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Publisher's Summary

Ivan Doig has been hailed by the New York Times as “dean of Western American letters.” In Ride with Me, Mariah Montana, widower Jick McCaskill, his daughter Mariah, and Mariah’s ex-husband Riley take a road trip back and forth across Montana. As Jick recounts his memories of the area, Riley and Mariah fall in and out of love—and Jick unexpectedly discovers a new partner.

©1990 Ivan Doig (P)2011 Recorded Books

Critic Reviews

"[Doig] displays a masterful skill in depicting the American West which few writers match." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    61
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    30
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    4
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Performance

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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    66
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    24
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    9
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    2
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    3

Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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    55
  • 4 Stars
    24
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    16
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    5
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    1
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Not Doig's Best Work

Is there anything you would change about this book?

This is the third and final book of Doig's Montana Trilogy. His first, Dancing at the Rascal Fair, easily earned a five star rating. His second, English Creek, was not quite as strong, but was still very interesting. My father was not only born in Montana, but had a career in forestry as a smokejumper so I enjoyed much of the story as we are introduced to Jick McCaskill and his struggles as he comes with age. There are several scenes which are laugh out loud funny--particularly during haying. In both books, the characters were interesting. Doig is a master of setting, and it is easy to visualize the Two Medicine Country. This final book, however, feels forced--as if Doig was simply trying to fulfill a publisher's commitment to complete a trilogy.

What could Ivan Doig have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Probably the most disappointing part of the book to me were the character changes in this much older Jick McCaskill. Doig portrays him as an irascible senior who constantly uses the phrase "God Damn" as an adjective. It quickly became tiresome. Jick could easily have been a person who has aged more gracefully, softened by years of hard work and family love. Instead, he seems to perpetually have a burr under his saddle. As the narrator of the story, his voice is unceasingly complaining. In addition, the entire situation of his daughter and her ex-husband traveling with him as the chauffeur through out Montana in a "bago" seemed more contrived than believable.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

I was glad that the same narrator was used in both English Creek and Ride With Me, as it provided a nice continuity with Jick.

Did Ride with Me, Mariah Montana inspire you to do anything?

No.

Any additional comments?

If you are interested in learning about Montana, you may still be interested in this book. Although the situations seemed contrived, Doig is still a master writer when it comes to describing this state. He has the ability to paint with his words and the scenery becomes almost tangible as it is described.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Laugh, cry, think...you'll do it all!

Ivan Doig has become one of my favorite authors. I've listened to four of his novels, including this trilogy. He is a wordsmith, able to turn a phrase that makes you want to pause the story and savor the phrase. He is also a first-rate story-teller who spins a great yarn while developing full-bodied characters set in an accurate historical context.

This story made me laugh out loud often. But it was also a thoughtful reflection on relationships--family, neighbors, coworkers--and and how our individual stories are part of a much larger web. It was also a hymn of love to Montana. As a Northwesterner who loves Montana (I hike and motorcycle there), it was a kick to hear Jick's descriptions of places I've been and loved.

In the third part of this outstanding trilogy, Doig masterfully answers dangling questions from the previous books, and throws plenty of curves to keep you guessing. I was sad when the book ended; my consolation was that I can listen to all three again!

Scott Sowers narration is superb as well. Spot on!

Do yourself a favor--listen to the whole series! It's an amazing 100-year saga of the McCaskill family in the Two Country of Montana!


3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • R.
  • Bainbridge Island, WA, United States
  • 11-27-12

A truly original sequel

Would you consider the audio edition of Ride with Me, Mariah Montana to be better than the print version?

I have read & listened to "Ride with Me..." and though I enjoyed both experiences, Scott Sower's voice gave the story a life not found in the printed version.

What did you like best about this story?

"English Creek", the predecessor to "Ride with Me, Mariah Montana", was one of those rare novels that spoke to me-I found I identified with Jick. I think Ivan Doig did a great job of portraying Jick in his later years, tying him to the young Jick in "English Creek" and showing how life had shaped him.

What about Scott Sowers’s performance did you like?

He was Jick in my mind!

If you could take any character from Ride with Me, Mariah Montana out to dinner, who would it be and why?

Jick of course. I would like to hear more about his younger years and the wonderful characters that shaped "English Creek"...Dode Withrow, Canada Dan, Toussaint Rennie, and the tragic Stanley.

