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The First Bad Man

Narrated by: Miranda July
Length: 8 hrs and 5 mins
4 out of 5 stars (229 ratings)

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Summary

A Guardian literary highlight for 2015
A Huffington Post 'One to Watch' in 2015
An Amazon Rising Star 2015

"Astounding" (Lena Dunham, creator of Girls and author of Not That Kind of Girl)

"The First Bad Man brings together all of July's talents - it's a book that must be read, a book that must be purchased - in duplicate - one for you, one for a friend. Don't think you can loan this book - you'll never get it back" (A. M. Homes, author of This Book Will Save Your Life and May We Be Forgiven)

The first novel by the filmmaker, artist and bestselling author Miranda July confirms her as a spectacularly original, iconic, and important voice today, and a writer for all time. The First Bad Man is dazzling and unforgettable.

©2015 Miranda July (P)2015 Canongate Books Ltd

Critic reviews

"Astounding" (Lena Dunham, creator of Girls and author of Not That Kind of Girl)
"The First Bad Man brings together all of July's talents - it's a book that must be read, a book that must be purchased - in duplicate - one for you, one for a friend. Don't think you can loan this book - you'll never get it back" (A. M. Homes, author of This Book Will Save Your Life and May We Be Forgiven)
"The novel exploded my expectations and became unlike anything I've ever read...hilarious...A wry, smart companion on any day. It's warm, it has a heartbeat and a pulse. This is a book that is painfully alive." (The New York Times Book Review)
"Astounding...she will make you laugh, cringe and recognise yourself in a woman you never planned to be...Never has a novel spoken so deeply to my sexuality, my spirituality, my secret self. I know I am not alone." (Lena Dunham)
"I am in awe of Miranda July...The First Bad Man brings together all of July's talents - it's a book that must be read, a book that must be purchased - in duplicate - one for you, one for a friend. Don't think you can loan this book - you'll never get it back." (A.M. Homes, author of This Book Will Save Your Life and May Be Forgiven)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Couldn't put it down!

A fly on the wall peak into the life of a woman who is held together by her almost OCD habits and insular life style. Everything is turned upside down by her new house guest that will change everything to her very core for the rest of her life. This will make you laugh out loud but also make you uncomfortable and cringe, listening to her every thought and crazy, almost section-able view of the most normal of activities!! Definitely worth a read. An amazing first novel. I can't wait to see what's next....

8 people found this helpful

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Anything but kooky

What made the experience of listening to The First Bad Man the most enjoyable?

It is always special when a writer reads their own work, but July's use of tone and verbal inflection is so important in her writing that it was exciting to hear what kind of voice *she* imagined for each character, how this whisper would sound or that shout.

What other book might you compare The First Bad Man to, and why?

This is difficult as July has such a unique style, but perhaps Camus' 'The Stranger' or Calvino's 'If on a winter's night'? Narratively and structurally 'The First Bad Man' is completely different to both books, but they come the closest to the slightly disturbing, hallucinatory, disconnected, dream-like feeling that July conveys so well.

Which character – as performed by Miranda July – was your favourite?

Probably Cheryl herself - July performs her with enormous empathy and kindness.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

There we moments when I almost wanted to stop listening - some of the sexual imagery is very graphic and the violence can be unnerving...but - without revealing what happens - the end of the book made me punch the air with delight. I want to listen to the whole thing all over again.

10 people found this helpful

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Los Angeles Surreal

I really wasn't sure what to expect. It was a crazy story but I think I stuck with it because I know crazy people like this in LA who are into reiki and past life regression. I'm from LA so I can "stereotype" with ease. I know all these people. It was like Murakami does Venice Beach

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Deafening brilliance

Stunning book. Hilarious throughout and weirdly wonderful. Miranda July is my new favourite author ♡♡♡

3 people found this helpful

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Funny and disturbing

A unique literary voice, a story like no other. Funny, disturbing, intriguing and touching. A very human story. July rocks.

3 people found this helpful

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Brilliant and bizarre

This book is totally bizarre and surprising. Every time I thought it's oddness was getting to much it pulled me back in. Miranda July makes the madness of introversion accessible and easy somehow even though the ideas are abstract they become universal.

4 people found this helpful

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Mediocre

Funny bits aren't very funny. The characters are unbelievable. The mid-book lurch to middle-aged bildungsroman left me cold. I am making it sound worse than it is.

1 person found this helpful

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Only got 3 chapters in

Quite strange- not for me!
When it likened the toilet not flushing to needing an old dog I'm afraid I was out.

1 person found this helpful

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not for me

this really isn't my sort of book, I know I only listened to a couple of chapters, I found it very dreary and I thought the narrator had no expression

1 person found this helpful

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worst I have read

I read it is a comedy
but I can't find anything funny
stopped half way , never do that usually.

1 person found this helpful