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Publisher's Summary

In the heart of America, a metropolis is quietly destroying itself. Detroit, once the richest city in the nation, is now its poorest. Once the vanguard of America’s machine age - mass production, automobiles, and blue-collar jobs - Detroit is now America’s capital for unemployment, illiteracy, foreclosure, and dropouts.

With the steel-eyed reportage that has become his trademark and the righteous indignation that only a native son can possess, journalist Charlie LeDuff sets out to uncover what has brought low this once-vibrant city, his city. In doing so, he uncovers the deeply human drama of a city filled with some of the strongest and strangest people our country has to offer.

©2013 Charlie LeDuff (P)2013 HighBridge Company

What the critics say

"Full of both literary grace and hard-won world-weariness...Iggy Pop meets Jim Carroll and Charles Bukowski." ( Kirkus)

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What listeners say about Detroit

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a gripping reality

very well read, with appropriate pauses...listen carefully and take the pauses as a chance to reflect on what you have just heard

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Heartbreaking Profile #Audible1

It’s a fascinating but admittedly tough read considering the core content. But it is wonderfully told and read. #Audible1

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Hardboiled

An amazing piece of journalism. Compelling story, characters, and take on Detroit. Perk is I never thought I'd have someone's sexts narrated for me.

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  • Mark David Van Der Maas
  • 2014-01-09

Couldn't stop listeneing

What made the experience of listening to Detroit the most enjoyable?

I bought this book because I wanted to get a history of Detroit and I got so much more. I was born and raised on the East Side and Charlie gives a voice to the struggle of the city. I can feel Detroit in the way he writes, and it helps me better understand where I came from, how the city molded me. He gives words to what so many people feel. This is an amazing audible title. I'll listen to this one again. Thanks Charlie!

Who was your favorite character and why?

Monica Conyers

What does Eric Martin bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He brings a voice to the book that puts you right in the story.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

"This is America bro, there's no such thing as spare change..."

7 people found this helpful

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  • Avid Reader and Listener
  • 2013-07-09

WOW

LeDuff delivers on the shocking goings-on of Detroit from the super-corrupt mayor to a super-corrupt judge to firemen who have to buy their own toilet paper because budgets are so mismanaged (ie, money pocketed by officials). Wish it was a tad more hopeful at the end, but it is what it is.

Narrator was good - think this is my first listen with him. But it would've been nice if some research had been done first to pronounce Detroit words correctly. Kil-PA-trick instead of KILL-patrick (who says that?). Mak-in-ack instead of Mack-in-aw Island. And the like.

Overall, quite good and mesmerizing.

22 people found this helpful

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  • Homebound
  • 2013-06-17

Harrowing

A wringing account of the demise of Detroit. Almost mind-numbing in its dark detail, but impossible to put down. Not for those with delicate ears. Heavy with the actual profanity of modern-day Detroit.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Nicholas
  • 2013-08-02

Car wreck fascinating

Was Detroit worth the listening time?

Detroit takes several story lines and weaves them together to give the reader a broad, but depressing, view of the largest bankrupt city in the world. The book revolves around Charles LeDuff's family experiences in the city, with a healthy dose of stories mixed in from his days as a Detroit newspaper journalist. It definitely held my interest, the power, corruption, death, and inability of Detroiters to quit swirling the drain by backing the same policies over and over definitely makes for a gripping story. It tends to blend together sometimes, and you have to pay attention to the plot line carefully, but Detroit's an interesting read none the less.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Jodie
  • 2013-12-25

Powerful

Honestly, I bought this book because it was on the $5 book list and I thought that it might be nice to learn more about what has happened to Detroit. I never thought the book would turn out to be this good. It is a true story that reads like a novel. It is really powerful and it made me think a lot about where the rest of America was heading. It is gruesome in parts and sometimes I forgot that this book is a true story - you really don't want to believe that these kinds of things are not fiction. I highly recommend it.

8 people found this helpful

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  • NDFletch
  • 2014-01-02

Gritty and authentic, just like Detroit

Any additional comments?

LeDuff's narrative of the Motor City squalor is gritty and authentic. The city IS a mess and he pulls no punches. He weaves the city's story with his family's history and demons artfully, albeit with blue collar language and coarseness that makes the book unsuitable for younger readers.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Laura Fisher-Day
  • 2013-11-29

He tells it like it is

I am from the suburbs of Detroit and it was easy to picture all of the places Charlie takes you. Learned things about area (good & bad) I didn't know. Also interesting stories of some of the local politics - people should be ashamed of themselves! Charlie is a great character and the reader did a good job in capturing that personality

6 people found this helpful

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  • Sam Motes
  • 2014-02-08

Detroit as the canary in the coal mine

A brutal look at the decaying city of Detroit brought low by unabated greed, corruption, and a world that has left it behind. The tragic stories of those trying to keep a shred of humanness as they struggle a lonely existence through a dystopian city is told by the author in a very in your face gloomy manor that tries to use Detroit demise as a wake up call for the rest of us.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Andy
  • 2013-06-08

through one lens

I enjoyed listening to this book, but I think it was more about Charles LeDuff and his family, than the city of Detroit.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Alex
  • 2013-05-24

Exceptional

What would have made Detroit better?

Perhaps a website that showed the places and the characters would have the story easier to follow.

Would you be willing to try another one of Eric Martin’s performances?

Yes

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Detroit?

I would have shorted his personal history.

2 people found this helpful