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Inland

A Novel
Length: 13 hrs and 7 mins
Categories: Fiction, Westerns
4 out of 5 stars (136 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

New York Times Best Seller 

The best-selling author of The Tiger’s Wife returns with “a bracingly epic and imaginatively mythic journey across the American West” (Entertainment Weekly).

In the lawless, drought-ridden lands of the Arizona Territory in 1893, two extraordinary lives unfold. Nora is an unflinching frontierswoman awaiting the return of the men in her life - her husband, who has gone in search of water for the parched household, and her elder sons, who have vanished after an explosive argument. Nora is biding her time with her youngest son, who is convinced that a mysterious beast is stalking the land around their home.

Meanwhile, Lurie is a former outlaw and a man haunted by ghosts. He sees lost souls who want something from him, and he finds reprieve from their longing in an unexpected relationship that inspires a momentous expedition across the West. The way in which Lurie’s death-defying trek at last intersects with Nora’s plight is the surprise and suspense of this brilliant novel.

Mythical, lyrical, and sweeping in scope, Inland is grounded in true but little-known history. It showcases all of Téa Obreht’s talents as a writer, as she subverts and reimagines the myths of the American West, making them entirely - and unforgettably - her own.

Praise for Inland

“As it should be, the landscape of the West itself is a character, thrillingly rendered throughout.... Here, Obreht’s simple but rich prose captures and luxuriates in the West’s beauty and sudden menace. Remarkable in a novel with such a sprawling cast, Obreht also has a poetic touch for writing intricate and precise character descriptions.” (The New York Times Book Review - Editors’ Choice)

“Beautifully wrought.” (Vanity Fair)

“Obreht is the kind of writer who can forever change the way you think about a thing, just through her powers of description.... Inland is an ambitious and beautiful work about many things: immigration, the afterlife, responsibility, guilt, marriage, parenthood, revenge, all the roads and waterways that led to America. Miraculously, it’s also a page-turner and a mystery, as well as a love letter to a camel, and, like a camel, improbable and splendid, something to happily puzzle over at first and take your breath away at the end.” (Elizabeth McCracken, O: The Oprah Magazine

©2019 Téa Obreht (P)2019 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“Obreht brings her extraordinarily intricate worldview, psychological and social acuity, descriptive artistry, and shrewd, witty, and zestful storytelling to another provocative inquiry into the mysteries of place, nature, and human complexities.... Obreht inventively and scathingly dramatizes the delirium of the West - its myths, hardships, greed, racism, sexism, and violence - in a tornadic novel of stoicism, anguish, and wonder.” (Booklist (starred review)

“A bracingly epic and imaginatively mythic journey across the American West in 1893, in which the lives of a former outlaw and a frontierswoman collide and intertwine. (Entertainment Weekly)

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

What a great listen

This story drew me in gradually until the second half when I couldn't put it down. The backstories gently pulled the story together, building deep empathy for Nora and Laurie. I got such pleasure in their ethereal perspectives. The narrators greatly enhanced the story, making this a perfect summer lazy day experience. The narrators sounded so genuine in the 19th century prose-like speech. I found this to be a wonderful "relax and just listen".

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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A Wonderful Tale

Two separate stories intertwine gracefully in a western with just a pinch (or two) of the supernatural. Well written, heartbreaking, and enthralling, Inland is an astounding work of art.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A whole lot of not much

I forced myself to listen all the way through. Although the words of the writing were amazing, the story was pretty much a total drag. I didn't care about either of the two main protagonists. Josie and Toby were more likeable. I guess for me it was too much like real life, with no particular point. I'll probably be getting my credit back for this one. Not my thing. Burke, the camel was interesting.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Inland

Wonderful book couldn't put it down. About camels cowboys and ghosts all combined for wonderful story

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Inland

Best book I have read in years. I truly cared about each of the characters.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Janis
  • Park Forest, IL, US
  • 09-10-19

Horrible Book

Absolutely one of the worst books ever written. So boring and such a pointless story. Such a waste of time.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great read

Really enjoyed this book. Took some perseverance to get into but was well worth it. Talented writer. Vivid and unique descriptives.

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  • Tawney
  • Dash Point, WA, United States
  • 09-12-19

Extraordinary

Lyrical, musical, incandescent. Narration could not have been more suited to this fine piece of literature

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  • Beatrice
  • Brattleboro, VT, United States
  • 09-10-19

Fascinating novel!

Unique, absorbing. Masterful narration by Edoardo Ballerini, evoking depth and empathy for his character, switching effortlessly between the weary voice of Lurie and the different accents of the Greek and Arab cameleers. If you had told me I would become obsessed with a novel about camel drivers in the West I wouldn’t have beloved you. President Obama’s recommendation helped. Can’t imagine that this would be as good without the voice of Eduardo Ballerini.

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    4 out of 5 stars

Narration did not meet the quality of the story<br />

Just a poor choice of narrators for this story. I've listened to three books this month that kept me listening on the strength of the narration over the story. Sadly this one failed. The woman that narrates has a voice better suited for sad poetry and teenaged angst. I plan on purchasing the Kindle version and finishing on my own. The book piqued my curiosity. The narration brought me to the edge of sanity.