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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 (987 )
5 star
 (445)
4 star
 (311)
3 star
 (152)
2 star
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1 star
 (23)
Overall
4.2 (703 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
 (9)
Story
4.4 (711 )
5 star
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4 star
 (186)
3 star
 (67)
2 star
 (15)
1 star
 (11)
Performance
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  •  
    Ken Draeger SCOTTSDALE, AZ, US 03-01-14
    Ken Draeger SCOTTSDALE, AZ, US 03-01-14 Member Since 2017

    I'm an avid listener always searching for another good book and willing to share my thoughts with a pithy review.

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    "Hard headed man and his family story."

    The characters in this man's family are different and well described. Their interactions with the father take them through a roller coaster life of hopes, dreams, a few successes, but mostly failures and disappointments. I hoped along with them and looked forward to better results...but alas, to no avail.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marilyn 07-06-13
    Marilyn 07-06-13
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    "Brilliant!"
    Would you listen to The Big Rock Candy Mountain again? Why?

    I will listen to this again and again


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

    Listening to Mark Bramhall is like listening to Stegner himself. Wonderful.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    The Purple Panda WI, USA 03-14-13
    The Purple Panda WI, USA 03-14-13 Member Since 2017

    Panda

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    "Very interesting book! Realistic characters"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, if they are interested in how people lived in the 1900's.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Realistic characters


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Chet climbing on the rafters


    If you could rename The Big Rock Candy Mountain, what would you call it?

    Home is Wherever You Are


    Any additional comments?

    It is very long, so be prepared to do a lot of stopping and picking it back up again!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bev Jackson, OH, United States 03-11-13
    Bev Jackson, OH, United States 03-11-13
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    "Frustrating!"

    This was a good listen, but at times you just wanted to reach in there and tell the woman that she needed to "Run, Save yourself!"

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jenni 01-12-13
    Jenni 01-12-13

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Whatcha gonna do now, Bo?"

    What a good story! I had no idea this was written in 1943, so I read an OLD BOOK without even knowing it. It was so timeless even though the setting was clearly from the turn of the 20th century to about the mid 1930s. I liked the characters. The headline is the question I found myself asking repeatedly throughout the story. Bo perpetually found himself in one predicament after another, and pretty soon I started saying, "Whatcha gonna do now, Bo?" I wanted him to straighten out and live right so bad, for the sake of his family, but no. Bo was all about Bo.

    The audio performance was very nicely done.

    The reason I didn't give The Big Rock Candy Mountain 5 stars is because of all the psychoanalysis toward the end of the book. That did become tiresome, and occasionally I found myself saying, "Aw, [Chet or Bruce], get over it already!" So since that droned on for too long, I became restless during those parts.

    At any rate, if you like an adventurous saga about a family with the leading man who has to get rich quick and how the family copes with this lifestyle then take some time to listen to The Big Rock Candy Mountain.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrea Pennsylvania 12-14-12
    Andrea Pennsylvania 12-14-12 Member Since 2016
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    "Wonderful story"

    I love where the story went--glad I kept listening. Enjoyed learning about this era and in this part of the country. Not generally a history buff, but take my word for it that you will enjoy going back to the early 1900's. The characters and the relationships are timeless. You will be drawn into their lives and their incredible story. I will read more of this author's books; mixed in with my romance novels and murder mysteries which are my usual fare.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    bee arcadia ca 12-07-12
    bee arcadia ca 12-07-12 Member Since 2012

    ghost

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    "hard core west"
    Any additional comments?

    This is a western romance without rose colored glasses, it is not about sweet. The writing is fantastic...sit back and hear another persons life laid bare. Stegner unveils the West and grounds it. The reader never got in the way of the writing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    nancy 12-02-12
    nancy 12-02-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Powerful Story"
    What did you love best about The Big Rock Candy Mountain?

    Didn't know it was a autobiograpy until read. Makes it even more memorable when you know this is his own story. Enjoyed it immensely.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alana Middletown, CA, United States 11-22-12
    Alana Middletown, CA, United States 11-22-12 Member Since 2011

    knittingnut

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    "Stegner rocks"

    A story spanning a lifetime during the years of prohibition, the characters in this story come alive as Stegner writes about them. As one listens, you feel like you are living along with them. This novel makes one think about what makes a person good or bad, and whether certain characteristics of a person lean them in one direction or the other.

    A long novel, but to me it didn't seem repetitive or longer than it needed to be to outline and fill in the story line.

    An excellent listen, performed well by the narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kat MD 11-16-12
    Kat MD 11-16-12 Member Since 2012
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    "The Mason's West"

    This is a tough book to review because I was completely entranced by this book. I became very involved in the trials and triumphs of the Mason family. Still, I'm not sure who I would recommend this novel to. It's definitely a great piece of fiction, but I can't say I feel satisfied after reading it.

    Unfortunately, I think that was Stegner's point - the unsatisfactory end of a family trying to take advantage of the American dream. How much should you gamble? Can you raise children while being an American pioneer? What is the modern definition of pioneering if the West is already settled? If Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote her Little House on the Prairie in the early 1900s...would it seem as delightfully innocent?

    I definitely think Stegner's voice is an important one in American literature. In the future, I'd read another one of his novels.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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