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Publisher's Summary

After bringing Earth to ruin, the age of humans is over. It is a blessing for some in this tender and tragic cautionary fable from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Thousand Acres.

Now the Congress of Animals is in control, unforgiving, and debating the fate of the planet’s most reviled species. The popular ruling: exterminate humankind without exception. But a curious mare, coming of age, is making a case for a seemingly gentle person she longs to save - a wish for mercy that could once again unbalance the new and righteous nature of the world.

Jane Smiley’s The Hillside is part of Warmer, a collection of seven visions of a conceivable tomorrow by today’s most thought-provoking authors. Alarming, inventive, intimate, and frightening, each story can be read, or listened to, in a single breathtaking sitting.

©2018 Jane Smiley (P)2018 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

What listeners say about The Hillside

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Meh

Interesting attempt to reframe our perception of how we treat ourselves and our fellow living creatures, but it’s a bit juvenile.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Well-told, could have done more

I like Smiley's writing, so I enjoyed this story. But at time I felt like something was missing, like maybe it was too simplistic. I get simplicity as a choice for what is essentially a fable, but then, the internal dialog of the protagonist was more sophisticated. So it is a pretty good story, but not a *great* story. I did like the setting and direction, and Bahni Turpin is an amazing narrator.

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    4 out of 5 stars

too pessimistic for me

We have done a terrible job of managing the Earth. Nevertheless, I remain an optimist. We will and to some degree already are, suffering for our failures. But ultimately, perhaps not in my lifetime, we will find a way to survive. The author is less sanguine. Of course, she writes beautifully and her story is well told. it is simply too pessimistic for me.

this story feels to me like a fable. it is a powerful fable; one that I am unlikely to forget. as a result, I bow down to the author's skill and the power of the story. I personally am more optimistic, and I believe in the efficacy of optimism and prefer it to pessimism. still, I rate the story highly. it is a dream like fable with the power to persist in one's imagination.

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    4 out of 5 stars

Well Done, Great Narration

SPOILERS - YOU MAY NOT WANT TO READ

I can understand the sentiment of humanity being executed for its crimes against wildlife and nature in general. The premises are laid out in a matter-of-fact manner, and the story proceeds accordingly. The humans do not come off well, but all the same I felt a little sad at the end. The narration was excellent.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable Fable

Though a bit heavy-handed and moralizing, the performance lightened the tale enough to make it enjoyable. Would recommend for tweens as a starting point for further discussion.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Probably the only Interesting of the Warmer series

Probably the only Interesting of the Warmer series. Short and an easy story to follow. Brings a great Alt-reality to what may happen if climate change is not addressed.

Of the whole series the only one that was really worth listening to.

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

Showing is better than telling

Probably the only interesting setup and plot line in this series. Thankfully devoid of an enumeration of the fallout of climate change and the modern human life style.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Eye Roll

A testament to tree-hugging, horse loving, animals-are-supreme naivete. Spare yourself the exasperation and skip this one.

Bahni Turpin was excellent, as always.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Intriguing concept but very depressing,

Had potential, so it’s a shame. The story concept could have gone in so many other directions

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Fun romp through alternative future

Animal rule, humans drool.... or something like that. A cute brief examination of a future world where animals (particularly horses) are in control and humans are subject to the whims of a council of animals who decide their future. #alternatefuture #fun #shortstory #womenlit #tagsgiving #sweepstakes