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The Glass Castle Audiobook

The Glass Castle: A Memoir [Audiobook]

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Publisher's Summary

Jeannette Walls grew up with parents whose ideals and stubborn nonconformity were both their curse and their salvation. Rex and Rose Mary Walls had four children. In the beginning, they lived like nomads, moving among Southwest desert towns, camping in the mountains. Rex was a charismatic, brilliant man who, when sober, captured his children's imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and above all, how to embrace life fearlessly.

Rose Mary, who painted and wrote and couldn't stand the responsibility of providing for her family, called herself an "excitement addict". Cooking a meal that would be consumed in 15 minutes had no appeal when she could make a painting that might last forever.

Later, when the money ran out, or the romance of the wandering life faded, the Walls retreated to the dismal West Virginia mining town - and the family - Rex Walls had done everything he could to escape. He drank. He stole the grocery money and disappeared for days. As the dysfunction of the family escalated, Jeannette and her brother and sisters had to fend for themselves, supporting one another as they weathered their parents' betrayals and, finally, found the resources and will to leave home.

What is so astonishing about Jeannette Walls is not just that she had the guts and tenacity and intelligence to get out, but that she describes her parents with such deep affection and generosity. Hers is a story of triumph against all odds, but also a tender, moving tale of unconditional love in a family that despite its profound flaws gave her the fiery determination to carve out a successful life on her own terms.

For two decades, Jeannette Walls hid her roots. Now she tells her own story. A regular contributor to MSNBC.com, she lives in New York and Long Island and is married to the writer John Taylor.

©2005 Jeannette Walls (P)2010 Simon and Schuster Audio

What the Critics Say

"Jeannette Walls has carved a story with precision and grace out of one of the most chaotic, heartbreaking childhoods ever to be set down on the page. This deeply affecting memoir is a triumph in every possible way, and it does what all good books should: it affirms our faith in the human spirit." (Dani Shapiro, author of Family History)

"The Glass Castle is the saga of the restless, indomitable Walls family, led by a grand eccentric and his tempestuous artist wife. Jeannette Walls has survived poverty, fires, and near starvation to triumph. She has written this amazing tale with honesty and love." (Patricia Bosworth, author of Anything Your Little Heart Desires and Diane Arbus: A Biography)

"Just read the first pages of The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, and I defy you not to go on. It's funny and sad and quirky and loving. I was incredibly touched by it." (Dominick Dunne, author of The Way We Lived Then: Recollections of a Well-Known Name Dropper)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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Performance
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  •  
    Healing Touch 08-29-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Poorly written..what was the point?"
    What disappointed you about The Glass Castle?

    This was supposedly some kind of memoir. It consisted basically of flat, undeveloped, serial tragic events in someone's life. Didnt seem to be much point except to tell about these events in a lackluster way. Only made it half-way through and had to give up on it.


    Has The Glass Castle turned you off from other books in this genre?

    no


    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth 07-27-16
    Elizabeth 07-27-16 Member Since 2015

    Listen to about four audio books a months. Never without one.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Why is it Critically Acclaimed???"

    I hated this book. I try to read a variety of genre of books. This one often pops up on "must read" lists. I knew it was a memoir written by the daughter of neglectful parents. I made it half way through and quit it. Finally two months later, I revisited it and finished it. The story is told in a cool, detached fashion and lacks any insight. These parents were abusive and narcissists. Sadly, probably mentally ill and the dad, alcoholic. They were not eccentric. I often "do" tough topics and abuse is one of them but I want to learn from the author. How did she survive these parents and how could she possibly have kept them in their lives? Tragic story. Horrible book.

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wendy 07-07-13
    Wendy 07-07-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Take a pass on this one."
    What would have made The Glass Castle better?

    Professional Narrator


    Would you ever listen to anything by Jeannette Walls again?

    I did listen to Half Broke Horses, which I liked much better, but I probably would not listen to anything else without a very good recommendation. I really did NOT like this book, at all!


    What didn’t you like about Jeannette Walls’s performance?

    I think as the author she is too close to the story, and has only limited performance skills.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    It was a waste of time. I did not find it entertaining or enlightening, just depressing and dismal.


    Any additional comments?

    Ms. Walls life story certainly suggests she has done well from difficult beginnings, but honestly there was just too much of the irresponsible mother and father who simply could not be bothered to raise or care for their children once they'd gotten around to having them.

    5 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Betsy 03-20-12
    Betsy 03-20-12 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Read the Print Version"
    What made the experience of listening to The Glass Castle the most enjoyable?

    The story was interesting and engaging but although Ms. Walls is an excellent writer, the narration was awful.


    How could the performance have been better?

    The performance was flat. It did get slightly better as the book progressed but it was not good. I've listened to hundreds of audio books and this was the worst narration ever. I wanted to stop listening and run to get the print version. This one is truly a better read in print.


    5 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BKP003 Laughlin, NV United States 05-28-17
    BKP003 Laughlin, NV United States 05-28-17 Member Since 2016
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    "A compelling memoir"

    Jeannette Walls paints a picture of a childhood that would have broken most but instead illustrates the resilient nature of children. The unconditional love for her alcoholic father and unstable mother is painfully endearing. Walls' accounts of what seem like a tragic upbringing are reframed through a child's eyes. Walls' firsthand depictions of the craziness of her childhood are described with gritty humor. She demonstrates the prevailing theme of resiliency through her personal experiences. All human beings, regardless of their upbringing, environment or challenging circumstances have choices.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mommy trip smalltown usa 05-26-17
    mommy trip smalltown usa 05-26-17 Member Since 2016

    mommaof2

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    "Remarkable Memoir"

    Thank you for sharing this story and your life. I loved it from beginning to end. Such a remarkable reminder that not everyone has it so easy.. but you can make your life what you want

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Meredith G. 05-25-17
    Meredith G. 05-25-17
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    "Tedious narration. Poorly written. Waste of time & $"

    Liked - Some of the true-life events were interesting and unusual.

    Disliked - The events were "reported" as if reading a newspaper...no story development, no emotion, no attachment by the author/narrator, no hooks. Choppy, simplistic, mechanical writing made was made worse by tedious, flat narration. After two hours, I found it unbearable to listen further.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    E. Jay 05-22-17
    E. Jay 05-22-17
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    "Great story, horrendous narration!"

    Enthralling story, especially having come from a bizarre, mentally challenged childhood myself, but I could not get past the manor in which the author read this story. Her tone was unbearable to me. The expression in her voice often reminded me of a teacher reading to her kindergarten class. I tried many times to stay with it but still, only a quarter way through, I had to stop listening. So now, I'm looking forward to seeing the movie that will soon be released.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    nancy c 05-16-17
    nancy c 05-16-17
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    "Bad narrator"

    This was a perfect example of why writers should not read their own books. Just because you wrote it doesn't mean you are a narrator and should read it. Almost stopped listening several times it was that bad. Luckily the content of the book was good enough to keep me attention.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shawna Gerry 05-11-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Riveting and compelling"

    I've never experienced such a range of emotions in a single book. This is truly like nothing I've ever read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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