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.
The story is set in the dying days of the US and Canadian frontiers, and the immediacy with which Stegner paints the wild times and places is fascinating. But more compelling is the way his writing brings the reader intimately close to the characters. He gets you right inside their skin.
This is a family saga and the main couple, Bo and Elsa Mason, are both flawed human beings, yet graced with extraordinary strengths and virtues. Across the length of the story they wrestle with the difficulties of their world, with each other and always with themselves. The reader is sometimes shocked by them and their circumstances, but never loses compassion for them.
Mark's voice is haunting, perfect for this deeply introspective story, and most especially the voice of the violent and passionate Bo. A smooth, easy voice to listen to. He did his homework and worked in a variety of accents and gave all the many characters an individual tone.
As I approached the last few chapters I didn't want the book to end. It's a big story. I listened to it over several days and wanted to cry because soon there'd be no more of it to unfold for me. When it ended, I went straight back to the beginning and started listening again.
The opening chapter is somewhat depressing and could put readers off. Keep listening. The instant Bo appears in the narrative, the story takes off on wings.
My first Wallace Stegner novel! Now I'm on a steady Stegner diet - slowly getting through every one of his books available on audible. I really like his writing style and the emotion that it carries. I can't believe I nearly gave up on Big Rock Candy Mountain. It took 3 attempts to get through part one which, to me, is the weakest part. From then on, the novel gathers strength and momentum dragging your emotions along for the ride. I believe Big Rock Candy Mountain is largely autobiographical. Perhaps those early painful experiences are what made Stegner the author I so admire. I mustn't forget the narrator. Mark Bramhall is wonderful and entirely right for the story. So, this is an all around 5 star read/listen that I highly recommend.
You, know? I feel so sorry for
Elsa. It was a good story, but parts made me mad.
When Elsa got cancer
Elsa protecting Bruce all the time from his Father.
Elsa, of course
I liked how each of the characters played into the family dynamic. Even when Harry Mason was being a control freak, the story was fleshed out so that you could see all angles of it. The characters were lovable but flawed, and even if you didn't love the characters you understood them. The narration was also top-notch.
Chet Mason. Also, his depiction of the drunken prohibition-era party was hilarious!
Elsa, for her dignity and strength.
I purchased this book on a whim and am so glad I did! I have heard others say that it is not as good as Angle of Repose, so I am going to have to check that one out too!