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.
Much has been written about this wonderful classic so I'll only say that the narration is excellent. Each character has a distinctive voice so you never get confused. Well worth the money.
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.
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 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.
From what I have learned, Mr. Wallace Stegner pulled off a very difficult novel in Angle of Repose, a story inside another story, a Chinese box inside another box. This is very complicated thing to do, and this novel is an example of it being done very well.
The story line is about an invalid historian writing the story of his grandmother. This heroine was born and raised a sheltered daughter of a high class New England family who fell in love with a man determined to self educate as an engineer in the west of early settlement days just after Custer's day.
He went from job to job and did well but never made it big. His sheltered wife followed him wherever he went and did herself proud. However as life will, things get very complicated and she ends up making a tragic mistake that is unforgivable. I will let you find out about that for yourself, but I highly recommend that you do so.
Shame on the teachers who didn't expose me to this amazing marvel of a book and this gifted writer. Beautifully written, well performed, and more educational in terms of the early American West than anything I've read elsewhere. An under-appreciated American classic.
This book is outstanding! So very sorry I did not read it before this, but so glad I found it. It is so well written and such a compelling story that I didn't want it to end. I know there was controversy about Stegner's use of the letters of Mary Hallock Foote, but the story he wove around those letters is remarkable.
As a result of reading this I just purchased Crossing to Safety, another book by Wallace Stegner, and A Victorian Gentlewoman in the Far West: The Reminiscences of Mary Hallock Foote. Can't wait to read them!!
Summed up in the four words above.
Tone and pace and characterization of voices were all excellent.
Many of my friends recommended this book and by rights I should have liked it: geology, some American history, a family saga.... but I found the author's effort to mix history with fiction tedious and forced. He had an annoying tendency to drop genuine historical figures and letters liberally into his tale I suppose that was meant to lend credibility but it all felt like cheating to me. I gave it about 4 hours and finally abandoned the effort. Also, I don't care for Mark Bramhall's narration. He reads too many of the lines as if they are meant to be sarcastic or bitter. It was hard to listen to that for even 4 hours, never mind trying the whole book.