiece

COD is one of my favorite books of all time. The chance to listen to this early novel written when Toole was only 15 was really incredible and it didn't disappoint. The introduction adds great context, and what the book lays bare about bigotry, ignorance, and "in group" selfishness is just as prescient and insightful today. It's an excellent work and, like COD, a sad, funny, absurd, humanistic literary treasure.

4 people found this helpful

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Outstanding

Amazing. Brilliant performance, a rich & engaging story. Toole's talent even at age sixteen is immense.

4 people found this helpful

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Thankful for this book

I was surprised to find this title and enjoyed it after listening to Confederacy at least a dozen times. The sensitivity Toole demonstrates is heartbreaking. But having these insights into the narrator’s mind was strangely comforting. The ending seemed like it shared a theme with his better-known work; there always seems to be sirens in the distance, coming for the narrator. And I always hope our workin’ boy, in whatever shape he takes, can outrun them.

3 people found this helpful

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An Amazing Novel For A 16 Year Old Author

"The Neon Bible" is a medium length novel set in the American South after World War II. It is written entirely in first person from the perspective of a young man protagonist. The author was 16 years old when this novel was penned. Considering the age of the author, I was amazed how this is written.

As an audiobook the product is excellent. The narration is excellent. Nick Sullivan did an excellent job. The story itself is not so complicated that it cannot be followed by listening. In that context, this is an excellent novel to be listened to as an audiobook.

If one is a fan of traditional "Southern Literature" as I am, one may find this an excellent choice for a reading listening experience. Just keep in mind the young age of the author. Thank You...

3 people found this helpful

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A Little Gem

I adored Toole's "A Confederacy of Dunces" back when it was first published.
This little book was written while the author was quite young and it was denied
publication due to medieval laws in Louisiana.
Toole has an authentic voice and perspective. His work falls somewhere in-
between William Faulkner (family secrets and dysfunction, racial issues)
and Fanny Flag (southern eccentric characters and humor).
It's a tragedy that Toole left little behind when he took his life.
It's refreshing to spend time with a literary genius...
I highly recommend this book!

2 people found this helpful

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Amazing

I can’t believe he wrote this at 15. Great story, I couldn’t put it down and finished it in a day.

2 people found this helpful

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Amazing for a 16-year-old author!

While Toole was obviously a very talented teenage writer, and I'd give 5 stars for that age group, compared to adult fiction, it must honestly be rated as a four. This would be a wonderful book for elementary school kids to listen to! They would be far more interested in another child's story, told in a way children can appreciate.

2 people found this helpful

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It’s surprising the author was 16 when he wrote this

This book is really good as good as anything I’ve listen to. I got it because I just finished “conspiracy of dunces” by the same author that book is amazing and really funny. At one point I was laughing so hard tears are streaming down my eyes

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Horribly read, but good book

a 40 year old New Yorker reading as a 15 year old southern boy? almost ruined the entire book