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The Big Rock Candy Mountain Audiobook

The Big Rock Candy Mountain

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Publisher's Summary

Bo Mason, his wife, and his two boys live a transient life of poverty and despair. Drifting from town to town and from state to state, the violent, ruthless Bo seeks his fortune in the hotel business, in new farmland, and, eventually, in illegal rum-running throughout the treacherous back roads of the American Northwest.

Based largely on his own childhood, Stegner has created a masterful, harrowing saga of a family trying to survive during the lean years of the early 20th century. It is the conflict between the hardscrabble existence and Bo's pursuit of the frontier myth and of the American dream that gives the book such resonance and power.

©1938 1940, 1942, 1943 by Wallace Stegner; (P)2010 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Stegner has felt the spell of mountain and prairie, of drought, flood, and blizzard....a harrowing saga." - (New York Times)
"Stands out beautifully and unforgettably." (New Yorker)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (1014 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.2 (730 )
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1 star
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Story
4.4 (738 )
5 star
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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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  •  
    Lauren 02-01-10
    Lauren 02-01-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
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    "Fabulous listen"

    This book is a terrific and typical Stegner book. The narrator is incredible.

    11 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    B.J. Minneapolis, MN, United States 06-16-11
    B.J. Minneapolis, MN, United States 06-16-11 Member Since 2010

    I hear voices. But maybe that's because there's always an Audible book in my ear.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    ratings
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    Overall
    "No, it's not "Angle of Repose" ..."

    but it's still brilliant work from Stegner -- who is certainly one of America's finest 20th century authors.

    While this might be semi-autobiographical, it will get you thinking about more than Stegner's early life. It's really about all those dreamers you've ever known -- the people for whom daily life is just never enough. I am never disappointed with a Stegner book. Rather, I end it and wonder what to read next that will even be half as good.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chiwiz Langdon, NH, United States 05-31-17
    Chiwiz Langdon, NH, United States 05-31-17 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "They don't write like this anymore!!!"

    First Stegner book I ever read (or listened to) and I am now going to read them all. Absolute ear candy. This man knew how to work words and make sentences and a story so enticing that I would continue listening after my car was parked in the garage. Wonderful.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher San Diego, CA, United States 01-13-15
    Christopher San Diego, CA, United States 01-13-15 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I did not like a single character"
    Would you ever listen to anything by Wallace Stegner again?

    Unlikely.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    There wasn't a single character in this book that I liked. They were all terrible people living terrible lives and I wasn't interested in a single character. I initially liked Elsa but then her character changed once she and Bo moved away. I suppose I was supposed to be sad at the end but I felt no emotion towards the characters so I didn't really care.


    Any additional comments?

    I thought the author did a good job describing the different settings and the descriptions of the environment. I felt the harshness of the cold wind and snow but that is hardly enough to sustain a book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Terri 04-25-13
    Terri 04-25-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Powerful"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I just finished listening to Mark Bramhall's narration of The Big Rock Candy Mountain, and Wallace Stegner has done the miraculous: through his writing, reached through the years and grabbed my soul. Would I recommend this to a friend? Absolutely!I truly wish I knew someone these days who has a deep and abiding love of great fiction, AND the willingness to take the time: for this is it!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Big Rock Candy Mountain?

    I feel to tell which one would be too much of a spoiler.


    Which character – as performed by Mark Bramhall – was your favorite?

    Hmmm...I guess it has to be Harry Mason. However, he did a most remarkable job narrating all the characters, regardless of age or gender.


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

    Nay nay...25 hours is too much...however I was always reluctant to pause it at the conclusion of my day's commute.


    Any additional comments?

    Stegner's insights into the American pioneer psyche were profoundly moving, and rang true all the way to the deepest part of the quest to undertand complex characters. Stegner does not disappoint the avid reader with tidy, saccharine endings.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sharon Brisbane, Australia 03-02-13
    Sharon Brisbane, Australia 03-02-13 Member Since 2016

    I am an Australian woman who enjoys reading many different styles of books, from history to sci fi and mystery to poetry.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good story, good narration"

    I enjoyed this story, it wasn't great but it was good. The characters were well drawn but I never REALLY cared about any of them. Perhaps this was the narration, I am not sure, but I tend to think it is the writing. But it for all of that I enjoyed the story in the vain of most family sagas.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michele 10-08-12
    Michele 10-08-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A bit disappointing"
    Would you try another book from Wallace Stegner and/or Mark Bramhall?

    Yes


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

    Ok. Too much exposition around the drama. I felt it was an inferior cousin to to Stegner's Angle of Repose.


    What about Mark Bramhall’s performance did you like?

    I've listened to several books read by Mark Bramhall and this was my least favorite.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sherrie GLENDALE, AZ, United States 09-26-12
    Sherrie GLENDALE, AZ, United States 09-26-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Couldn't put it down!!!"
    Would you listen to The Big Rock Candy Mountain again? Why?

    I don't review books, but this one I felt compelled to because it was a great story that made you feel like you were there, The performance was excellent, I even LOL'd. I didn't want it to end. Just gotta read....


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Bruce as a little boy was my favorite character because he reminded me of my brother's when we were young and made me remember our young imaginations.


    What about Mark Bramhall’s performance did you like?

    Mark Bramhall made you feel each character, just wish there would have been more about Laura and the baby.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anita Riegelsville, PA, United States 05-17-12
    Anita Riegelsville, PA, United States 05-17-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Big Rock Family Saga"

    I enjoyed this book a lot. For some reson it reminded me of The Great Santini, which I read years ago and loved. I found the precarious balance between the mother and father facinating and all too common. However, It was easy to care about all these people. The story provided an interesting view of another time , and kept me engaged and entertaind for, um, how many hours was that?

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth Calgary, AB, Canada 05-23-11
    Elizabeth Calgary, AB, Canada 05-23-11 Member Since 2017

    A gadabout with no room for heavy books, so love the audio ones.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very enjoyable"

    You have to be patient and in for the long ride. But in the end it was a very good listen. I recommend it. The Narrator was great !

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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