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Running the Light cover art

Running the Light

Written by: Sam Tallent,Kyle Kinane - foreword
Narrated by: Greg Chaille,Tracy Chaille,Trae Crowder,Tim Dillon,David Gborie,Chris Gethard,Adam Cayton Holland,Jackie Kashian,Rick Kerns,Kyle Kinane,Bert Kreischer,Kristine Levine,Nathan Lund,Nora Lynch,full cast
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Publisher's Summary

Debauched, divorced, and courting death, Billy Ray Schafer is a comedian who has forgotten how to laugh. Over the course of seven spun-out days across the American Southwest, he travels from from hell gig to hell gig in search of a reason to keep living in this bleak and violent glimpse into the psyche of a thoroughly ruined man. Ex-inmate, ex-husband, ex-father - comedian is the only title Schafer has left. Trapped in the wreckage of his wasted career, Billy Ray knows the answer to the question: What happens when the opportunity doesn't come - or worse - it comes and goes?

©2018, 2019, 2020 Sam Tallent (P)2021 Tantor

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    5 out of 5 stars

A good idea in theory, but not in practise.

I have been a fan of Sam’s stand up for a year now, and after finishing this book I am in awe of his writing ability. It’s vivid detail draws the listener in immediately and keeps it up the entire time.
The story is rough, dirty, and desperate. I picked up a lot of nods to the writing style of Charles Bukowski, Billy Ray may very well be who Henry Chinaski would become as a stand up comic...

That being said I came into this book feeling sceptical of having the narration done by a number of Sam’s comic buddies, a hunch that ended up being confirmed for me almost immediately. The constantly changing voices and audio quality really threw me out of the experience, especially after getting really into the narration of somebody in particular just to have somebody like Ari Shaffir stutter through an hour of unedited, uncomfortable dialogue. This happens a lot throughout the book. On the one hand I can see why this happened as it is clearly a comedy novel for comics, but on the other hand it does a great disservice to the story in my opinion.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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I like

Sounds good in mine ears, if I could read I bet it would be as good

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great story very entertaining

Sam is a great writer, looking forward to the next book. Very descriptive and enjoyable, the different readers were hilarious on a meta level.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • acr
  • 2023-11-25

Great story. Gritty, real, and funny.

It’s a concept book where different comedians all read a chapter. It’s a little disjointed and I wish a couple of the comedians practiced first, but it’s a really good book. Good story, really funny. Watch for a scene with a duck.

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

Beauty in the imperfection.

This is a raw experience of a book and I found it unapologetically wonderful to listen to. Each chapter is narrated by a different real comedian of differing narration ability / experience / microphone / location etc. For me, there is a lived authenticity in each of their performances that shines through and gives the story an amazingly organic feel.

I have over 18 months of listening to audiobooks and I have a low tolerance for poorly narrated or produced books. This is the one exception for me where the eclectic narration performances enhance the experience. If the synopsis is at all intriguing - imho - the performances won't let you down. Enjoy

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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incredibly good

Loved this book, amazing writing that's sharp, darkly funny and tragic in so many ways. The ending was perfect. Only knocking a few points off the poor audio quality with some readers. Dan Soder knocks his section out of the park, they should rerecord the whole thing with him.

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

how was this title "included" with audible!?


exceptional. Someone needs to send Sam's email address so I can e-transfer him direct the $25 for this book, what an exceptional listen.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Attempted Hunter S Thompson

It was just okay. Half the narrations were done extremely poorly, with bad audio and bad editing. The story was okay, but seemed like it was trying to be written like a Hunter S Thompson story - which it definitely wasn’t. If you’re interested in this, go with any HST book instead.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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couldn't wait to listen more

loved it, listening to the different comedians each chapter was great even though they're clearly not professional narrators. But since the story was so well written, it only took a minute to settle back into a different voice.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Wonderful book

Truly beautiful, this demon lives in all of us and hopefully this tail will be a lesson to me.

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  • Scott Reesor
  • 2021-07-09

don't let comedians do a voice actors job

the book itself is fantastic but what a terrible decision to get a bunch of comedians to narrate this book. Bert Kreischer and Tim Dillon powered through it as fast as they could without even comprehending the sentences they were uttering.

plus after each change of narrator, the tone of the book seemed to change.

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52 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Matthew E Daley III
  • 2021-04-10

some great some really bad

love these comics... but some you could barely hear... others were hard to follow. would love to hear a version with just the author reading.

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28 people found this helpful

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  • A. Galbraith
  • 2021-03-18

Stanhope and crew were amazing.

Tim Dillon sounded like he was speed reading, usually love everything Dillon does, his chapter was almost unlistenable.

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23 people found this helpful

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  • Patrick king
  • 2021-03-19

Buy this book!!

This book is like Ron White meets Bad Santa but funnier and more depressing. Every true fan of comedy should listen to this. If not for the story itself then just listen because you’ll love listening to some of your favorite comedians narrate it. This is the book you need to spend your monthly credit in for sure

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16 people found this helpful

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  • Mike W
  • 2021-03-21

Excellent book

The quality of the writing is amazing. Enjoyed the different comedians reading each section, even though, as it turns out, most comics aren’t that great “out-loud” readers. I know Stanhope really championed the book and his sections were great. The David Gborie, Dan Soder, and Chris Gethard sections read were excellent, while Tim Dillon seemed to become less interested as the his chapter went on, and I’m not entirely sure if Bert Kreischer knows how to read at all

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15 people found this helpful

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  • Morgan
  • 2021-03-27

awesome book

ive spent 20 years on the road as a trucker and fan of comedy and all the back country bars and live entertainment venues, sam nailed all the descriptions of these places and situations had to read it twice it was so good.

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  • MaidenofMischief
  • 2021-12-17

Great Story

This book was beautifully written, and overall a great story. I found the different comics narrating an interesting concept. However some comics are just good comics and maybe shouldn't read me stories, Ari.....

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10 people found this helpful

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  • VacuousAdvice
  • 2021-07-02

Has Tim Dillon ever read a book?

Tim sounds like he's reading in class because the teacher forced him to and he just wants to get through it. Felt like Bert just phoned it in. Other than that it was a good time. Stanhope and the Traillies should have just done the whole thing though, and is it just me or does Ggreg Challie sound alot like Brendon Walsh?

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  • Josh
  • 2021-07-02

Good book, variable readers.

The different readers vary wildly in quality. The ones who are good are great, the ones who are not are pretty bad. The book itself is quite good. I have Thoughts on the ending but I still enjoyed reading it.

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6 people found this helpful

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  • Jacob
  • 2021-03-27

Daaammmnnnn!

I love this book. Mr Tallent, thank you for writing it. Also, thank you to the crew that performed. Spectacular.

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6 people found this helpful