Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Buy Used
$7.47
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: FAST shipping directly to you from Amazon. ***TWO-CASSETTE AUDIO BOOK---TOM BODETT AT HIS FINEST*** Tapes play fine. Original case is a bit worn. Shrink-wrapped to keep it safe in transit. Your satisfaction is 100% GUARANTEED and backed by Amazon's 24/7 commitment to excellent customer service. Eligible for FREE Super Saver and Prime shipping--Buy with confidence!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Free Fall of Webster Cummings: Volume One of "Tom Bodett's American Odyssey" Audio, Cassette – Abridged, Audiobook

4.6 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

See all 6 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Audio, Cassette, Abridged, Audiobook
$4.95 $1.66

The Amazon Book Review
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
click to open popover

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Bodett makes like Garrison Keillor here, writing a novel that reflects the homespun values of a popular NPR series (in Bodett's case, The End of the Road) and several collections spun off from it (The Big Garage on Clear Shot, 1992, etc.). In the New Age mecca of Quartz Creek, Ore., old traditions find new appreciation as Bodett mixes homage and parody, celebrating all the colorfully absurd permutations of the American family. When Ed Flannigan, having lost his arm and his employability, reluctantly moves his family down from Alaska, he has no idea he will soon join a 12-step program for substance abusers, become a peach farmer and open his new home to some improbable family reunions. In Seattle, meanwhile, homeless amnesiac Oliver searches for his past?and perhaps his future?in his avid nightly dreams. From Avalon, Ohio, retirees Lloyd and Evelyn Decker head west in a flashy new RV to visit their inhospitable children and see some of the world. And Bostonian Webster Cummings, after surviving a freak accident that sucks him out of an airliner in mid-flight, sets out to find his biological parents. Bodett develops these stories as separate puzzle pieces to be assembled only at the end of the novel. His narration can be sketchy and superficial, with some characters never rising above type, and ambivalent in its stance toward central issues of family dysfunction, pop psychology and mysticism. He knows how to spin a yarn, however, and raise a chuckle, and will leave readers in good humor, with some insights gained.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

Webster Cummings, who improbably survives a plunge from an airplane, is one of more than a dozen colorful characters whose endeavors and adventures are charmingly related in this delightful book. We meet them a few at a time in apparently unrelated vignettes, but eventually their paths intersect and they discover relationships that are both comical and touching. Folksy characters are the stock-in-trade of radio personality/author Bodett (The Big Garage on Clear Shot, Morrow, 1990), and he is in good form with a likable cast that also includes the Flannigans, who move to Oregon and encounter many New Age targets for satire; the Bedinger-Hooples, who are having a baby despite living 3000 miles apart; and Oliver the Dreamer, a homeless amnesiac living under a bridge with other kind souls in Seattle. Recommended for most fiction collections.?Will Hepfer, SUNY at Buffalo Libs.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Nova Audio Books; Unabridged edition (July 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1561008559
  • ISBN-13: 978-1561008551
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 4.2 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,314,978 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Stoney TOP 500 REVIEWER on June 26, 2010
Format: MP3 CD Verified Purchase
DESCRIPTION
> This is a compilation of Tom Bodett's American Odyssey, originally issued on 5 parts as cassette tapes

VERDICT
> With a few caveats (see below) "The Free Fall of Webster Cummings" is an extraordinary novel, particularly the recorded version. Had it been issued as a single novel, and written as a single novel with more connecting material, it could have become a bestseller and a great classic.
> The "The Free Fall of Webster Cummings" is one of my favorite audiobooks. Mr. Bodett's own narration is extraordinary. I've heard it 10 or 12 times, and could easily listen to it once a month. It is almost like music or poetry. The stories themselves are rich and engrossing, and very close to home for most people. Indeed, that's probably the theme of the book, i.e., the meaning of "home."
> It seems to me that the chapters on the CD compilation are reshuffled together---albeit with no new material, and some substories are told in a different sequence. The result is less disjointed than the original cassette versions, but is still a bit choppy. The ending still feels abrupt.

IDIOTIC MARKETING
> "The Free Fall of Webster Cummings" is an excellent example of a marketing disaster. The "novel" was originally issued as the 5-volume "American Odyssey" series, on cassette tapes. Those of us fans who loved the cassettes (but were disgusted by having to pay for five novels in order to get one) have been waiting for a CD compilation, or at least for individual CD versions of the 5 volumes. "Norman Tuttle on the Last Frontier" -- the 4th Volume -- was issued on CD, but no others.
Read more ›
4 Comments 19 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
I just finished reading this wonderful book and felt my heart warmed over. Tom Bodett's writing took me into his characters lives with such grace that they became like my own family. Funny,sweet and thought provoking. I am off to read more of Tom Bodett today!
Comment 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
I picked this up in a bookstore because I recognized Tom's name (probably like most of America) and had no idea what a great story teller he could be. The book takes different stories and weaves them together in a most clever fashion. Makes me wonder if it wasn't composed as separate books - then combined - Ha! Caught Ya! That's the secret! I certainly didn't guess what was coming next and that made the ride even more enjoyable. The characters had depth - no broding overwrought fatalists - and they were living very real lives. The humor that is 'snuck in' is great and adds to the whole experience. Good stuff here.
Comment 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By A Customer on February 14, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I have read all of Tom Bodett's books, and listened to several of them on tape as well. I feel that this book is his best. Further developing characters he had introduced in previous stories (although knowledge of the previous stories isn't required, it made this story more meaningful for me), Bodett weaves together humorous, touching, emotional, and very personal stories. The chapter where the couple traveling across the country sees the Rocky Mountains for the first time brought me right back to my first trip to the Rockies and the way the mountains overwhelmed me in their mass and presence. I went back and read that chapter three more times before going on!! A wonderful book for reminding us that every person around us has their stories.
Comment 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: MP3 CD Verified Purchase
Bodett at his best. First in a five part Odyssey story. Unfortunately, the only one on CD, although if you still kept your old cassette player, you can enjoy the other four parts. They are shorter and bring closure to Webster.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: MP3 CD
I first listened to the five volume set of cassettes that made up the entire American Odyssey series back in 1995 and have listened to it many times since. It is a clever interweaving of different stories and lives that draws you in. Tom Bodett is an insightful writer that finds the humor in the many stages of life and life circumstances. As you listen, you come to deeply care about these people - Oliver the Dreamer, Ed Flanagan, and Norman Tuttle are my favorites.

In my travels, I lost one of the volumes of the set of cassettes and began hunting for the series on CD. When I discovered it in mp3 format, I was delighted. I have recently listened to it again - a couple of times - and still love it. My husband and I listened to it on a recent road trip and he truly enjoyed it as well. Having it read by the author is a treat since Tom Bodett is not only a writer but a gifted storyteller.
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Audio Cassette Verified Purchase
The cassette book of this title is the first of the 5-volume American Odyssey series. Really these 5 "volumes" are chapters of medium-length novel, and no "volume" is complete in itself. Note however, that the CD of the same name is in fact a compilation of the entire series, but with the chapters in a more logical order. Buy the CD, not the cassette.

Mr. Bodett's own narration in the recorded version is exceptional. I've heard it 5 or 6 times, and could easily listen to it once a month. It is almost like music. The stories themselves are rich and engrossing, and very close to home for most people. Indeed, that's probably the theme of the book, i.e., the meaning of "home."
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews