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The Big Rock Candy Mountain Audiobook

The Big Rock Candy Mountain

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Publisher's Summary

Bo Mason, his wife, and his two boys live a transient life of poverty and despair. Drifting from town to town and from state to state, the violent, ruthless Bo seeks his fortune in the hotel business, in new farmland, and, eventually, in illegal rum-running throughout the treacherous back roads of the American Northwest.

Based largely on his own childhood, Stegner has created a masterful, harrowing saga of a family trying to survive during the lean years of the early 20th century. It is the conflict between the hardscrabble existence and Bo's pursuit of the frontier myth and of the American dream that gives the book such resonance and power.

©1938 1940, 1942, 1943 by Wallace Stegner; (P)2010 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Stegner has felt the spell of mountain and prairie, of drought, flood, and blizzard....a harrowing saga." - (New York Times)
"Stands out beautifully and unforgettably." (New Yorker)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (701 )
5 star
 (288)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.1 (447 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.3 (452 )
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
 (10)
Performance
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  •  
    Pat 08-06-12
    Pat 08-06-12 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    4
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    Story
    "Pioneer dreams and despairs"
    What other book might you compare The Big Rock Candy Mountain to and why?

    The Grapes of Wrath
    Families dealing with adversity. The father Bo Mason engenders empathy although he is the catalyst for his wife and son's misfortunes. Bo is also a victim of the times.


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

    Great voice that suits the themes and environment portrayed


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

    Epic tale of flawed characters of the American West in the early 20th century


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cynthia Lecanto, FL, United States 03-15-12
    Cynthia Lecanto, FL, United States 03-15-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Literature"
    If you could sum up The Big Rock Candy Mountain in three words, what would they be?

    A wonderful story,expertly told & written with characters that you really know bceause they are so well depicted. My first Stegner book & what a remarkable find- this man really knows how to write a compelling story.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scout Lewiston, CA, United States 02-05-12
    Scout Lewiston, CA, United States 02-05-12

    Loves a good book

    ratings
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    2
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    Story
    "Enthralling book"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Big Rock Candy Mountain to be better than the print version?

    Haven't read the book - discovering Stegner rather late in life via my son. Heard short story on NPR and fascinated by it. I feel that Mr. Bramhall brings so much to his reading; characters live. I'd never say that about a movie vs a book read. I look forward to either reading (favorite thing to do) all of Stegner or listening while I quilt.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Elsa is formidable in her tenacity - in her choice to leave home against her family's wishes and in her determination to stay with Bo, no matter the personal cost. I have to remind myself that women of those times did not have the options open to women of today, so though much of her life was hardfought and a misery, she's heroic in her protection of those she loved. Bo - determined to grind out a living according to his own ideas and was, most of his life, pushing his personal boulder up a rugged mountain. Almost have to admire that.


    What about Mark Bramhall’s performance did you like?

    I could hear the people clearly - woman, child or man. Thank you Mr. Bramhall


    Any additional comments?

    It was heartbreaking to realize this is autobiographical in many ways; to know most of this was Stegner's personal story. How dificult to write Bruce's first visit to the mortuary. Only someone who lived those moments could write exactly those words.

    Very telling that Stegner's father's grave is unmarked.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Geoffrey Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 11-16-11
    Geoffrey Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 11-16-11 Member Since 2010

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Glorious"

    A performance with a shining brilliance, reflecting a story of beauty, pain and love, of the broad geography of the west and the struggle of the individual and the family. Worth every minute of words.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JQR Los Angeles, CA 11-02-11
    JQR Los Angeles, CA 11-02-11 Member Since 2009
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    3
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    "Excellent story, and true."

    The story is based on Stegner's family settling in the West; it's beautiful writing and moving. Mark Bramhall's narration is note-perfect.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    lisa metairie, LA, United States 09-04-11
    lisa metairie, LA, United States 09-04-11 Member Since 2006
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    "loved the narrator....very good book"
    Would you listen to The Big Rock Candy Mountain again? Why?

    This book was beautifully written. I was a little worried about the length but it was entirely worth it. These characters are now a part of me....one of the best listens....


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa M. Ludwig Metairie, louisiana, United States 09-04-11
    Lisa M. Ludwig Metairie, louisiana, United States 09-04-11 Member Since 2006

    booklover

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "loved the narrator....very good book"
    Would you listen to The Big Rock Candy Mountain again? Why?

    This book was beautifully written. I was a little worried about the length but it was entirely worth it. These characters are now a part of me....one of the best listens....


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Danners ARLINGTON, VA, United States 08-19-11
    Danners ARLINGTON, VA, United States 08-19-11 Member Since 2008

    Danners

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Get it."

    The narration is incredible. The characters are well defined. An emotional (highs and lows) and tragic story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Western Canada 07-31-11 Member Since 2009
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    "An exceptional audiobook experience!"

    This is a truly memorable audiobook particularly for listeners who appreciate and want excellence both in writing and in narration. For many of us who have parents and grandparents (60+) who grew up in these times and have heard the stories of the Great Depression, homesteading, and wanderlust this story adds a deep dimension to our understanding of those times and comes very close to home on many occasions. For younger listerners, there is much to be gained by listening to this story. It is both historical and contemporary in its perspective family, responsibility, and true unselfishness.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C Chestnuthill, MA, United States 05-26-11
    C Chestnuthill, MA, United States 05-26-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Bleak"

    I've read other books of his and have enjoyed them. This is simply bleak, predictable and depressing. Each starts with some kind of hope and ends with the father disastrously screwing up yet again. The narration is good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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