Dancing at the Rascal Fair by National Book Award nominee Ivan Doig, captures the passion and tenacity of turn-of-the-century immigrants struggling to build new lives amidst Montana’s windswept Rockies. The tale unfolds into a contest of the heart between Anna Ramsay and Angus McCaskill—kept apart by obligations—as they and their stormy kin vie to tame the brutal land.
©1987 Ivan Doig (P)2010 Recorded Books, LLC
“Magnificent…Dancing at the Rascal Fair establishes its author in the front ranks of contemporary American writers.” (Seattle Times)
"The settlement of Montana between 1890 and 1919 is recounted through the quiet but compelling life of Angus McCaskill, a young Scotsman who travels with his friend Rob Barclay to Montana's Two Medicine Country to homestead. Doig writes fervently of the voyage from Scotland and the lean first years, as the two share the work and hardship of establishing claims and building up flocks of sheep. He tells of their separate marriages, the severing of their friendship, and the final resolution of their conflict through death. Doig successfully recaptures the violence of the Montana elements and the staunch heritage of the Scottish settlers." (Library Journal)
I tried and tried and tried to give this book a chance. It was simply boring. Yes, there's a story hidden in there somewhere - I'm simply not patient enough to dig it out. There's certainly no drama, and not much on character building. It's just hours and hours of a description of Montana as it was settled.
This is an excellent book for readers who have a keen interest in the experience of homesteading in the American West. For the rare reader who loves sheep (I'm a sheep rancher), there is wonderful amount of detail about shepherding and the sheep business. The narrations is at times poetic and heartbreaking. However, the story moves quite slowly throughout the entire book and most of the turns in the plot are hinted at before they arrive. It is not a book that will grab the attention of the average reader.
Audible books keep me awake and alert as I drive the interstates. I have listened to hundreds of books over the years. This was one of the rare occasions that I found myself sad when it was over. If I had been holding the book while reading, my right hand would have started sending those silent messages through the fog I enter when I read...."Oh no!!! it's almost over!!!" I will look for more from this author and should I find he holds my attention this well in further writings...I will be a fan!
This slow paced tale of the life two Scottish immigrants homesteading in the Montana mountains from 1890 to 1919 is beautifully written and elegantly read and worth listening to.
This was the first Ivan Doig book I've read or listened to, and I really enjoyed it. The narrator was terrific, and the author's writing style is wonderful!
Beautifully written - poetic, poignant and powerful. I almost gave up after the first few chapters but I'm glad I stuck it out. This book delivers amazing visuals and leaves the reader thinking about one's own relationships through life's journeys.
Newly retired, I am a reading fiend! I like many types of books, both fiction and non-fiction, with the exception of romance and fantasy
A beautifully written and narrated book that leaves me missing the characters and their lives, wishing there could be more. Doig did a masterful job creating his characters and their truly believable stories. I savored every moment and never felt the pace was too slow. It made me happy, it made me sad, it made me want more. I will definitely read another of Doig's books. Narrator was wonderful, too.
"I love Ivan Doug and although this one started slowly, it did not disappoint. As always, the character development, relationship"
I love Ivan Doug and although this one started slowly, it did not disappoint. As always, the character development, relationships and description of homesteading life in Montana was clever, humorous, historic and absolutely entertaining.
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