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English Creek: The Montana Trilogy, Book 1 | [Ivan Doig]

English Creek: The Montana Trilogy, Book 1

Part of Ivan Doig’s acclaimed Montana trilogy, English Creek revolves around Jick McCaskill, a 14-year-old growing up in 1930s Montana. This incandescent coming-of-age tale dramatizes the climatic events of one summer that inevitably mark Jick’s awakening from childhood to adulthood.
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Publisher's Summary

Part of Ivan Doig’s acclaimed Montana trilogy, English Creek revolves around Jick McCaskill, a 14-year-old growing up in 1930s Montana. This incandescent coming-of-age tale dramatizes the climatic events of one summer that inevitably mark Jick’s awakening from childhood to adulthood. Through his eyes we see those nearest and dearest to him at a turning point - "where all four of our lives made their bend" - and discover along with him his own connection to the land, to history, and to the deep-fathomed mysteries of one's kin and one's self.

©1984 Ivan Doig (P)2010 Recorded Books, LLC

What the Critics Say

"Sheer magic...simply a national treasure." (USA Today)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (171 )
5 star
 (66)
4 star
 (55)
3 star
 (32)
2 star
 (8)
1 star
 (10)
Overall
4.0 (126 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.2 (128 )
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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  •  
    Jan Rochester, NY, United States 05-21-13
    Jan Rochester, NY, United States 05-21-13 Member Since 2011

    Eclectic, avid listener, favorite book is the one currently in ear.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    471
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    "Read this as book two and Dancing as book one"

    I read "Dancing at the Rascal Fair" as a stand alone book, not realizing it was part of a trilogy. "Dancing" is a 5 star read and a gem of a book. It is also the true beginning of the trilogy. After reading "Dancing," I wanted more about the family and what happened to them. I read "Prairie Nocturne" which followed a side character and didn't satisfy the itch. This is what I should have read. Although, I have no clue why Doig chose to make it the first book of the trilogy, it is actually the second book chronologically and makes a lot more sense to read second. Having read "Dancing," I picked up on subtleties and relationships that I wouldn't have caught at all if I had read this first. "English Creek" starts slowly and the plot lazes along, just a 3.5 star read for me, but it was the salve for my itch of wanting more after "Dancing." Glad I found it.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bettyjo Roanoke, VA, United States 10-30-11
    Bettyjo Roanoke, VA, United States 10-30-11 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    Story
    "Great Story"

    Characters one can care about. Realist, down-to-earth story. All three books in the trilogy are well written. Graphic descriptions of Montana without bogging the story.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chrissie Brussels, Belgium 06-01-13
    Chrissie Brussels, Belgium 06-01-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent storytelling"

    I found "English Creek" even better than "Dancing at the Rascal Fair", which is a favorite with many, not just me. The weird thing is that "English Creek" is the first of the series but chronologically it follows "Dancing at the Rascal Fair". I think it is better to read it after "Dancing at the Rascal Fair"! "Ride With Me, Mariah Montana" is the next one I will pick up. Check out all of the "Two Medicine County" series. I love the way Ivan Doig captures the essential both in physical descriptions of the land, the dialog between people and what is essentially important in life. Some compare him to Wallace Stegner but I think he is MUCH better. There is marvelous humor in Doig's writing.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amy Seattle, WA, United States 03-04-11
    Amy Seattle, WA, United States 03-04-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "14 year old protagonist--not enough conflict"

    I loved listening to Doig's "Dancing at the Rascal Fair." This story was not as interesting because the protagonist, Jick, is mainly an observer of other characters' lives and not much happens in his own. There is just one main conflict and to me it wasn't strong enough to sustain through the story. What was interesting was the references to "Rascal Fair" because Jick's grandfather is Angus McCaskill, the protagonist of "Rascal Fair." It was still an entertaining listen, but not nearly as rich as "Rascal Fair."

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paula Overland Park, KS USA 09-30-13
    Paula Overland Park, KS USA 09-30-13 Member Since 2012

    Enjoying one good listen after the next!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Color Me Disappointed"

    The writing was fine, the setting was fine, but the story. . . . well, I suppose if I was male and wanted to relive a year or so in the life of a 14 year-old Montana boy, I might have actually enjoyed it. There was no drama, no real issues; just the day-to-day sometimes clumsy activities of a boy-turning-young man. That is not to say bad things about Doig's writing. . . it was great; offering very good visualizations of Jick, his family and surroundings. For me, it was not very interesting. . . and after enjoying Dancing at the Rascal Fair so much, I could not help but be disappointed that this story didn't offer the same degree of interest.

    It will surely get high reviews from others, so don't let me dissuade you from reading other reviews and trying the book if you are a mind to do so. Just not my cup of tea.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Denise Grants Pass, OR, United States 05-06-14
    Denise Grants Pass, OR, United States 05-06-14 Member Since 2003
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    "Boring and boring"
    Has English Creek turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Yes


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    Four hours into this book and still no plot. I am very disappointed, especially since I loved Doig's 'Tale of a Bartender' and 'Dancing at the Rascal Fair'. This book is not for me. I am returning it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K. Hartford, WI, United States 08-21-13
    K. Hartford, WI, United States 08-21-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Disappointing after the bartenders tale !"

    The story line was drawn out to long to make it last It seemed. I tried to finish this book twice and just gave up. I will try another of Ivan Doig's at a later time after previewing !

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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