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Crossing to Safety | [Wallace Stegner]

Crossing to Safety

One of the finest American authors of the 20th century, Wallace Stegner compiled an impressive collection of accolades during his lifetime, including a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, a National Book Award, and three O. Henry Awards. His final novel, Crossing to Safety is the quiet yet stirring tale of two couples that meet during the Great Depression and form a lifelong bond.
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Publisher's Summary

One of the finest American authors of the 20th century, Wallace Stegner compiled an impressive collection of accolades during his lifetime, including a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, a National Book Award, and three O. Henry Awards. His final novel, Crossing to Safety is the quiet yet stirring tale of two couples that meet during the Great Depression and form a lifelong bond.

©2002 Wallace Earle Stegner; (P)2009 Recorded Books, LLC

What the Critics Say

"This is a wonderfully rich, warm, and affecting book." (Library Journal)
"It's deceptively simple: two bright young couples meet during the Depression and form an instant and lifelong friendship. "How do you make a book that anyone will read out of lives as quiet as these?" Larry Morgan, a successful novelist and the narrator of the story, poses that question many years after he and his wife, Sally, have befriended the vibrant, wealthy, and often troubled Sid and Charity Lang. "Where is the high life, the conspicuous waste, the violence, the kinky sex, the death wish?" It's not here. What is here is just as fascinating, just as compelling, as touching, and as tragic." (Amazon.com review)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (287 )
5 star
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4.0 (217 )
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Story
4.2 (213 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Barbara Cliff, NM, United States 10-12-11
    Barbara Cliff, NM, United States 10-12-11 Member Since 2009

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    37
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    "Real characters dealing with life & death."

    Unusual characters that feel like old friends.. Adds much to thought & discussion of end-of-life issues in a very personal and creative way.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rebecca Lakewood, CO, United States 11-16-13
    Rebecca Lakewood, CO, United States 11-16-13 Member Since 2009

    Love to read, and Audible has made the two-hour daily commute enjoyable!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    109
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    "Amazing Stegner and his beautiful last book"

    I adore Stegner. He develops characters and stories with depth better than anybody. This book is about two couples, Larry and Sally Morgan and Sid and Charity Lang. They meet as young couples in a college in Wisconsin, and the book follows their lives and relationships.

    It is by twists and turns heart-warming and tragic. He shows the two sides of character that can be giving and demanding - so much like life. In this book, he digs into how life is complex, we get in our own way, but some people gloriously overcome illnesses or setbacks what would destroy others.

    This was his last book, and makes me want to read much more that he has written.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melissa Atlanta, GA, United States 09-17-13
    Melissa Atlanta, GA, United States 09-17-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "This is life"

    There is a certain nakedness to Stegner's storytelling, in the sense that it doesn't shy away from uncomfortable subjects like death and troubled marriages. His characters are not always likeable, but they are very real and may even remind you of people you know. This is a book about the life of a friendship between two couples over many years. Stegner explores the joy and excitement of the young friendship, but he recognizes that friendships can die away to almost nothing for long periods of time, only to be reignited by a major event. Stegner's appeal (for me anyway) is in his ability to develop his characters as they age and deal with life's challenges -- as well as to describe their surroundings lovingly and vividly. This story is not predictable, nor does it offer any particular shocks or surprises. However, it is gut-wrenching in its honesty about human beings and the institutions of marriage and friendship.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Priscilla ROSLINDALE, MA, United States 04-29-13
    Priscilla ROSLINDALE, MA, United States 04-29-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Beautifully written story, but...."
    Would you listen to Crossing to Safety again? Why?

    I don't think I would listen to it again, although it was beautifully written and narrated. I particularly disliked Charity,and she was really the dominant character in the book, as she was in the relationship between the two couples.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    For myself I would have changed the ending (although I don't want to have any spoilers here). I thought there was surprisinging cruelty shown to one of the main characters, although it actually seemd to be the culmination of the way he had been treated by his wife throughout their marriage. I wonder if others have this same reaction.


