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The Glass Castle Audiobook

The Glass Castle: A Memoir [Audiobook]

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Publisher's Summary

Jeannette Walls grew up with parents whose ideals and stubborn nonconformity were both their curse and their salvation. Rex and Rose Mary Walls had four children. In the beginning, they lived like nomads, moving among Southwest desert towns, camping in the mountains. Rex was a charismatic, brilliant man who, when sober, captured his children's imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and above all, how to embrace life fearlessly.

Rose Mary, who painted and wrote and couldn't stand the responsibility of providing for her family, called herself an "excitement addict". Cooking a meal that would be consumed in 15 minutes had no appeal when she could make a painting that might last forever.

Later, when the money ran out, or the romance of the wandering life faded, the Walls retreated to the dismal West Virginia mining town - and the family - Rex Walls had done everything he could to escape. He drank. He stole the grocery money and disappeared for days. As the dysfunction of the family escalated, Jeannette and her brother and sisters had to fend for themselves, supporting one another as they weathered their parents' betrayals and, finally, found the resources and will to leave home.

What is so astonishing about Jeannette Walls is not just that she had the guts and tenacity and intelligence to get out, but that she describes her parents with such deep affection and generosity. Hers is a story of triumph against all odds, but also a tender, moving tale of unconditional love in a family that despite its profound flaws gave her the fiery determination to carve out a successful life on her own terms.

For two decades, Jeannette Walls hid her roots. Now she tells her own story. A regular contributor to MSNBC.com, she lives in New York and Long Island and is married to the writer John Taylor.

©2005 Jeannette Walls (P)2010 Simon and Schuster Audio

What the Critics Say

"Jeannette Walls has carved a story with precision and grace out of one of the most chaotic, heartbreaking childhoods ever to be set down on the page. This deeply affecting memoir is a triumph in every possible way, and it does what all good books should: it affirms our faith in the human spirit." (Dani Shapiro, author of Family History)

"The Glass Castle is the saga of the restless, indomitable Walls family, led by a grand eccentric and his tempestuous artist wife. Jeannette Walls has survived poverty, fires, and near starvation to triumph. She has written this amazing tale with honesty and love." (Patricia Bosworth, author of Anything Your Little Heart Desires and Diane Arbus: A Biography)

"Just read the first pages of The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, and I defy you not to go on. It's funny and sad and quirky and loving. I was incredibly touched by it." (Dominick Dunne, author of The Way We Lived Then: Recollections of a Well-Known Name Dropper)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (3290 )
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  •  
    Dusk 06-23-16
    Dusk 06-23-16 Member Since 2016

    Dusk Ele

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    "Best piece of literature I've had in my life in a long time."

    Usually once I read a book, I end up giving it away; or, in the case of audiobooks, forget about it.
    This book has touched my heart in a way not many have. Such great story telling. The author tells us about her life in an honest and simple yet descriptive and expressive way.
    I recommend this book for everyone.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Keb Hampshire, IL 06-19-16
    Keb Hampshire, IL 06-19-16 Member Since 2013
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    "So sad but yet so common. Great read."

    I bounced from feeling angry, to sad, to frustrated,and back again. This was a great book for me to read as I volunteer at a community crisis. I came away with a greater understanding of being homeless, being raised in poverty, and the stigmas attached to both.
    I recommend this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 06-17-16
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    "wow, what a story; you can't make this stuff up"

    A story about a special girl raised by a mentally ill mother and alcoholic father, who turns out strong, insightful...and amazing. Love that it's read by the author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 06-17-16
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    "Love this book"

    This is an amazing story I love all of her books so action packed and true!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dawn M Collins 06-15-16 Member Since 2013
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    "Evocative, well- written. Heartbreaking."

    Effectively truthful feel to this memoir. The author's honesty is humbling and only underlines that growing up ain't easy, especially when one's own parents haven't done so. I'll bet I'm not the only child of ....er, emotionally and mentally challenged parents who can relate at least in part. Beautifully done but some of the pain will linger with readers. Or it has for this reader.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kate 06-15-16
    Kate 06-15-16 Member Since 2009
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    "Why authors should not read their own books!"

    The book had potential as an audible with good writing and the story had some good honest moments, but it was impossible to get through the poor reading. This is why authors should not read their own books. A great reader is every bit as important as the words they read out loud to us. What was Audible thinking recommending this as an editor' pick? Lesson I learned is don't buy the editor's pick!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M.W. 06-13-16
    M.W. 06-13-16 Member Since 2009
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    "A Good Story"
    Any additional comments?

    This story is all about the characters. The author does an excellent job of building them and telling a good story. This wasn't a book that I just couldn't put down, but it was an enjoyable listen that I would recommend to anyone looking for a good read. The author did an excellent job with the narration, too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MARIA K 05-31-16
    MARIA K 05-31-16
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    "Bittersweet taste. Happy I purchased it"

    I was looking for something funny. This was bitter, funny in a way, enjoyable all the way. I kept on wanting to listen more.

    I was so sorry for all these things that were happening. And in the end I realized that the narrator was the author of the book, who was the girl the book was talking about. It gave me chills.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dorothy Lamb Dallas Texas 05-24-16
    Dorothy Lamb Dallas Texas 05-24-16 Member Since 2014

    I love classics and non-fiction!

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    "My favorite Audible."

    Such a great story; happy, sad, all of the emotions. It's well written and well read. You'll be glad you chose this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Connie R Snow 05-22-16 Member Since 2014
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    "Best book EVER! Should be required reading"

    I love this book so much I told my kids that I would pay them $50 to read this book. I love how Jeanette tells the beauty of love, intelligence and wonder her parents gave her. How simple things could shine with importance and how strong the human spirit is. I learned so much about life choices and how skillful one must be to survive homeless. Despite severe neglect, three out of four kids banned together to make a life for themselves, such as they had never seen before or could have dreamed of This book is so inspirational, and I feel should be required reading in every college Social Work program . Bravo!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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