• Golden Age

  • A Novel
  • By: Jane Smiley
  • Narrated by: Lorelei King
  • Length: 17 hrs and 37 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (120 ratings)

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Golden Age  By  cover art

Golden Age

By: Jane Smiley
Narrated by: Lorelei King
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Publisher's summary

From the winner of the Pulitzer Prize: the much-anticipated final volume, following Some Luck and Early Warning, of her acclaimed American trilogya richly absorbing new novel that brings the remarkable Langdon family into our present times and beyond

A lot can happen in one hundred years, as Jane Smiley shows to dazzling effect in her Last Hundred Years trilogy. But as Golden Age, its final installment, opens in 1987, the next generation of Langdons face economic, social, political—and personal—challenges unlike anything their ancestors have encountered before.

Michael and Richie, the rivalrous twin sons of World War II hero Frank, work in the high-stakes world of government and finance in Washington and New York, but they soon realize that one’s fiercest enemies can be closest to home; Charlie, the charming, recently found scion, struggles with whether he wishes to make a mark on the world; and Guthrie, once poised to take over the Langdons’ Iowa farm, is instead deployed to Iraq, leaving the land—ever the heart of this compelling saga—in the capable hands of his younger sister.

Determined to evade disaster, for the planet and her family, Felicity worries that the farm’s once-bountiful soil may be permanently imperiled, by more than the extremes of climate change. And as they enter deeper into the twenty-first century, all the Langdon women—wives, mothers, daughters—find themselves charged with carrying their storied past into an uncertain future.

Combining intimate drama, emotional suspense, and a full command of history, Golden Age brings to a magnificent conclusion the century-spanning portrait of this unforgettable family—and the dynamic times in which they’ve loved, lived, and died: a crowning literary achievement from a beloved master of American storytelling.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2015 Jane Smiley (P)2015 Random House Audio

Critic reviews

“The thought of writing a series that spans a century with each chapter representing a year might sound daunting to some authors. Jane Smiley, however, is not just any author . . . Golden Age takes readers from 1987 up to 2020, lending a prophetic eye to the world beyond the pages. There’s much to admire: Smiley’s attention to detail in each and every year; her knowledge of politics, environmentalism, and genetics; her humor; her stripped back prose. On the farm, descriptions of the land put you right in the heart of a place that is rapidly disappearing . . . Smiley chronicles 20th-century life like few have, with the same scope and fastidiousness of Phillip Roth, Saul Bellow, and John Updike. After reading about five generations of a family, wars, financial crises, global warming, and the rise of the technological age, it makes you stop and think about how much has changed—and yet how little has changed at the same time [in] this place we call the US.” —Dana De Greff, Miami New Times

“[In] Smiley’s ambitious project of covering 100 years in the life of an Iowa family, the Langdon offspring travel across the country, across the world, even. Members of three different generations find themselves fighting in wars overseas. There are marriages that last and unions that fail. There are sublime moments of peace and contentment and sudden tragedies that knock the survivors (and readers) back a step. But death in a family is inevitable, especially over the lifetimes of many characters . . . The power of memory and nostalgia fuels the trilogy.” —Connie Ogle, Miami Herald

“Jane Smiley has such a clear, strong, American voice, there is no mistaking her work for any other. She’s my favorite kind of writer, mingling vivid plots with ingenious characters with subtle, nuanced interiority. She writes with such generous heaps of humor and grief, you feel a little richer and keener for reading her books.” —Diana Abu-Jaber [as quoted in the Miami Herald]

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