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Once Upon a River | [Bonnie Jo Campbell]

Once Upon a River

A finalist for the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award, Bonnie Jo Campbell is a rising star in contemporary fiction. Hailed by Booklist as a female Huckleberry Finn, Campbell’s heroine is 16yearold Margo Crane. Complicit in her father’s death, Margo flees home for the Stark River. And as she follows the current, she learns the ways of the world from the eccentric characters she meets.
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Publisher's Summary

A finalist for the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award, Bonnie Jo Campbell is a rising star in contemporary fiction. Hailed by Booklist as a female Huckleberry Finn, Campbell’s heroine is 16-year-old Margo Crane. Complicit in her father’s death, Margo flees home for the Stark River. And as she follows the current, she learns the ways of the world from the eccentric characters she meets.

©2011 Bonnie Jo Campbell (P)2011 Recorded Books, LLC

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (54 )
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3.8 (48 )
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Story
4.1 (50 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Catharine Brooklyn, NY, United States 08-27-12
    Catharine Brooklyn, NY, United States 08-27-12 Member Since 2009
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Will There Be More?"
    What did you like best about this story?

    It has been a rare book that has presented such a collection of characters so real, so alive and a story line to go with that leaves one wanting for more.
    Bonnie Jo is the perfect surprise in a market filled with okay writers. Do hope she has another book coming out soon.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Go with the flow.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marjorie Mosier, OR, United States 07-08-12
    Marjorie Mosier, OR, United States 07-08-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "So much to think about here..."
    What made the experience of listening to Once Upon a River the most enjoyable?

    Bonnie Jo Campbell's writing is gorgeous. All of the characters, even the creepy ones, were interesting. As Margo encountered them, I wanted to see what would unfold. I wanted to protect her!


    What about Susan Bennett’s performance did you like?

    She gave everyone a unique voice. Her voice and accent are very soothing.


    Who was the most memorable character of Once Upon a River and why?

    Margo, of course. For all her weaknesses, she's tough. She idolizes Annie Oakley, which I found to be a very sweet construct. Her morality develops through her own experience making it truly genuine.


    Any additional comments?

    For me this was a very believable and creative tale of a teenage girl left to fend for herself. I was fascinated by her challenge to figure out where she fit in with the struggles between family, society, and her personal urges.A great character has profound weaknesses. Her strengths are revealed to her as she grows. She steadily walks the fence between victim and plotter. And anyone who had difficulties socializing at fifteen can relate to at least some of her behavior. Such stupid things we did as teenagers!Like it or not, the type of people she encounters are really out there, all too ready to prey upon our many homeless and abused children.I found this beautifully written and narrated book suspenseful, memorable, and insightful.Highly recommended!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K. Hewett Dallas TX 05-23-12
    K. Hewett Dallas TX 05-23-12 Member Since 2008

    Reacher Fan

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Just Yuk"

    I was hanging in there and trying to like it until the heroine began killing deer like a freaking serial killer. Then the "accident" happened and I was just turned off by the whole thing and quit listening to it.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gail Wurmstein DEL RIO, TX, US 11-29-11
    Gail Wurmstein DEL RIO, TX, US 11-29-11 Member Since 2004
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    "Makes me think of "Battling Banjos""

    The reader was very good and provided most of the positive aspects of this book. but the story caused me to have to struggle to stick to it to the bitter end. The main character was obviously boreingly dysfunctional, and I consider the book a wasted audible credit.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    teachergrammy 11-26-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "NOT Huckleberry Finn!"

    Huckleberry Finn did not "sleep" his way down the river to get what he needed as does the main character in this book. After the author goes to a bit of trouble to paint Margo Crane as a fairly resourceful and independent character, she has her solve all her problems in survival by living with men using sex as payment. I got about half way through the book and finally gave up. Yes, she's only sixteen and perhaps we are supposed to believe her helplessness because of her age, but many a sixteen year old has taken care of themselves and even others through the ages with only as many resources as Margo has. Considering her supposed skills, she was not very smart or forward looking. Don't "dis" Huck Finn by comparing this girl to him!!

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melanie Louisville, KY, United States 10-09-13
    Melanie Louisville, KY, United States 10-09-13 Member Since 2013
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    2
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    Story
    "A real world Katnis"

    This is a good survival story of a young girl as she grows into a woman under very difficult circumstances. The mistakes she makes are understandable considering her lack of adult guidance. She's what Katnis Everdeen (Hunger Games) would be in the real world. The narrator was excellent, was never apparent as I listened, as a narrator should be.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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