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Gilead Audiobook

Gilead

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Publisher's Summary

Pulitzer Prize, Fiction, 2005

National Book Critics Circle Award, Fiction, 2005

In 1956, toward the end of Reverend John Ames's life, he begins a letter to his young son, an account of himself and his forebears. Ames is the son of an Iowan preacher and the grandson of a minister who, as a young man in Maine, saw a vision of Christ bound in chains and came west to Kansas to fight for abolition: He "preached men into the Civil War", then, at age 50, became a chaplain in the Union Army, losing his right eye in battle. Reverend Ames writes to his son about the tension between his father, an ardent pacifist, and his grandfather, whose pistol and bloody shirts, concealed in an army blanket, may be relics from the fight between the abolitionists and those settlers who wanted to vote Kansas into the union as a slave state. And he tells a story of the sacred bonds between fathers and sons, which are tested in his tender and strained relationship with his namesake, John Ames Boughton, his best friend's wayward son.

This is also the tale of another remarkable vision, not a corporeal vision of God but the vision of life as a wondrously strange creation. It tells how wisdom was forged in Ames's soul during his solitary life, and how history lives through generations, pervasively present even when betrayed and forgotten.

Gilead is the long-hoped-for second novel by one of our finest writers, a hymn of praise and lamentation to the God-haunted existence that Reverend Ames loves passionately, and from which he will soon part.

©2004 Marilynne Robinson; (P)2005 BBC Audiobooks America, Published by Audio Renaissance, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC

What the Critics Say

"Gilead is a beautiful work: demanding, grave, and lucid...Robinson's words have a spiritual force that's very rare in contemporary fiction." (The New York Times Book Review)
"The long wait has been worth it....Robinson's prose is beautiful, shimmering, and precise....Destined to become her second classic." (Publishers Weekly)
"[Gilead] is so serenely beautiful, and written in a prose so gravely measured and thoughtful, that one feels touched with grace just to read it." (The Washington Post Book World)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (1384 )
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3.9 (845 )
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4.2 (840 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Bebe El Dorado, AR, United States 03-02-17
    Bebe El Dorado, AR, United States 03-02-17 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A struggle to get through"

    If you like long-winded old preachers, get this book. I pity the poor boy that was to get this extremely long letter from his father.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Caren D. 02-24-17
    Caren D. 02-24-17 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "food for thought"

    what a wonderful letter to a child - what a wonderful gift from a parent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonathan 02-21-17
    Jonathan 02-21-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Brilliant. Uncommonly humble and insightful."

    A story about true heros and a humble theology, told through the narrative of an ordinary life. May you find peace and joy as you listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 12-19-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Starts slow but ends brilliantly"

    A masterful work of American literature, this Midwestern novel floored me. I was deeply moved by the perspective of Reverend John Ames, and driven to seek more honesty and authenticity in my own life because of his example. And faith. He has a beautiful faith

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathryn Peoria, IL, United States 09-24-16
    Kathryn Peoria, IL, United States 09-24-16 Member Since 2015

    I enjoy listenint to audiobooks most of the time

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "intreqing"
    Would you listen to Gilead again? Why?

    yes, I already have been listening or going back to bookmarks.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I am not sure but I would say that it makes me think. I have thught about why I like itl I loved "Our Town" vy Thorton Wilder and it is sort of about "our tw]own. I just finished "Team of Rivals" and thereefinitely a a contemporary history. I looked up The Dred Scot Decision and the Missouri Compromise, Bleeding Kansas and John Brown to review exactly what they were about. incidently Dred Scott is buried in St Louis MO if yu are interested.<br/>


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I am not done with it yet. Right now I really aant to know what was the problem at the Bowden's. (sp). I cannot see to read so I am relying only on the audi. I learned how to bookmark so that I can go back and listen. <br/> <br/>The quote I really like right now is "I think that our punishment after we die is to look back at how we liked at ourselves or something to that effect.<br/><br/>I am 76 as well so I can relate to the things he says about getting old


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Not yet. but maybe it will


    Any additional comments?

    I am loving it and I am looking forward to reading the s sequels. I have already recommended.<br/><br/>I got the book because I am taking a class in October called liter Lions and this author is one of the Literary Lions that we are delving into.<br/><br/>I loved the metaphors and I wondered How anyone can write so well. I t a wonderful book to listen. to.<br/><br/>I think it will be a classic\<br/><br/>Please excur my spelling. I can't seeit to check right now and know not to end a sentence with a preposition.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marie A. De Francesco 09-21-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Narrator"

    The narrator spoke in the meditative voice of a weary
    old man. I was often sad as I listened

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bill Bone 09-07-16
    Bill Bone 09-07-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Lessons in Grace"

    A lovely story. Beautifully written and performed perfectly. A lesson in grace that unfolds unexpectedly.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LINDA MERICA 08-29-16 Member Since 2014
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    "keep with it! well worth it!!"

    So glad I kept with it. so worth it! Brilliant work!definitely would recommend it. loved it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aaron 07-28-16
    Aaron 07-28-16
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    "I like a finished work."

    I like a book that has an ending. One that lets me know what happens to the characters That I have spent the entirety of the book acquainting myself with. This one left me wondering. Not my style without happy ending. Good twist though.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Connie 07-14-16
    Connie 07-14-16

    Connie

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Definitely not for children"

    I had a hard time getting invested in this book but am so glad I hung in there. The story of a conscientious minister in his late 70s with a heart condition writing down thoughts for his young son to read later. His search for insight, meaning and the resolution of a painful relationship are very touching.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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