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Cold Sassy Tree Audiobook

Cold Sassy Tree

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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

What the Critics Say

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (1313 )
5 star
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4.4 (1121 )
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4.6 (1127 )
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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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  •  
    Chrissie Brussels, Belgium 07-13-13
    Chrissie Brussels, Belgium 07-13-13 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "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.

    46 of 57 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maggie 07-16-10
    Maggie 07-16-10 Member Since 2016
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    "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 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Bartonville, TX 06-12-13
    Susan Bartonville, TX 06-12-13 Member Since 2012

    I don't usually rush out for all the "best sellers", but give each intriguing book/author a look. I have found many diamonds in the rough.

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    "Good parts"

    I enjoyed this book but it fell a little flat, it had some good parts but I was expecting more because of the outstanding reviews. The story is told out of the eyes of a young boy from a privileged family. All of the characters lead back to his Grandfather and his fortune. Just a little trite for me. I think I was ruined by the absolutely wonderful bestseller, "The Saving of CeeCee Honeycutt",  another book set in the South. 

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Spurgeon Martinsville, VA, USA 05-15-08
    Spurgeon Martinsville, VA, USA 05-15-08
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    "The Book"

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

    14 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roy Carlson 04-04-08
    Roy Carlson 04-04-08 Member Since 2014
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    "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 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wayne Matthews, NC 12-16-15
    Wayne Matthews, NC 12-16-15 Member Since 2017

    I love espionage, legal, and detective thrillers but listen to most genres. Very frequent reviews. No plot spoilers! Please excuse my typos!

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    "Wonderful story!"

    This is the only novel written by journalist Olive Ann Burns which is a pity because it if beautiful. It brings laughter, tears, and reflection. The book was released 31 years ago and is set in 1906.

    The narration is quite good, but is too slow; at 150% of recorded speed it is perfect.

    Just listen to this novel; I promise you will love it.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathi 08-31-15
    Kathi 08-31-15 Member Since 2010

    Love books! Classics and lighter fiction, mysteries (not too violent please :-). And selective non-fiction--whatever takes my fancy.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Such a fun listen"

    Many years ago, I read this book. It was fun listening to it again after so long. The story of a family (in the early 1900's south) who is shocked by the grandfather's rapid remarriage after the death of his wife, all told through the eyes of the grandson, who has the point of view of the observer-participant. The story is touching, as the family tries to cope with all the emotion and changes happening, the shock as Grandfather marries a woman much younger than he is, and is told with great (and often hilarious) attention to detail. I liked it a couple decades ago, and it retains it charm even now. Very good narration.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    girorv montreal, QC, Canada 09-29-15
    girorv montreal, QC, Canada 09-29-15 Member Since 2011

    To listen to a great book while I knit is heaven on earth.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "step back to 1906"

    What a wonderful time I've had. It is 1906 people are trusting and easily scandalized. Time seems to move slower. No phones, no TVs, quiet. The beginning of the consumer society. Life is focused on your family here and there's lots of it because one stays where one is born and everyone knows you, for better and for worse. The author presented this village and I loved everyone in it. It was a quiet time. I was sad to get to the end. The narration was wonderful and Grover Gardner's voice added a genuine note to the time.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    m.d. 07-12-15
    m.d. 07-12-15
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    "Great book"

    I read this book years ago. I enjoyed it again through audible. A must read.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    E. Pearson Idaho 04-16-14
    E. Pearson Idaho 04-16-14 Member Since 2008

    Occasional Thinker

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    "Narration Ruins Everything"

    I read this marvelous book at least twice several years ago, and bought the audible version to get me up to speed for delivering a review. The narration was done years ago (though that's not the problem)--the reader massacres an otherwise superb book. His voice is high and he reads so quickly that for a while I thought perhaps the speed of the original tape had been sped up (I'm still not sure it wasn't). The result is slightly chipmunk-style narration, and in addition, the narrator places the wrong sort of emphasis on the wrong selection of irony, witticism, drama and otherwise marvelous insight. I had so looked forward to hearing one of my all-time favorite books, having mistakingly thought that destroying it wasn't possible. I'm disappointed that no one has noticed this most disappointing delivery and undertaken a more appropriate production. I'm certain that with a quality narrator, COLD SASSY TREE would reembark as an Audible best-seller.

    8 of 12 people found this review helpful

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