Swim the Fly by Don Calame is a laugh-out-loud funny audiobook. Really! Listening in my car, I literally laughed out loud many times. (Luckily, my commute is mostly highways, so if other drivers noticed me laughing by myself in the car, I didn’t care.)
Narrated by Nick Podehl for Brilliance Audio, Swim the Fly is the hilarious equivalent of Louise Rennison’s Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging (narrated by Stina Nielsen for Recorded Books) for boys, or else a definitely PG-13 version of Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Teachers, this is NOT one for reading aloud to the class. There is way too much raunchy humor, far too many creative names for male/female body parts, and more than one total gross-out scene — not to mention the bullying, sexting, and other inappropriate teen behaviors the author shamelessly mines for humor.
“Swimming the fly” refers to the 100-yard butterfly race — the hardest event in the swim team championship meet — which Matt finds his scrawny, out-of-shape self raising his hand to volunteer for at the beginning of the summer season, in order to impress the new girl on the team, Kelly. His best friends, Sean and Coop, knowing that Matt can’t even swim one lap of the butterfly without grabbing the side of the pool and gasping for air, derive endless amusement from his predicament, but are more focused on achieving the goal that Coop set for the three of them: to see a live, naked girl before summer’s end. Matt is so focused on Kelly, that his character development over his coming-of-age summer (giving the book its redeeeming social value) happens without his even realizing it.
Swim the Fly won an AudioFile Earphones Award for excellence in audiobook presentation, and was selected as an 2011 Amazing Audiobook for Young Adults by the American Library Association.
The Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory blog has a recent interview with Don Calame.
Other reviews (all good):