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Cold Sassy Tree  By  cover art

Cold Sassy Tree

By: Olive Ann Burns
Narrated by: Grover Gardner
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Publisher's Summary

The one thing you can depend on in Cold Sassy, Georgia, is that word gets around fast. If the preacher's wife's petticoat shows, the ladies will make the talk last a week. But on July 5, 1906, things take a scandalous turn. That is the day E. Rucker Blakeslee, proprietor of the general store and barely three weeks a widower, elopes with Miss Love Simpson, a woman half his age and, worse yet, a Yankee! On that day, 14-year-old Will Tweedy's adventures begin and an unimpeachably pious, deliciously irreverent town comes to life.

Olive Ann Burns's classic best seller brings to vivid life an era that will never exist again, exploring timeless issues of love, death, coming-of-age, and the ties that bind families and generations.

©1984 Olive Ann Burn (P)1993 Blackstone Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

"Rich in characterization and dialogue, this novel is well-suited to the audio format; Tom Parker superbly conveys this great wealth." (AudioFile)

What listeners say about Cold Sassy Tree

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,386
  • 4 Stars
    512
  • 3 Stars
    150
  • 2 Stars
    46
  • 1 Stars
    31
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    1,413
  • 4 Stars
    312
  • 3 Stars
    71
  • 2 Stars
    19
  • 1 Stars
    20
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,206
  • 4 Stars
    422
  • 3 Stars
    141
  • 2 Stars
    36
  • 1 Stars
    24

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

A Feel-Good Story

Do you enjoy a sweet story? Are you a religious person with deep faith? Do you enjoy books set in the South at the turn of the century? Then this book is probably a good choice for you.

My own response to the two first questions is not affirmative, and that is why I cannot give it more than two stars. No, it is not a bad book. It is fine, it’s OK………if a bit boring. Although it gives a pretty good depiction of small town life in Georgia, it says nothing about racial inequities which of course still remained after the Civil War. The whites certainly don’t see their black servants as their equals but they are not cruel. White Trash on the other hand are looked down upon, and many of the new inventions of that era are interwoven into the plot – cars, telephones, house plumbing and electricity. But it is all so cute.

This is not only a coming-of-age story, but also a story of how it is to grow old. How do you deal with that? Will is the central character. He tells the story about is grandfather and what he did when his grandmother died. Yup, he got married again, three weeks after her death! Now this is darn-right scandalous! What will people think?! But the question is why, and you learn the real answer to that throughout the rest of the book. Is Will the main character? Or is it his grandfather?Are the grandfather’s actions and the way he chose to live his life and his behavior towards all those around him that is the central focus of this book? I know what I think. I also know that it drove me crazy that everyone was most concerned with what other folks would say.

But you know what is right and what is wrong, and we all do when it comes down to the basics, so the book’s message is rather simple. Maybe you like uncomplicated feel-good stories. There are hypocrites galore in this book. Don’t say I didn’t warn you, but I will add that there is at least one that isn’t a hypocrite.

There must be some suspense in a book, right? Well, a few bombs are thrown in, but are they adequately explored? Or are they just thrown in for the effect?

OK, I have something really good to say about the book….. Well, at least the audiobook narrated by Tom Parker. The narration is excellent. You know immediately who is talking simply by the tone. Will never sounds like his grandfather. The women are prefect too. And Loomis, the black servant, he speaks just as he should. It is not hard at all to understand the Southern dialect.

Just one more thing…. I have read reviews that compare this book to Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird”. One should never compare one book to another. No two books are ever the same in content or how they are written. Stupid me; I was thinking perhaps I would get another of Lee’s, and that hope made me so mad when it wasn’t fulfilled. I should have known better.

48 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

My absolute favorite

This is one of the first audio book I listened to 4 years ago, and it remains my all time favorite. It is narrated by someone who brings the characters and story alive! This is not a big mystery, suspense or romance book, but one that is truly heartwarming - a tale of years gone by. I would be very surprised if this book got an unfavorable review!

36 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Good example of Southern fiction

Very interesting example of Southern life in the early part of the 20th century. Seen through the eyes of a young teenager, the story captures the slow charm of the small town life as it hints at the ugly side of the racial relations and lack of women's rights.

The narration is fine, but there's a small technical glitch: every hour or so, two or three lines are simply repeated. Weird.

30 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful Story Great Narration

I really enjoyed this book! It was told by Will Tweedy remembering his 14 year old self and all that went on during that time including his granny death and his granddaddy remarrying very soon after, which started the biddies to talking, because Miss Love is much younger than granddaddy. But there was more to this relationship than anyone in Cold Sassy would ever know, that is except Will he is closest to his granddaddy and sees this relationship different than anyone else.

This is a very southern novel and the writing plops you right down into the summer of 1906 when the first automobiles are making their appearance. I love Will’s granddaddy he is quite a character. This book will make you laugh and make you cry, it is a coming of age story but so much more because it is not just a story of Will’s family but about the whole town of Cold Sassy.

I highly recommend listening to this book on audio Tom Parker’s narration is wonderful he really brought this book to life for me!

I know I’m not doing this justice I did really love it and recommend this to all southern fiction lovers and if you aren’t a fan of southern fiction give this one a try it just might convert you!
4 1/2 Stars

22 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful storytelling

I loved this book when I read it several years ago, and listening to it with this narrator was an even bigger pleasure. His voice is perfect, and the story came to life. You laugh often, and you might even cry a few times. I was so sad when it was over. Check it out!

20 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • D
  • 09-01-06

EXCELLENT

I enjoyed every minute of the story and the narrative made it even more enjoyable. I highly recommend "Cold Sassy Tree".

20 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Charming

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would recommend this book to a friend. In fact, I used a credit to buy and send it to my mom.

What did you like best about this story?

Being from the south, I could really relate to some of the characters and aspects of small town life portrayed in this novel. Mostly, it was just so funny! There were some moments that made me laugh out loud.

What about Tom Parker’s performance did you like?

I thought the narrator was great. Southern accents were not really overdone. He was great at changing from different characters (male/female etc.).

If you could rename Cold Sassy Tree, what would you call it?

I wouldn't - perfect name.

Any additional comments?

I would definitely listen to Cold Sassy Tree again.

17 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Cold Sassy Tree

First, let me tell you that I picked this book because I like listening to the narrator, Tom Parker. His other works led me to Cold Sassy Tree.

Second, I almost gave up after an hour of listening. However, after that the author's wonderful story telling took over.

Of the 210 books I listened to the only five stars that I gave out went to; The Road, All the Pretty Horses, Les Miserables, and Echo Park.

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

The Book

Now that is how you narrate a book. The gentelman of whom I speak, is by far the best you have.

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Disappointing

I listened to this many years ago by a different narrator and loved it. However, I was very disappointed by this particular narrator. This is a southern story and he races through it. Southerners are not in a hurry, but go at a leisurely pace. His southern accents don't convey the tone of this charming story. So sad.

14 people found this helpful