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Publisher's Summary

Part of Ivan Doig’s acclaimed Montana trilogy, English Creek revolves around Jick McCaskill, a 14-year-old growing up in 1930s Montana. This incandescent coming-of-age tale dramatizes the climatic events of one summer that inevitably mark Jick’s awakening from childhood to adulthood. Through his eyes we see those nearest and dearest to him at a turning point - "where all four of our lives made their bend" - and discover along with him his own connection to the land, to history, and to the deep-fathomed mysteries of one's kin and one's self.

©1984 Ivan Doig (P)2010 Recorded Books, LLC

Critic Reviews

"Sheer magic...simply a national treasure." ( USA Today)

What listeners say about English Creek

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
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  • 4 Stars
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  • 2 Stars
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Read this as book two and Dancing as book one

I read "Dancing at the Rascal Fair" as a stand alone book, not realizing it was part of a trilogy. "Dancing" is a 5 star read and a gem of a book. It is also the true beginning of the trilogy. After reading "Dancing," I wanted more about the family and what happened to them. I read "Prairie Nocturne" which followed a side character and didn't satisfy the itch. This is what I should have read. Although, I have no clue why Doig chose to make it the first book of the trilogy, it is actually the second book chronologically and makes a lot more sense to read second. Having read "Dancing," I picked up on subtleties and relationships that I wouldn't have caught at all if I had read this first. "English Creek" starts slowly and the plot lazes along, just a 3.5 star read for me, but it was the salve for my itch of wanting more after "Dancing." Glad I found it.

17 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great Story

Characters one can care about. Realist, down-to-earth story. All three books in the trilogy are well written. Graphic descriptions of Montana without bogging the story.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Excellent storytelling

I found "English Creek" even better than "Dancing at the Rascal Fair", which is a favorite with many, not just me. The weird thing is that "English Creek" is the first of the series but chronologically it follows "Dancing at the Rascal Fair". I think it is better to read it after "Dancing at the Rascal Fair"! "Ride With Me, Mariah Montana" is the next one I will pick up. Check out all of the "Two Medicine County" series. I love the way Ivan Doig captures the essential both in physical descriptions of the land, the dialog between people and what is essentially important in life. Some compare him to Wallace Stegner but I think he is MUCH better. There is marvelous humor in Doig's writing.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

14 year old protagonist--not enough conflict

I loved listening to Doig's "Dancing at the Rascal Fair." This story was not as interesting because the protagonist, Jick, is mainly an observer of other characters' lives and not much happens in his own. There is just one main conflict and to me it wasn't strong enough to sustain through the story. What was interesting was the references to "Rascal Fair" because Jick's grandfather is Angus McCaskill, the protagonist of "Rascal Fair." It was still an entertaining listen, but not nearly as rich as "Rascal Fair."

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A Favorite

Here's the worry with a read-out-loud book that you loved in print: will the characters sound like what you heard in your head? In English Creek, the match was not exact, but so well fit the author's description and writing that eventually the performer enhanced my memory of the book -- then exceeded it.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic remembrance of the east slope

As with Doig's other stories, this is a relatable, humorous coming of age story set in Montana, mostly in late 1930s

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Love!!!

A great history lesson through the eyes of a 14 year old boy. A competent, confident boy, coming of age. Wonderful sense of place, can feel the air and see the land.
Only disappointment? What happened to Angus and Adair from the first book!

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Doig!

My favorite author. I'm listening to these again after 25 years....and picking it more information.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Immerse yourself in days gone by.

Beautifully written ,wonderfully told story of life in 1930s rural Montana. Can’t add anything to the perfect summary of the book written already. The McCaskills are a family I’d love to hang with. Really relatable. Story telling at it’s best. Am starting sequel now!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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MAGIC

For those who want a magical remembrance or education of rural 1930s America, this is a jewel. Doig cleverly tells of a curious teenager learning about mountains, forests, sheep, rodeos but most of all his hard working family. I’ve read the series and this reader is a good match for the best books about that time and place I’ve ever read. Enjoy every minute of ENGLISH CREEK!