• Spencer’s Mountain

  • By: Earl Hamner
  • Narrated by: Milton Bagby
  • Length: 9 hrs and 39 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (33 ratings)

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Spencer’s Mountain  By  cover art

Spencer’s Mountain

By: Earl Hamner
Narrated by: Milton Bagby
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Publisher's Summary

High up on a mountain, young Clay-Boy Spencer joins his father and eight uncles to hunt the mythical white deer. What he finds on the mountainside changes his life - and marks him for a special destiny. Years later, Clay-Boy is the first in his family to get the chance to go to college; but success as an adult is much more complicated and bittersweet than the legendary success of Clay-Boy’s childhood quest. 

A heartwarming novel of love, family, and hope, Spencer’s Mountain inspired the popular television show The Waltons, which starred Richard Thomas, Ralph Waite, and Michael Learned, and ran for nine years between 1972 and 1981. More than 50 years after its publication, this novel still has the power to inspire and move listeners all over the world.

©1961 renewed 1989 by Earl Hamner (P)2022 Blackstone Publishing

What listeners say about Spencer’s Mountain

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this is nothing like the Walton series

Struggling to finish this. This is nothing like the Walton series. Do not recommend

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Old-fashioned American Story of American Values


This is the novel that provided the inspiration for the TV show, “The Waltons” There are similarities, such as the big family in a rural area of Virginia, and a mountain named after their family, and the oldest son is Clay-boy and the father is Clay rather than John. However, it’s no surprise that in order to create a show that lasted 9 seasons they had to make up the tales for the majority of episodes.

I was surprised that it’s a very funny book; in places I laughed out loud. But also it struck me that the Spencers were hard core Democrats, even naming their set of twins, Franklin Delano and Eleanor, and were very proud of their ancestors who fought in the Civil War on the side of the Confederacy; one even had died in the war. The values of these people, honest work, devotion to their faith, and love of their country, would be well to the right of people of either political party today.

Another anomaly is that in this novel Clay-boy isn’t obsessed with becoming a writer, though he does start a library in a small abandoned building in their small town and he is a prodigious reader.

Overall it was a very pleasant and entertaining read.


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Earl Hamner has a gift

a must if you're a Waltons fan. listened every night. loved his storytelling. Makes me happy

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Back to the roots

I have always been a fan of the Waltons and got curious about the book that started it all. I was not disappointed , except when it ended. I wanted much more.

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For Fans of The Waltons and Little House

Fans of Little House on the Prairie, or of course the TV series, The Waltons, will love this novel of both simple life and the complexities of struggling financially during The Depression.

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  • Hellen Riebold
  • 05-08-22

A Rich Full-Bodied Book

This is such a satisfying book, the language is rich and expressive and the characters beautifully drawn. It is not The Walton's, it is so much more.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Maryanne
  • 01-26-22

Enjoyable

Well written enjoyable story line for that period in time. Engaging characters that are realaistic.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Corne
  • 03-04-22

A glimpse into the late 1800s

Loved this warm, slow paced novel. I got so invested in all the characters. The narrator also did a wonderful job! Highly recommend this book.

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  • squizmum
  • 03-01-22

A Hard Life

A heart-warming story of life in the backwoods The struggles of a family who wanted the best for their children and a son that wanted to go to college

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  • WJ
  • 02-20-22

A little old fashioned, but no doubt a classic

Love the southern drawl of the narrator. Classic book, can't wait to check out the Henry Fonda movie.

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  • Leslie
  • 02-16-22

Feel good story

What a great story as a child I loved The Walton's tv series. This book was an enjoyable listen

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-12-22

Refreshing old-time American country family life.

Well worth the listen. Although initially I wasn't inclined to listen to this book, once I began I enjoyed being reminded of the long-gone closeness & drama of a large family. The simplicity of it was both intriguing & refreshing.