I always try to finish what I start; I've suffered through many books that were just OK. After eight (yes eight) hours with this, I had to give up. It is just so dull that I just couldn't bear the thought of another seventeen (yes, seventeen) hours more. Audible, if you are reading this, how about a "mercy credit" for effort?
None-they were all intertwined.
This was an unremarkable story about an unremarkable family, saved only by the narrator who did his best to save the story.
What a good story! I had no idea this was written in 1943, so I read an OLD BOOK without even knowing it. It was so timeless even though the setting was clearly from the turn of the 20th century to about the mid 1930s. I liked the characters. The headline is the question I found myself asking repeatedly throughout the story. Bo perpetually found himself in one predicament after another, and pretty soon I started saying, "Whatcha gonna do now, Bo?" I wanted him to straighten out and live right so bad, for the sake of his family, but no. Bo was all about Bo.
The audio performance was very nicely done.
The reason I didn't give The Big Rock Candy Mountain 5 stars is because of all the psychoanalysis toward the end of the book. That did become tiresome, and occasionally I found myself saying, "Aw, [Chet or Bruce], get over it already!" So since that droned on for too long, I became restless during those parts.
At any rate, if you like an adventurous saga about a family with the leading man who has to get rich quick and how the family copes with this lifestyle then take some time to listen to The Big Rock Candy Mountain.
I love where the story went--glad I kept listening. Enjoyed learning about this era and in this part of the country. Not generally a history buff, but take my word for it that you will enjoy going back to the early 1900's. The characters and the relationships are timeless. You will be drawn into their lives and their incredible story. I will read more of this author's books; mixed in with my romance novels and murder mysteries which are my usual fare.
This is a western romance without rose colored glasses, it is not about sweet. The writing is fantastic...sit back and hear another persons life laid bare. Stegner unveils the West and grounds it. The reader never got in the way of the writing.
Didn't know it was a autobiograpy until read. Makes it even more memorable when you know this is his own story. Enjoyed it immensely.
A story spanning a lifetime during the years of prohibition, the characters in this story come alive as Stegner writes about them. As one listens, you feel like you are living along with them. This novel makes one think about what makes a person good or bad, and whether certain characteristics of a person lean them in one direction or the other.
A long novel, but to me it didn't seem repetitive or longer than it needed to be to outline and fill in the story line.
An excellent listen, performed well by the narrator.
This is a tough book to review because I was completely entranced by this book. I became very involved in the trials and triumphs of the Mason family. Still, I'm not sure who I would recommend this novel to. It's definitely a great piece of fiction, but I can't say I feel satisfied after reading it.
Unfortunately, I think that was Stegner's point - the unsatisfactory end of a family trying to take advantage of the American dream. How much should you gamble? Can you raise children while being an American pioneer? What is the modern definition of pioneering if the West is already settled? If Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote her Little House on the Prairie in the early 1900s...would it seem as delightfully innocent?
I definitely think Stegner's voice is an important one in American literature. In the future, I'd read another one of his novels.
Yes. It took me a bit to fall into the rythm of the novel and to begin to enjoy it, but once that happened (and it wasn't long into the story) I really enjoyed the ride.
There were several moments that stand out, but the end of the novel with Bruce looking back on the his family history and trying to make peace with the memories of his father. It breaks your heart as this young man is left to deal with so much alone.
Esla, who is the part of the family structure that holds it all togther. We watch her make excusses for the ones she loves as she deals with the decisions she has made in her life. Her role as a mother, wife, daughter, friend and sister all play a part in this novel.
It seems like they make all novels into movies now. I am usually not a fan of this because so much is lost in the translations. The images and messages from the novel are just never right and the actors never seem to be match the characters that played the part in my mind as I read the novel.
This is remembering a time in our country's history when people were moving and trying to find that place that would be an answer to their prayers. The setting in the novel becomes almost a character in itself. It reflects the mood and the situation of the family, primarily Bo. Things are beautiful sometimes and others, not so much. The family travels take us from North Dakota, Washington, Saskatchewan, Canada, Nevada, Salt Lake City, Utah and Montana. Each member of the family having their own idea of what that "perfect life" would be and what it takes to get it, only that little bit of happiness is always just out of reach. At the end, after following the family for thiry years, I felt like I had just read someone's diary and could finally understand how hard their journey had been. It is long, but you wont feel it as you travel along with Bo, Elsa and their two boys.
A disfunctional family struggling through hard times, as seen throught he eyes of each member of the family. The best story I have listened to all year.