Any additional comments?

Listen to all three books. If nothing else, "English Creek".. and "the Bartenders Tale"

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Not worth the time

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

I have enjoyed the other Ivan Doig books I have listened to, but this on was not worth the time. Nothing about the story lived up to my expectations based on the previous books. It was tedious and pointless. Skip this one. It is not worth the time.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Love Ivan Doig

What did you love best about Ride with Me, Mariah Montana?

Ivan Doig is such a good writer that this non-plot story *still* keeps you interested in all the unusual things that happen on the road: the buffalo-Winnebago tussle, the baloney express gang, and the surprise ending. I loved Doig's description of bison.<br/>However, because there isn't much of a plot to this one, it isn't as stellar as Dancing at the Rascal Fair. So, if you haven't read that one, go do it!<br/>

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

Getting into the mind of Jick MacCaskill.

Have you listened to any of Scott Sowers’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I don't know that I've ever heard Scott Sower's other work. He did a great job on this!

If you could take any character from Ride with Me, Mariah Montana out to dinner, who would it be and why?

Jick.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A Montana Road Trip with Doig

What did you love best about Ride with Me, Mariah Montana?

If anyone likes Doig, they will like this book. He simply weaves a delightful tale about ordinary people and before you know it, he hooks you! I love how he always dips back into the past and connects the present characters in "Ride With Me Mariah Montana" with people from his earlier books.

Who was the most memorable character of Ride with Me, Mariah Montana and why?

Jick, hands down. He is so real and so crotchety all at the same time. He is more patient than most would be on such a trip, but he keeps his thoughts (which we hear) to himself most of the time. He is much deeper than his outward appearance and that depth is what makes him so interesting.

Any additional comments?

If you enjoy Ivan Doig's books you will surely enjoy this one, although it brings you more into the present world of RV's and long road trips instead of the days of horses and buggies!

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Fills out a trilogy

This is a wonderful book, in the tradition of other wonderful books by the author. I gave it only three stars because you have to read at least one of the other two novels in this trilogy, dancing at the rascal fair and English Creek, in order to appreciate many of the memories that the author uses to make this book. At times the trip with his daughter and son-in-law seems a little contrived, but it is still a wonderful story.

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Disappointing end to a trilogy

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

No, it was 13 hours of tedious, annoying dialogue to set up the final, enjoyable hour.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

I loved the first 2 books and hoped this would fill in the blanks about the McCaskell clan and the people of the Two Medicine country. It filled in some details but often it was just a repeat of the history for readers who hadn't read the first two books. Instead, most of the book takes place in an RV as the main characters travel about Montana. The dialogue between these characters reminded me of a bad 80's sitcom. I just didn't care one bit about them and only finished because other reviewers said the ending was good. I'll admit it was good and is the only reason I'm giving this book 3 stars.

What about Scott Sowers’s performance did you like?

As in English Creek, Scott Sower's read this book wonderfully, giving each character a proper voice.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

No

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  • Mama bear
  • Ogden, UT, United States
  • 07-29-13

A worthwhile read but....

What did you like best about Ride with Me, Mariah Montana? What did you like least?

I liked the development of the story and characters. Ivan Doig tells a great story. This is the first of his books I've read that needs a "foul language" alert. Lots and lots of swearing, particularly the F word. I didn't notice this in the other books by Doig.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Ride with Me, Mariah Montana?

The ending is a great way to wrap this book up.

What does Scott Sowers bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The narration was good. I enjoy listening to Mr. Sowers voice and he makes the story work as it is written.

Do you think Ride with Me, Mariah Montana needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No follow-up if we have to hear more about the grumpy character in this one. The book pretty much concludes without leaving much chance of a sequel that would take place in the same place.

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  • Mrs. K. I. Richards
  • 05-26-15

the third part of the montana trilogy.

Any additional comments?

I have listened to the first two parts of this trilogy (English creek and dancing at the rascal fair) and enjoyed them and this one is no exception. <br/>as jick remembers his past I remember those bits from the previous books too.<br/>the book feels fast paced as jick his daughter, Mariah, and her ex husband travel across Montana looking for stories and photos to commemorate the centenary in articles for the news paper they work for.<br/>scot sowers performed the story really well bringing the characters and situations to life.