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Publisher's Summary

The final novel from a great American storyteller. Donal Cameron is being raised by his grandmother, the cook at the legendary Double W ranch in Ivan Doig's beloved Two Medicine Country of the Montana Rockies, a landscape that gives full rein to an 11-year-old's imagination. But when Gram has to have surgery for "female trouble" in the summer of 1951, all she can think to do is to ship Donal off to her sister in faraway Manitowoc, Wisconsin. There Donal is in for a rude surprise: Aunt Kate - bossy, opinionated, argumentative, and tyrannical - is nothing like her sister. She henpecks her good-natured husband, Herman the German, and Donal can't seem to get on her good side either. After one contretemps too many, Kate packs him back to the authorities in Montana on the next Greyhound. But as it turns out, Donal isn't traveling solo: Herman the German has decided to fly the coop with him. In the immortal American tradition, the pair light out for the territory together, meeting a classic Doigian ensemble of characters and having rollicking misadventures along the way. Charming, wise, and slyly funny, Last Bus to Wisdom is a last sweet gift from a writer whose books have bestowed untold pleasure on countless people.

©2015  Ivan Doig (P)2015  Recorded Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • B.J.
  • Minneapolis, MN, United States
  • 02-26-16

Such a lovely final book.

Every single time I listen to an Ivan Doig book, I am reminded of his outsize talent. He had such a distinctive way of telling a story - such a comfortable way with words.

I love the details of the west of his childhood and in that regard, this book is similar to his others. And the pacing is distinctively Ivan Doig. In other words, this is not an edge-of-your-seat thriller. Rather it's just a gorgeous, tender story about people in a place and time I'll never know.

I've loved all of his books, but this one in particular is very special and I'm not sure exactly why. It's typical in that it doesn't go in for flash and flare, but stays steady and true. It's also typical in that the characters come to life and hold your interest. In this case, the characters stayed with me for days after the book was over. I wanted them to have the kind of future they deserved.

I'm delighted he wrote so many books in his life time, but I will miss him. Along with Wallace Stegner, he holds a special place in my heart.

19 of 21 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Ivan Doig was getting older

And he knew this was his last book, so he reached into his past and with creative license told the story of his youth, and left me wanting more of the story and that won't happen.
What a great story it is.
Best book I've read in a long time.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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The Last Bus Sends Doig Off In Style


There are only two authors in my library that are masters of nostalgia. Ivan Doig and Stephen King.

In this, Doig's last work, the author gives the reader of glimpse of summer under the wild Montana skies, as told by a boy being raised by his grandmother. Cameron is forced to leave Montana and head east to his Aunt and Uncle's home while his grandmother recovers from an illness.

This coming of age story is about the relationship between a boy and his uncle and the adventure of a lifetime that the two share. This novel, narrated by David Aaron Baker (who narrates"Odd" in the Dean Koontz series) is bittersweet, funny, and smart.

As is typical with Doig, he pulls us in by taking us away. I will miss this author. What a loss to the literary world.

I'm an admittedly picky reader, and didn't put this listen down.

Don't miss it.





15 of 17 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Marjorie
  • Quincy, CA, United States
  • 04-24-16

A Young Boy's Brilliant Adventure, Loved It!

I just loved this book, every minute of it. A smart, quick witted, wise cracking 11 year old boy is forced to travel on the Greyhound Bus to a distant relative because his "Gram" is ill. Thus, he begins a journey that feels like a lifetime but actually takes place over one summer. The book takes place in the early 50's (I believe) in the Midwest, for the most part. The vernacular is perfect for the times and the people. The characters reminded me of Steinbeck's "Cannery Row". There were hobos and descriptions of people and scenes that left me laughing out-loud. Meanwhile, I fell in love with Donal, the main character. He is not only quick witted but his ability to find friends and create yarns to pull him out of any and all jams is exceptional. This book is Mark Twain and John Steinbeck all rolled together for one heck of a fun journey. I highly recommend.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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A well woven take

Not really sure why I picked this particular title, but I was quickly drawn into the story of a boy with an expansive imagination and a quick tongue. Reminiscent of the Ralph Moody tales. The narrator is a man of extraordinary talent. Very well preformed.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Just Plain All Good

What made the experience of listening to Last Bus to Wisdom the most enjoyable?

The narrator does an excellent job with all of the different voices, especially evil "Kitty Cat."

What did you like best about this story?

It's a great adventure story in 1951-America Montana/Wisconsin/West, riding the "Dog Bus" Greyhound with an 11-year old boy Donal and his Great Step Uncle "Herman the German."

What does David Aaron Baker bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The accents. I was reading the Kindle version and knew I had to have the audio.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes.

Any additional comments?

It's just one of those gems. I'd never read Ivan Doig's books, but will now.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Splendid!!

Charming story that just makes you want more. I love historical literature that just fills you with knowledge but sometimes you have to step back and just enjoy the ride! This story lets you take a journey with a boy and his traveling buddy. Never short on adventure and emotion.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Well told story

The author's descriptions put you in the moment. The story is heartwarming and reminds one of good moments in difficult times.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Brian
  • Richmond, CA, United States
  • 12-18-15

Great Story: Doig's Last Novel

I surely enjoyed this sweet mid-20th century tale. Some of the finest Americana values and characters are depicted by this excellent writer. I look forward to more Audible renderings of his work... The Whistling Season, Mountain Time, Prairie Nocturne and some of his nonfiction would be nice.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Best Book Ever

Would you listen to Last Bus to Wisdom again? Why?

Yes, because I loved every word. The whole book was delightful. I was so sad when it ended.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I can't choose a favorite. They all fit so well for a perfect story.

What does David Aaron Baker bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

David had so many voices that I thought there were more readers.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful