A Listening Thing. . . . . . A Contemporary Novel by William Michaelian . . . . . .
Preface to the First Complete Online Edition
When A Listening Thing was first accepted for publication back in May 2001, I never dreamed the book might not materialize according to my publisher�s promise, and that I would eventually have to publish it myself online. And yet, life being the strange thing that it is, this is exactly what has happened. Those of you who have followed this sordid tale already know what I�m talking about. If, on the other hand, you are a relatively new or first-time visitor, and would like to learn about my ordeal, you can read the four publication updates in News and Reviews, beginning with October 21, 2003, and then moving up the page. Or, you can skip it and go straight to the novel. The choice is yours. Chapter links can be found on the right side of this page, as well as an e-mail link for you to give your comments, which, barring profanity and rudeness, I will post on a separate page. An e-mail link will also be included with each chapter.
I am very proud of this novel. I strongly believe in the story it tells. As suggested by the �jacket copy� and short reviews below, it is down to earth, serious, and full of hope and life-giving humor. It is simple, straightforward, entertaining, and easy to read. It also challenges readers by asking them to pay attention and think. As such, I honestly believe that from its humble beginning here in cyberspace, it will demand to be heard, and to be published and distributed in book form. I am biased, of course. Ultimately, the future of A Listening Thing is in your hands � as it should be, as I have wanted and expected it to be all along.
About the Novel
With humor and grace, A Listening Thing reveals the crumbling world of a talented man finally learning to face himself and the many mistakes he has made. Leaving behind the shabby desolation of his apartment for a weekend visit with Mary at his mother�s home, Stephen finds hope, and discovers love is more generous than he�d ever expected.
What Others Are Saying � Short Reviews
�. . . William Michaelian, by using first-person, immediately brings the reader into [Stephen] Monroe�s world. The reader is introduced into the confusing world of this loser. There is such a humanness to Monroe, as he spends his time arguing with himself. And he introduces us to characters that we feel obligated to laugh at, as Monroe does, or to look below the surface, because Monroe does. Take his view of his apartment neighbor, Ernie: �When the world looks at Ernest Taylor, it sees a seedy guy with a scraggly gray beard, wearing a sweat-stained baseball cap. . . . It sees a guy who is going nowhere, and has no prospects. It sees these things because that�s what it wants to see. . . . What it misses is a man who is extremely well-read with a keen sense of humor. But, labels are easy. Slap a label on something or someone, then it becomes unnecessary to think. Thinking is work. . . .��
� Chrees, from A Common Reader
�With its insight into the human condition, coupled with a sly and delicious wit, A Listening Thing reveals author William Michaelian for what he is: a topnotch storyteller, amusingly accurate social commentator, and an immensely gifted and talented writer. His is a delightful new voice rising above the sorry pyscho-babble that is the current condition of American literature. It�s a voice that will be heard.�
�William Michaelian�s novel, A Listening Thing, is three books in one. First, it�s a tale of a middle-aged man trying to find his inner self amidst the conflicts and confusion of both his past and the world around him. Second, it�s a sweet, romantic love story. And third, the book is an invaluable compendium of the author�s crazy and accurate observations regarding people, society, life, and the universe. Roll it all up and it spells MARVELOUS.�
�Michaelian�s short stories never fail to impress me with their interesting characters and story lines. I was not surprised, therefore, to find myself caught up in the life of Stephen Monroe. He and the other characters in A Listening Thing are immensely believable, as are their situations. This is an author whose works I love reading.�
� A Listening Thing �
A Novel by William Michaelian
Copyright � 2003
by William Michaelian
� Dedication �
For wives and mothers everywhere,
especially my own;
For those just learning to listen;
For my old friend, Uncle Leo,
whose mustache grows and grows.
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Songs and Letters
Early Short Stories
Cosmopsis Print Editions
News and Reviews
Favorite Books & Authors
Flippantly Answered Questions
E-mail & Parting Thoughts