Three daughters and their husbands are pulled into a tangle of love, jealousy, and fear when their father, Larry Cook, grows too old to manage the family's fertile thousand-acre farm. As each couple struggles with their own tragedies and challenges, they know their father is judging them in light of the weighty inheritance that hovers within their reach.
The Cook family, and the farm community around them, are part of a mosaic that is as enduring as the fences and fields of the broad midwestern landscape. But this endurance exacts an immense price from them in return.
You will find that this nationally-acclaimed, breathtaking story, in a stirring narration by C. J. Critt, is an unforgettable listening experience.
©1991 Jane Smiley; (P)1996 Recorded Books
"[A] magnificent, haunting family drama, an American retelling of Shakespeare's King Lear set on a contemporary Iowa farm....a favorite choice of reading groups everywhere (it would be a natural for Oprah)." (Entertainment Weekly)
I stopped listening and will buy this book to read. The narrator was awful--she read as if the book were as simple as the characters are "supposed" to be--as if she did not have a clue about what is really inside the book she was reading. This recording is a reminder to me of how I can sometimes take the important contributions of good readers for granted!
I can see why this was a award winner, it's all the patho's of human relationships. I read it for a book group and I didn't finish it, I just quit caring. I didn't like any of the characters and they were living lives that I wouldn't wish to share for any amount of time. I didn't like Shakespeare's version any better, for what it's worth.
I would not listen again - it is not my kind of story. The teller was good, I enjoyed her delivery, but the story was not what I thought.
I would recommend the print version, but not the audio version because the way the book is divided up.
This is Shakespeare's King Lear set on an Iowa farm in the 1980's.
A Thousand Acres is an amazing book, well worthy of the Pulitzer Prize. I read this many years ago when it first came out it print and wanted to listen to the audio version while I walked. The novel is organized into six books and 45 chapters, but for some inexplicable reason the recorded version has 13 chapters, some more than an hour long. If, like me, you have fumble fingers and don't hit the stop and start buttons on your device exactly right, you are forced to re-listen to part of the book or skip ahead and miss something. I can't think why this was done this way.
A downward spiral of a story that you have to keep listening to because you really want to know if the characters redeem themselves. Very well written.
It was a beautifully written story, but the narrator almost ruins it. She seems to have no connection to the words she's reading, and reads the entire book in the same sing-song voice as though she's reading to a classroom full of children. It drove me crazy. I want to read the book myself so I can actually appreciate the story and writing.
I listen to books on my way to and from work . This time is usually well spent listening to various books. This book was chosen by my book club and while I enjoyed the book for the most part; it was at times difficult to listen to due to the happenings in the story or the reader's slow souther dialect.
The voices were well done, but at times the southern drawl was painfully slow. I would listen in double time to get through it.
I was glad I listened to this one. C.J. Critt's voice was direct, interpreting Ginny's character superbly. Although I know and enjoy Shakespeare's "Lear", this story nevertheless engaged and surprised me, sometimes making me gasp audibly. Smiley's story diverges from the original in several intriguing and thoughtful ways, but stays true to the heart of it. I would encourage anyone listening to it to refresh their memory of "King Lear." I think you will find your experience of this book enriched!
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.