"The history of every country begins in the heart of a man or a woman," writes Willa Cather in O Pioneers!
The country is America; the woman is Alexandra Bergson, a fiercely independent young Swedish immigrant girl who inherits her father's farm in Nebraska. A model of emotional strength, courage, and resolve, Alexandra fights long and hard to transform her father's patch of raw, wind-blasted prairie into a highly profitable business.
A gripping saga of love, murder, greed, failure, and triumph, O Pioneers! vividly portrays the hardships of prairie life. Above all, it champions the belief that hard work is the surest road to personal fulfillment. Described upon publication in the New York Times as "American in the best sense of the word," O Pioneers! celebrates the men and women who struggled to build a nation that is both compelling and contradictory.
Bonus: In partnership with Audible and Playtone, the television and film producer behind the award-winning series Band of Brothers, John Adams, and The Pacific, this audiobook includes an original introduction, written and read by acclaimed documentarian Ken Burns. For more from Audible and Playtone, click here.
Public Domain (P)2010 Tantor
Spare, but there.
The American heartland today was kick started by the people described in this book.
An important segment of history comes alive under Willa Cather's pen.
Not this performance--Cather wrote strong women, and this narrator conveys them poorly. Alexandra's voice sounded like Luna Lovegood, and Marie is portrayed as ditsy rather than feisty. The inflections of the women's voices generally drove me nuts. And the men were portrayed with voices that made me think of fake mustaches in a junior high drama production. Just a mess.
This is a silly question to ask--why would people want to know a reviewer's favorite character?
I would not. My Antonia was one of my all-time favorite books (read in print), and I hoped I would get similar pleasure from listening to O Pioneers on a cross-country car trip, but of the many audiobooks I listened to on the trip (The Great Gatsby, A Farewell to Arms, Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, . 1776, Alice in Wonderland, To Kill a Mockingbird) this was the only disappointment.
Another silly question.
Audible posts reviews at its discretion? The unavailability of reliable reviews is one of the reasons I have cancelled my Audible subscription.
I'm really not enjoying this audiobook at all. I think it's the narrator, because I know this is a classic. I'm switching to the printed version to finish the book.
I haven't been able to get into any character. The narrator is really not good at different voices and accents. The book is just dragging on.
Katherine Kellgren or a better narrator.
Somehow this story hits a timely note today. The struggle to be your true self, to hear your own intuition and follow a course in the midst of society expectations. Beautiful!
"A master of transportive description"
Willa Cather communicates the loneliness and breadth of the desolate American landscape like no one else. I had read My Antonia around a decade ago, and I think it took me this long to emotionally reload for another helping. Alexandra is an impossibly fabulous heroine and the narratives and setting in this story jostle comfortably yet competitively for the reader's attention. A beautiful novel.
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