I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys literary fiction. Stegner's language is vivid, startling, and inspiring. His story of a woman's experience in the American West as the nation changed from 1860s to 1890s is riveting. It's not the West of cowboys and Indians, but the scarcely frontier where mining corporations are trying to stake a claim. His commentary on life in the 1970s is also intriguing. Excellent work.
Stegner's language is the work of a master writer and storyteller.
Bramhall's reading is the one problem I have with the story. He has to do a number of voices as well as narrate and his narrator voice is spot-on. It captures the character well. His female voices are disappointing and especially for Susan, the main character. His vocal interpretation suggests a weak, overly feminine, and submissive woman, while she is far from that. I would have preferred a stronger, less caricatured portray.
I wouldn't suggest it; it's long! But I definitely wanted to know what would happen next.
A rich and beautiful book about a marriage, motherhood, and friendship. While the story takes place years ago, there is still so much to relate to today. Not a happy story, but a realistic one. I still am surprised this was written by a man.. his perspective is amazing.The reader was fantastic.
Retired high tech CEO who raised quarter horses, pilots his own Bonanza A36 airplane, enjoys shooting sports and spending time with his lovely wife and family
Since the story teller is somewhat of an invalid with a dour attitude, most of the story is inflicted with his depressing state of mind. However, I did find the historical perspective to be informative. If you prefer or insist upon happy endings, you should pass.
Beautiful & perfect.
Just about anything by Ivan Doig, Larry McMurtry, Wendell Berry, or Willa Cathur.
This is one of my favorite novels of all time. I've read it twice & listened to it once. And it gets better each time. The performance was spot on i.e. it blended nearly imperceptibly with Stegner's own words. This time I was able to
I would definitely listen to the book again. There are so many levels on which the book can be viewed. The story is so engaging. I think that the fact that much of it was based on the life of real people adds to the appeal of the book.
I won't give it away but the book has a terrifically interesting ending that will keep you guessing.
I particularly liked how he read the character of Lyman Ward, the main narrator of the story.
I found myself not wanting to stop in certain sections. However, it would be far too long of a book to finish all at once.
So you don't agree with my review...? That's the grown up thing to do...tell me it's unhelpful. LOL. You people crack me up with your petty insecurities.
What else can be said about a novel that has gotten so much praise and attention? Deservedly for this Pulitzer Prize winning novel. Particularly I like the tone Stegner sets up. Lyman is not trying to 'translate' his grandmother, he is trying to discover her, faults and all. Despite her duality, I liked Susan Ward and would have been proud to know her. The intimacy and delicacy of her marriage was laid as bare as Lyman could make it and I liked the veils he drew across some scenes and the details he filled in for others. The letters were worked in with good timing although I would have liked to see Augusta's side of the correspondence. What a transcendental relationship that was in a way. Reading just this one book will make me seek out more of Stegner's work. Narrator Mark Bramhall's dry, but nuanced delivery fit the tone of the writing and the pace of the story perfectly
I have enjoyed everything except for the whiny tone of voice of Susan.
I think the reader is actually quite good but I wonder if a female reader might have given Susan a stronger voice. How could such an adventurous, resourceful, intelligent and talented woman be so whiny. Much of what she says in the book could have been spoken in a less annoying tone.
I very much wanted to like this book for several reasons: (1) I heard Andrew Imbrie's operatic treatment of the story during San Francisco Opera's "Spring Opera" season in 1976; (2) the La Jolla Symphony and Chorus has named their current 2011-2012 season "Angle of Repose" as a tribute to the author, Wallace Stegner; (3) it gets very good ratings in surveys of the best American books and is, in fact, #83 on the Modern Library's 100 Best Novels list. It even received a Pulitzer Prize.
Stegner is undeniably a fine prose stylist and the way he chooses to tell his story is rather complex and interesting, although this very narrative complexity undermined my willing suspension of disbelief. Everything is filtered through the imagination of a grouchy, socially reactionary scholar (who may or may not be a projection of Stegner) named Lyman Ward, who at age 60 is doing research on his grandmother, Susan, the long-suffering wife of a brave but congenital failure for whom nothing goes right in the wilds of California, Idaho, Colorado and Mexico in the late 1800's. Stegner has controversially "lifted" the actual letters of Mary Hallock Foote, the only authentic voice in the book. Her correspondence, quoted verbatim I am told, constitutes 10% of Stegner's finished novel. But then Lyman lets us know that he is inventing virtually everything else he tells us about his grandmother and grandfather, which for me, at least, creates an alienation effect I cannot quite overcome. The final dream sequence of the book is, I imagine, a metaphor for the whole thing. Interested readers are left to puzzle together how Lyman relates his broken marriage to the lasting bond of his grandparents.
I am especially interested in books that deal with women's issues and experiences, so I was moved by Susan's (Mary's) letters and the general tale of her fortitude raising a family and dealing with her husband in an environment so unlike that to which she would have liked to have been and could have been accustomed in the American East. The story itself, however, seems overly drawn out for the number of truly significant incidents that occur in it. The narrator, Lyman Ward, also lacked appeal for me, perhaps because I was a member of that very UC Berkeley generation he so continually disapproves of. A contrast between the current times and the past favor the heroism of the latter.
I was frequently extremely irritated by the reader, Mark Bramhall, who would be just fine if he did not adopt an absurd, breathy falsetto when reading Susan's words. She sounds more like a whining child than a mature woman. Oliver Ward comes off as sounding unpleasantly growly. But, my hat's off to these Audiobook readers; and I cannot imagine the challenges of reciting this long book out loud.
This story provides a good historical perspective from a personal and family level but largely fails in its aim to do more. The title is a mining or geological term meaning the slope of a hill resulting from falling matter, here applied to a retired academic working on a bio of his grandmother, mostly, who was a minor writer and sketch artist in late-19th Century New York and New England, and his capable, even inventive and ambitious but flawed westerner grandfather. His voice is a little prissy and the grandmother comes across as a bit of a whiner, when not defensive (to her friends). Some nice connections between his Victorian Grandparents and the crassness and loose morals of his son, divorced wife, and the hippy daughter of his helper. The narrator does a good job assuming the author's voice, sometimes annoyingly so.
I love Wallace Stegner's writing and have enjoyed his other stories. This one, however, is not my favorite. It's about an old curmudgeon historian that writes about his great-grandmother's life in the old West. The historical accuracy is just perfect. I learned a lot about how life was back in the late 1880's in Colorado, California, etc. But, what I did not like was the going back and forth to the 1970's from where the story is told. It was a bit depressing.