    Which character – as performed by Richard Poe – was your favorite?

    Definitely the narrator.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    No particular moment - just the enduring depth of the friendship between the two couples, the way they nurtured each other over the years and became each family to one another. Perhaps their reunion after several years of not seeing each other at the end was the most moving. (again, I don't want to give anything away about the ending)


    Any additional comments?

    It is ironic how the relationship between the two couples was mutually beneficial and nurturing, despite the flaws within each individual and particularly despite the serious flaws in the relationship of one of the couples.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel Charlottesville, VA, USA 01-23-10
    Daniel Charlottesville, VA, USA 01-23-10
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    "Love the book"

    Lush and beautifully written, this story covers many years of two couples. If you like Richard Fords stuff, or Russo, then you will be very happy with this book.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Book Worm San Francisco, CA 10-03-13
    Book Worm San Francisco, CA 10-03-13 Member Since 2012

    I love yoga. I love cooking healthy, organic, natural, delicious food. I love reading, writing, traveling. But more than anything, I love laughing and cuddling with my Michael and our pup.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Slow but worth the time"

    Hmmm, how does one review a book like this? It’s the story of two couples: their friendship, marriages, lives, treasured memories and hardships. I found the story a bit slow at times and occasionally disjointed. No huge rising plot. No language frills. No magnificently crafted scenery. That said, there was a rawness to it—a deeply human face that held my attention and my focus, even when I wasn’t reading. I’m glad I read it, but I’m not sure I’d go around recommending it to everyone I know… except perhaps to my sister, to get her take on the family dynamics in the book. There were certainly some ponderous subtleties I could relate to.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fatina Bisat Macon, GA, United States 03-05-13
    Fatina Bisat Macon, GA, United States 03-05-13 Member Since 2010

    Tina

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Well written novel , but average story"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I learned about this novel from the " The End of Your Life Book Club" book. When I checked it out, the reviews on it were amazing. Unfortunately I do not agree with the previous reviews. It is a very well written book but I think the story is average. There were times when I just wanted the chapter to end, the details of a certain situation would linger forever. I think the book could have been much shorter and still get the same message out.
    Having said that, still, I think there were some concepts, towards the end of the book, that were worth discussing


    What aspect of Richard Poe’s performance would you have changed?

    Too monotone for me


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    I think I would prefer to see it in a movie setting rather than read it in a book and spend that much time on it


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Las Cruces, NM, United States 08-07-13
    Scott Las Cruces, NM, United States 08-07-13 Member Since 2011

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Beautiful writing, but ...."

    dull, dull, dull. I just couldn't care about these self-centered academics. The closest they got to lifting their eyes from their own navels was to gaze at those of their friends.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Denise Mansfield Louisville, TN 04-12-13
    Denise Mansfield Louisville, TN 04-12-13 Member Since 2010

    sdmb27

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    "Endured to the end. Sorry.... :-("
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Sorry....


    What was most disappointing about Wallace Stegner’s story?

    A writer writing a book about writing a book.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Richard Poe?

    Poe made this poor book worth enduring to the end. Bless his heart for having to read it.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Just not an interesting storyline.


    Any additional comments?

    no

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tracy Alberta, AB, Canada 04-12-13
    Tracy Alberta, AB, Canada 04-12-13 Member Since 2008

    Love a great book that stays with you long after you've finished it.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Boring"

    Skip this one. Yes it is well written & considered a classic but that doesn't make it an interesting read. I usually finish a book in 4 days, this one took 2 weeks. Choose another.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 21 results PREVIOUS123NEXT
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  • C. P. McGregor
    Edinburgh
    12/24/12
    Overall
    "A Gem to be Savoured"

    I bought this after hearing it recommended by all three participants in a recent edition of "A Good Read" and am very glad that I did. It's a simple enough story of two couples played out against the background of mid twentieth century America but cheering in its account of the pleasures and occasional difficulties of friendship and feels emotionally very true. Credit too to the narrator Richard Poe for adding significantly to the pleasures of the book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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