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The Big Rock Candy Mountain | [Wallace Stegner]

The Big Rock Candy Mountain

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.
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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 (599 )
5 star
 (234)
4 star
 (196)
3 star
 (105)
2 star
 (45)
1 star
 (19)
Overall
4.1 (368 )
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
 (8)
Story
4.3 (374 )
5 star
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4 star
 (108)
3 star
 (46)
2 star
 (12)
1 star
 (10)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Judith Lewis Los Angeles, CA 11-02-11
    Judith Lewis Los Angeles, CA 11-02-11 Member Since 2009
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    53
    12
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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

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    53
    11
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
    4
    ratings
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    72
    5
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    0
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    Performance
    Story
    "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
  •  
    Karen Brandon, MB, Canada 07-31-11
    Karen Brandon, MB, Canada 07-31-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    27
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    13
    6
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    Overall
    "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 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    69
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    216
    69
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    4
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    Overall
    "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
  •  
    Lisa Uralla, Australia 03-30-11
    Lisa Uralla, Australia 03-30-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
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    48
    7
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    1
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    Overall
    "Good editor needed"

    Phew....talk about the minutiae of life - there's that and so much more of that. I listened to the end and was rewarded with some stellar phrases and images. The characters plodded through this book but the narrator soared.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deborah PORTLAND, OR, United States 02-16-11
    Deborah PORTLAND, OR, United States 02-16-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    3
    3
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    0
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    Overall
    "Bad Narration"

    I gave this 3 stars, although I never was able to listen to the book, unfortunately. I really disliked the narrator in the flat voice who spoke so fast it took away any depth of feeling that I like to feel when listening.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Silverton, OR, US 11-16-12
    Amazon Customer Silverton, OR, US 11-16-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    52
    5
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Disappointing"
    What disappointed you about The Big Rock Candy Mountain?

    I guess this is a good book for an older guy. I was impatient with the life of the times - the lead character trying to be such a "man." I understand his frustrations but was too much for me. I didn't enjoy the descriptions of Bruce's trappings and just quit listening when the car wouldn't start. Just not my book.


    What didn’t you like about Mark Bramhall’s performance?

    Droning voice put me to sleep.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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