Winner of the Pulitzer Prize when it was first published in 1971, Angle of Repose has also been selected by the editorial board of the Modern Library as one of the hundred best novels of the 20th century.
Wallace Stegner's uniquely American classic centers on Lyman Ward, a noted historian who relates a fictionalized biography of his pioneer grandparents at a time when he has become estranged from his own family. Through a combination of research, memory, and exaggeration, Ward voices ideas concerning the relationship between history and the present, art and life, parents and children, and husbands and wives. Like other great quests in literature, Lyman Ward's investigation leads him deep into the dark shadows of his own life. The result is a deeply moving novel that, through the prism of one family, illuminates the American present against the fascinating background of its past.
Set in many parts of the West, Angle of Repose is a story of discovery - personal, historical, and geographical - that endures as Wallace Stegner's masterwork: an illumination of yesterday's reality that speaks to today's.
©1971 Wallace Stegner; (P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"Brilliant....Two stories, past and present, merge to produce what important fiction must: a sense of the enhancement of life." (Los Angeles Times)
"Masterful...Reading it is an experience to be treasured." (Boston Globe)
Angle of Repose presents an authentic picture of the western frontier told with the tenderness and visual poetry that I'm learning are Stegner's hallmarks. He can make you live history. You can smell it, taste it and feel it. At the end of this novel, I was left feeling I actually knew the people and places and can remember them. The icing on the cake was the perfect narration by Mark Bramhall.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys literary fiction. Stegner's language is vivid, startling, and inspiring. His story of a woman's experience in the American West as the nation changed from 1860s to 1890s is riveting. It's not the West of cowboys and Indians, but the scarcely frontier where mining corporations are trying to stake a claim. His commentary on life in the 1970s is also intriguing. Excellent work.
Stegner's language is the work of a master writer and storyteller.
Bramhall's reading is the one problem I have with the story. He has to do a number of voices as well as narrate and his narrator voice is spot-on. It captures the character well. His female voices are disappointing and especially for Susan, the main character. His vocal interpretation suggests a weak, overly feminine, and submissive woman, while she is far from that. I would have preferred a stronger, less caricatured portray.
I wouldn't suggest it; it's long! But I definitely wanted to know what would happen next.
A rich and beautiful book about a marriage, motherhood, and friendship. While the story takes place years ago, there is still so much to relate to today. Not a happy story, but a realistic one. I still am surprised this was written by a man.. his perspective is amazing.The reader was fantastic.
Excellent book. Really enjoyed it. It not only makes you feel like you invested your listening time well, but it also makes you reflect on your ancestors and your own family histories. Highly recommended.
Throughout this giant, sometimes bloated, novel, I kept wondering, what will redeem this epic of misfortune? There is little reward for the main character of the novel within the novel, the narrator’s grandmother, Susan Ward, who suffers a volley of hardship and losses. The narrator, Lyman Ward, a grumpy, legless retired professor, circles decades of his grandmother's pained life like water to a drain. And yet still, the language brims with colorful imagery and physicality, and the story lines, though small at first, tug and whip like the reigns of a stubborn mule, hooking the reader through the plodding landscape of a rugged Western frontier, full of promise and disappointment. I hated to like this book and hated Wallace Stegner for sitting me down like a child, restless and impatient, so he could tell the story in his own, old-man way, taking his time as if in creaky rocking chair with nowhere to go, puffing on a cigar and exhaling smoke ring vignettes for my eyes to follow and then watch disappear. There are no traditional story arcs. No tidy beginning or end. There is the narrator, a man who has loved and lost much, longing to understand his own life through the calamities and misfortunes of his ancestors, hoping that through them, he can find meaning and courage to keep living. Sigh. Did I love it? No. Did I appreciate its immense beauty, language mastery, and emotional depth? Absolutely.
No, I only recommend books I really like. I found my mind wondered a lot during the story, that the voice of the tale irritated me, and in jumped around too much in time.
I think the story of Susan and her husband was interesting and would have held me had the author not get jumping around to present.half the time I felt like I was listening to the ramblings of the story teller, with little consideration for who was listening.
I found the narrators vouce, or maybe I should say, tone of voice, annoying after a while. I think he played the tone of a disgruntled older man well, but I'm afraid it was the voice ot the man he played that bugged me.
I could not imagine a movie.
I loved this audiobook! Interesting, with some really insightful observations made by the main character. Highly recommend. The visual would probably be PG except for two places probably rated R if that's a problem for you. I thought it was sooooooo good!
What else can be said about a novel that has gotten so much praise and attention? Deservedly for this Pulitzer Prize winning novel. Particularly I like the tone Stegner sets up. Lyman is not trying to 'translate' his grandmother, he is trying to discover her, faults and all. Despite her duality, I liked Susan Ward and would have been proud to know her. The intimacy and delicacy of her marriage was laid as bare as Lyman could make it and I liked the veils he drew across some scenes and the details he filled in for others. The letters were worked in with good timing although I would have liked to see Augusta's side of the correspondence. What a transcendental relationship that was in a way. Reading just this one book will make me seek out more of Stegner's work. Narrator Mark Bramhall's dry, but nuanced delivery fit the tone of the writing and the pace of the story perfectly
I first read this book over 30 years ago. I appreciated Stegners' amazing way with words. I clearly didn't understand the story. Now I do, it is amazing.
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