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The Whistling Season | [Ivan Doig]

The Whistling Season

When a widowed rancher hires a housekeeper to help with his three young sons, he finds her to be cheerful and competent. Yet she is concealing a colorful and infamous past. Filled with humor and hardship, this novel sings with what the author calls "a poetry of the vernacular". A finalist for the National Book award, Ivan Doig, who has published 11 books, has been hailed as the "West's preeminent literary novelist" by the Denver Post.
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Publisher's Summary

When a widowed rancher hires a housekeeper to help with his three young sons, he finds her to be cheerful and competent. Yet she is concealing a colorful and infamous past. Filled with humor and hardship, this novel sings with what the author calls "a poetry of the vernacular".

A finalist for the National Book award, Ivan Doig, who has published 11 books, has been hailed as the "West's preeminent literary novelist" by the Denver Post.

©2006 Ivan Doig; (P)2006 Recorded Books

What the Critics Say

"The Whistling Season is a book to pass on to your favorite readers: a story of lives of active choice, lived actively." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (562 )
5 star
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Overall
4.1 (300 )
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Story
4.2 (298 )
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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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  •  
    B.J. Minneapolis, MN, United States 12-26-10
    B.J. Minneapolis, MN, United States 12-26-10 Member Since 2007

    I hear voices. But maybe that's because there's always an Audible book in my ear.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Lovely story, small in scope"

    Doig has a terrific ability to write about the small things in life and make them interesting. The flatness of the narrator threw me off the first hour. It's bland. Eventually, it becomes a very good listen -- but more because of where the story goes than how it's read.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dawn 01-17-08
    Dawn 01-17-08 Member Since 2005
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    "a wonderful book"

    The author did a brilliant job weaving this story. It was a real "page turner." I loved the characters - down to earth, honorable, yet endearing and humorous. The setting felt real and the events seemed authentic. Humor, sorrow, fear, anticipation... all of these feelings that were a part of my journey through this book.
    Told from the perspective of the eldest son, this story demonstrates how even during the hardest times in life, the human spirit endures. This is an uplifting story with an appreciation for simpler times.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rebecca Roztocil Caledonia, New York United States 11-20-12
    Rebecca Roztocil Caledonia, New York United States 11-20-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Enjoyed Listening as much as Reading!"
    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Whistling Season?

    The most memorable moment was when Oliver and his sons stopped by the grave of his first wife, so he could see if he would have the courage to tell his sons he wanted to propose to Rose.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The scene that I enjoyed the most was the scene where Morrie had the school children hold down Eddie Turley (the school bully all the students feared) so he could try out some eye-glasses on him to see if his "disinterest" in learning was related to not being able to see the chalkboard.


    Who was the most memorable character of The Whistling Season and why?

    The character I found most memorable was Morrie. He was so out of place in Montana country, with his well-educated speech and fancy clothes. Yet he managed to find a way to fit in without becoming sacrificing his uniqueness.


    Any additional comments?

    I purchased this audiobook because I so enjoyed reading this book that I wanted to listen to it. I was not disappointed. The narrator did an excellent job of portraying Morrie's personality through his voice. I have become an avid reader of Ivan Doig's novels. He does a remarkable job of using language to paint the experience of growing up in early 1900's Montana, complete with all its challenges. I highly recommend this selection to anyone who enjoys listening to a well-told story.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wendy 10-27-09
    Wendy 10-27-09 Member Since 2007
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    "a fun listen"

    This book was slow paced and very low key. I just enjoyed listening to such a story set in Montana in the early 1900s. Such a good picture of life back then. A little bit like Lake Woebegon in the everyday happenings. I love Ivan's characterizations of individuals. There is nothing quite like people that you feel could live next door. So real to life.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leila New York, NY, USA 01-29-08
    Leila New York, NY, USA 01-29-08
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    "Whistling Season"

    This was a wonderful book to listen to because it gave a view of homestead life 100 years ago. The speaker sounded like he really lived there. I would recommend this book for many reasons. Don't miss it!

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph Kingston, PA, United States 04-19-13
    Joseph Kingston, PA, United States 04-19-13 Member Since 2011
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    "A skilled writer takes on a quiet subject"
    Any additional comments?

    You know from the first several sentences that you're in good hands with Doig. He's got all the writing chops you could ask for, and at times seems like a contemporary Willa Cather.

    The characters emerge impressively and thoughtfully, and the narrator grows in subtle and moving ways through his coming-of-age experiences.

    That said -- and it is a lot to say -- it's a very slow story. Some of the blurbs I've seen suggest we're in for a big reveal, but that wasn't my experience. It was, instead, a quieter series of revelations, most of them effectively rooted in character rather than plot twist.

    There's also a potentially intriguing frame device in which the narrator -- reflecting on the events of his adolescence -- contemplates applying the lessons of that time to a crisis in his later life. If I have a technical criticism of a writing performance I generally admire a lot, it's that the frame vanishes for long stretches and then returns as a bit of a surprise.

    All in all, it's good stuff with a narrator who's folksy and easy to listen to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lori United States 03-20-13
    Lori United States 03-20-13 Member Since 2006
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    "3 stars so far..."

    Right now this book is just background noise, I am not invested in it. It is Quaint, and I keep waiting for something to happen... I think I'm going to quit for now and revisit it later. I do appreciate the writing and the tone.
    I have in the past liked books that are just stories about a town, village or group of interesting people such as Guernsey potato peel pie society. But so far half way through this book its just stories about kids and their shenanigans or lack there-of. The Father, the house-keeper and the teacher are all decent characters but nothing has grabbed me yet to make me become invested in their lives.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cassandra 03-19-13
    Cassandra 03-19-13

    I'm a mom, daughter, wife, friend, sister, athlete, and teacher... Oh, and I'm lucky enough to have been born and raised in Hawaii. My reading tastes reflect all of this.

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    "An unexpected treat!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes! It's a beautifully coming of age story that transported me to another space and time... Mr. Doig's use of language is exquisite without being cumbersome.


    What other book might you compare The Whistling Season to and why?

    I was instantly reminded of Wallace Stegner's work. Crossing to Safety and Angle of Repose come to mind.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I particularly loved the classroom scenes because the transported me to another place and time.


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

    “Childhood is the one story that stands by itself in every soul.”


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Droske Texas 02-01-13
    S. Droske Texas 02-01-13 Member Since 2011

    storytellersue

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    "a delightful story!"
    Would you listen to The Whistling Season again? Why?

    I would listen to this book again, as I enjoyed the narrator greatly and the story was delightful.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The horse race!


    If you could take any character from The Whistling Season out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    If I could take any character from this book out to dinner, it would be the main character. He is a precocious and extremely candid child and I'd enjoy spending time with him.


    Any additional comments?

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book, from start to finish. It reminded me of stories told by my immigrant Swedish relatives who settled and farmed in South Dakota in the early 1900's. What a delight!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anne McCaffrey 02-01-13
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    "Great Story"
    Would you listen to The Whistling Season again? Why?

    I plan to listen to this again....very sweet and entertaining story.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Characters were all so genuine.


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

    His taking on of each of the characters personality quirks helped me to just get lost in the story.


    Who was the most memorable character of The Whistling Season and why?

    The narrator since most of the story was told from his perspective.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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