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Ordinary Grace Audiobook

Ordinary Grace

Award-winning author William Kent Krueger has gained an immense fan base for his Cork O’Connor series. In Ordinary Grace, Krueger looks back to 1961 to tell the story of Frank Drum, a boy on the cusp of manhood. A typical 13-year-old with a strong, loving family, Frank is devastated when a tragedy forces him to face the unthinkable - and to take on a maturity beyond his years.
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Publisher's Summary

Award-winning author William Kent Krueger has gained an immense fan base for his Cork O’Connor series. In Ordinary Grace, Krueger looks back to 1961 to tell the story of Frank Drum, a boy on the cusp of manhood. A typical 13-year-old with a strong, loving family, Frank is devastated when a tragedy forces him to face the unthinkable - and to take on a maturity beyond his years.

©2013 William Kent Krueger (P)2013 Recorded Books

What the Critics Say

“Krueger aims higher and hits harder with a stand-alone novel that shares much with his other work.” (Kirkus Reviews)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (2939 )
5 star
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4.3 (2656 )
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Story
4.5 (2665 )
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Talechaser 08-29-15
    Talechaser 08-29-15

    Talechaser

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    "Boiler-plate box-ticker"
    What disappointed you about Ordinary Grace?

    I was disappointed by the entirely predictable plot and the unlikely characters. We have the Atticus Finch type father who apparently regrets doing his bit in the war (all former soldiers in this story are deeply scarred), the 'Holy child' brother and the early teens narrator with his 21st-century social values plonked into 1961 smalltown USA, with the occasional glance up at Stand By Me. Then there's the parade of falsely accused suspects drawn from the liberal box-ticker catalogue winding up with a smug veil of forgiveness for the guilty party, telegraphed from fairly early on in the story. There's hardly a single liberal trope left unploughed. The dialogue is wooden and the characters are cardboard saints. It's got the feel of something written by an ageing hippy whose recollection of 1961 is largely reconstructed from a wish list.


    What could William Kent Krueger have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Nothing. It's irredeemable. If I hadn't paid so much for it, I wouldn't have let it run so long.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    I spent most of the audiobook thinking there was a character called "Emo". Apparently this is Midwestern pronounciation for "Emil", so it's legit, but a bit confusing. Otherwise, narration was OK.


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

    Nope


    Any additional comments?

    New-age Christians will love it.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Regina Seattle 03-02-15
    Regina Seattle 03-02-15 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Soap opera with pretensions"

    If I'm going to listen to a soap, I want it to have some zip. This one is sappy. The characters are forlorn and flop all over the story. Old wrongs reinvestigated. Actions considered from every possible point of view. What works for Proust doesn't work here. You know that moist, dank, dreary feeling? Press play, and it can be yours.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Waltham, MA, United States 04-15-14
    Mark Waltham, MA, United States 04-15-14 Member Since 2010

    MTF

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Disappointing mystery/coming-of-age story"

    I liked the idea of a 1960's coming-of-age story mixed with a mystery. The problem is that this novel did not succeed in either of those areas. Very little happened in the first half of the novel. References to Brillcream, Risk, and Gunsmoke were not enough to make that golden era of childhood come alive, and I am from that generation! The characters and world were not interesting enough for that to work without more plot. Frank is the 13 year-old protagonist, who lives with a younger brother who stutters (and gets bullied), an older sister, and his parents, a minister, and a mother unhappy being the wife of a minister. The big mystery occurs halfway through the novel, when a major character disappears. The story picked up at that point. It moved from a 2-star to a 3-star book then. A good reader helped, too. This novel felt like something I had read many times in the past. I might have liked it more had it seemed fresher to me. Ultimately, it did provide a pleasant way to pass the time, but not much more.

    8 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debbie Toney, Alabama 09-14-13
    Debbie Toney, Alabama 09-14-13 Member Since 2013

    Retired CFO, Army wife, Mom of five, Grandma of six, two sons who served in combat, love to read books that reflect my values and faith, love mysteries, historical, military stories, and books that don't waste my time . . . if it doesn't have an ending that was worth the wait, I'm not a happy camper.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A town and a time like Mayberry"

    This book, set in 1961, crept deep into my heart and senses. The story is about Frank and his younger brother, Jake. Their dad is the Methodist minister. They have an older sister, Ariel, a senior in high school, about to go off to college. Their mom, not the typical preacher's wife, spends her days wishing her husband had become the brilliant attorney, his first career choice . . . but who later decided to go to seminary, after he returned home from the war. The small town that they live in, much like Mayberry, changes that summer beginning with the death of a small boy . . . and then things begin on a course of pain and change that will haunt and cut their family and the townspeople to the core . . . and threaten all they believe in. This story is their path through that . . . and it is an amazing, tearful, frightening journey, bringing one face to face with all the best and the worst in the people . . . and teaching two young boys about true grace.

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 08-06-13
    Jennifer Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 08-06-13 Member Since 2011

    Jennifer B.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Almost perfect"

    This is a book that makes you want to write one of your own, based on your childhood memories. But you could never do as well as William Kent Kreuger has done here. I was completely immersed in the Minnesota landscape, I could feel the heat and the worry, and the darkness. It's not often that I cry while listening to an audio book, but I cried many times while listening to the extraordinary work.

    The only nit I would pick is that it becomes almost unbelievable that the young hero is always present (through eavesdropping, or overhearing, or circumstance) in all of the key plot developments.

    Go ahead, and buy this one. It's almost perfect.

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Big jim Picotto Great White North 01-28-15
    Big jim Picotto Great White North 01-28-15 Member Since 2016

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not much of a Mystery."

    Yes, i get its a well written book. But if you are looking for a mystery/suspense/thriller, walk away. This is none of them.

    6 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kitty 01-01-14
    Kitty 01-01-14 Member Since 2016

    Give me a good mystery and I am happy!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This is not your typical mystery..."

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book, while it is not the typical mystery with the "edge of my seat" excitement, it did involve trying to figure out "who done it."

    The book takes you back to a simpler time. Kids went outside and rode their bikes. They did not play video games all day.

    I purchased this book just because of the author's name, I have all of his " Cork O'Connor" series and enjoyed them all.

    This book entertains and that is why I buy books! Well worth the time and credit. Enjoy!

    6 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jaybird Kouch Frontenac, mn United States 04-12-13
    Jaybird Kouch Frontenac, mn United States 04-12-13 Member Since 2015

    kiska doozer

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "great listen & great story"

    Have loved all of William Kent Krueger's books. This one was no exception. The end is predictable but getting there was exquisite. It is a good lesson in keeping hope & faith while undergoing very difficult personal tragedy. Title choice was right on.

    6 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Reademandweep 10-23-15 Member Since 2014

    and a penny for your thoughts

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Don't waste a credit"

    I am shocked by the five-star reviews on this book. I have not read the authors previous books so I can only speak about this one when I say his writing style is juvenile and almost laughable at times. He try's too hard to The extreme overuse of similes is distracting. I felt he was trying to be profound rather than just telling an honest story. I read a lot and I have never read an author so self-indulgent.
    There wasn't much plot which normally wouldn't be a problem for me. I like character analysis but these characters were uninteresting and overly simplistic, almost caricatures. There were so many physical handicaps in that small town I began to wonder about incest.
    The reader was OK. I think he did the best he could with the material.
    I do not recommend this book unless you can borrow it from a friend or get it for a $1.95. I happened to get this on the daily special but I would be sorely disappointed if I had used one of my credits.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Conaghan Olathe, Ks 01-08-14
    S. Conaghan Olathe, Ks 01-08-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great author and Great reader"
    Where does Ordinary Grace rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It is up there at the very top.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It revolved around a family and the people in the town and also it had mystery in it too.
    I really liked the family.


    What does Rich Orlow bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Oh Rich Orlow's voice! This was a great story, but with Rich Orlow reading it, I was mesmerized. I stayed up all through the night listening to him. I could not quit listening to him. Now I am reviewing other books he has narrated. Just listen to him and you will also be addicted to his voice.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, it was. It was approx 10 hour book. I have never listened to a book that long. It was an all nighter and part of the morning. I had the luxury of not working today so I could finishing listening to Rich Orlow's engaging voice.


    Any additional comments?

    Be sure to listen to this book. You won't regret it.

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful

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