I am an Australian woman who enjoys reading many different styles of books, from history to sci fi and mystery to poetry.
I enjoyed this story, it wasn't great but it was good. The characters were well drawn but I never REALLY cared about any of them. Perhaps this was the narration, I am not sure, but I tend to think it is the writing. But it for all of that I enjoyed the story in the vain of most family sagas.
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?
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.
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.