Earthy, raunchy, and high spirited, this story of larkabout Jeeter Lester’s struggle to keep his farm is one of the most poignant and humorous in Depression-era literature and an American classic.
©1932 Erskine Caldwell (P)1993 Recorded Books, LLC
It is easy to see why this novel is a classic. The author did a great job at portraying the bleakness of the characters lives while tempering it with the unintentional humor from their folly and ignorance. Caldwell gives them dimension and makes them sympathetic despite themselves. Moreover, the narrator does an absolutely amazing job. One of the best audiobooks I've ever heard!
This is the most difficult book I've ever listened to. The characters are desperately, willfully, unrelentingly benighted. Every day I wanted to stop listening. What scheme would one of them sabotage next? I wondered. If it wasn't for Mark Hammer's narration, I would have been very tempted to quit.
Another thought that kept me going was that Caldwell might have been using Jeeter and all as metaphors for the opposite side of the coin - the Wall Street manipulators, laissez faire capitalists, and technocrats he might be blaming for the Depression the Lesters were struggling to survive. I haven't read that in any review, though.
The despair was devastating.
I bought this book because Mark Hammer narrated it. His accent and his pace allowed me to keep listening to this tragedy.
This novel depressed me. I can't imagine why it ran so long on Broadway.
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