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Publisher's Summary

The Time It Never Rained helped convince the Western Writers of America to declare seven-time Spur Award-winner Elmer Kelton the greatest Western writer of all time. Forged from Kelton's 1950s observations of drought-ravaged West Texas, this compelling novel tells the story of one rancher's struggle to maintain his independence despite the swirling winds of change.

For decades, Charlie Flagg has eked out a living by raising cattle and sheep on his modest Texas ranch. Hardworking and old-fashioned, he distrusts federal programs that claim to help struggling farmers and ranchers. But as rainless years continue and others sell their souls for federal handouts, Charlie finds himself under increasing pressure to compromise his principles - and surrender his freedom.

©1999 Elmer Kelton; (P)2008 Recorded Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Story

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  • Overall

One of best audio books I've ever read

I had this paperback novel and never got around to reading it. Then I decided to get it on audio. Thank goodness. First, the story is incredible and gives the reader a true glimpse of the struggles of the farmers and ranchers of the post depression era. From the pride of the rancher, to the relationship with his help, to a town coping with the struggles of the times. The actor/reader of this novel is fantastic and with a voice truly fitting the lead character. Highly recommend this audio book!

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Allan
  • TennysonAustralia
  • 05-28-08

The time it never rained

Slow like the country it is set in but could I leave the car when I reached a destination? No!
Why? The story is enchanting to me and enthralling and the future is always inviting.
A beautiful exposition and a clear portrait of life on the farm.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Maybe the best book I have ever read/listened to.

I have never read a book that moved me like this one. I rank Elmer Kelton with the likes of Steinbeck. The Time It Never Rained is as good if not better than Grapes of Wrath. I didn't farm or ranch in west Texas but I did in North Central Missouri during the late 60's to the late 80's. I like so many of Kelton's character dealt with and suffered from the very repressive federal farm program. I became very depressed reading this book because it brought up long repressed deep feelings of resentment towards the FHA bureaucrats. The ever present second guessing by them was beyond discription. They demanded to make the final decisions and when it was the wrong decision they blamed the farmer. There is no way for the reader to understand the underlying problems dealing with the likes of a drought or any other natural disaster unless you have lived it. The weather is bad enough but the federal government did nothing but compounded the problem.

This truly is a great book.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Richard
  • stickney, IL, USA
  • 02-04-09

The Time it Never Rained

This book has moved to my top 10 books ever list. Not just the insight into land, sights, and times but also great insight into a simple conservitive mind set and value system. A great portrial of so many of the adults I grew up with.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

A Lot More Than A Western!

The Time It Never Rained is much more than the story of drought in west Texas. It is a timeless account of people and their relationships with others and the land. I loved the detailed descriptions of daily life. I became so invested in the families that I didn't want the story to end. This really is one of the best books I've ever listened to. And the narrator? It's George Guidall! He's perfect in every way!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

The Time It Never Rained

My first Elmer Kelton book and I loved it. The way he describes the land, the people and circumstances was spot on. This was exactly the Texas in which I was raised in the 50s and 60s. He captured it so well and gave me "pictures in my mind".

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

The time it didn't rain

This is the first Elmer Kelton book I have listened to. It was so interesting and gave me many hours of pure satisfaction. I highly recommend this book to everyone.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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I had to bail.....boring, badly written

I just could not get into this, and life is too short to listen to bad books. There was nothing in the first few hours that could hold my interest, or even a train of thought. And it wasn't crafted well enough that I could marvel and the terrific turn-of-phrase or greatly evocative writing. Even the excellent George Guidall (one of my favourite audiobook performers) couldn't save this one for me.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

The Time It Never Rained

Charlie Flag is a Texas rancher living through a devastating drought, helpless in the depletion of his livestock and the devastation of his once healthy land. Although a years-long drought is a catalyst to the story, The Time It Never Rained is also a familial tale, a story of the relationship between Mexican immigrants and the Texas rancher, and an insightful representation of ranching life. The book is eye-opening picture of federal government influence/interference in ranching - be it livestock or crops, the feds think they know better than the farmer/rancher. Sad commentary and a depressing picture.

No explicit sex, no unacceptable language, a clean read … albeit very realistic in farm animal treatment (no abuse). The Time It Never Rained is over thirteen hours of listening, and released to Audible in 2008 by Recorded Books.

Narration by George Guidall is terrific, as usual.

A worthy listen, recommended.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Of the same caliber as Larry McMurtry

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, I would recommend it to a friend because it's a well written novel about the human spirit surviving in and through hard times.

What did you like best about this story?

I liked Charlie and his deep virtue.

Which scene was your favorite?

Too many scenes to describe. This is one of those books where I wished I could know Charlie, Diego, Manuel, and others in real life. I'm sure I'll listen to this audiobook again.

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

I might have over-listened a tad. Grin. Mostly I listen to audiobooks for an hour before bed. I found myself listening to this one when I was doing dishes, and in my truck.

Any additional comments?

George Guidall is an excellent narrator.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful