Population: 485

Abridged Audiobook

Written By: Michael Perry

Narrated By: Michael Perry

Date: June 2005

Duration: 7 hours 0 minutes


Mike Perry’s extraordinary and thoughtful account of meeting the people of his small hometown by joining the fire and rescue team was a breakout hit that “swells with unadorned heroism” (USA Today)

Welcome to New Auburn, Wisconsin (population: 485) where the local vigilante is a farmer’s wife armed with a pistol and a Bible, the most senior member of the volunteer fire department is a cross-eyed butcher with one kidney and two ex-wives (both of whom work at the only gas station in town), and the back roads are haunted by the ghosts of children and farmers. Michael Perry loves this place. He grew up here, and now-after a decade away-he has returned.

Unable to polka or repair his own pickup, his farm-boy hands gone soft after years of writing, Mike figures the best way to regain his credibility is to join the volunteer fire department. Against a backdrop of fires and tangled wrecks, bar fights and smelt feeds, he tells a frequently comic tale leavened with moments of heartbreaking delicacy and searing tragedy.

Tracing his calls on a map in the little firehouse, he sees “a dense, benevolent web, spun one frantic zigzag at a time” from which the story of a tiny town emerges.


  • Southeastern Wisconsin

    A very enjoyable book. Highly recommended to anyone in the flyover states (people from either coast would not 'get it').

  • Peggy Stortz

    Perry is a thoughtful writer who takes his time to weave his story. His narratives can make one laugh out loud or bring one to tears. Growing up in a small town in the midwest always seemed to be a liability until I read these essays.

  • Judy

    I loved this book! It wasn't anything like I expected. Michael Perry is a wonderful story teller. His metaphors are perfect - painting a picture. His humor is great too! Enjoy!

  • Cheryl G

    I really enjoyed this reading. If you are small town Fire/EMS you can relate all-too-well to many of his stories. Michael will make you laugh and make you cry; and remind you why you volunteered to begin with.

Population: 485

by Michael Perry

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Population: 485, Michael Perry
Population: 485, Michael Perry
This title is due for release on June 30, 2005.

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Population: 485, Michael Perry
This title is due for release on June 30, 2005
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Population: 485, Michael Perry

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