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Extended Audio Sample A Thousand Acres, by Jane Smiley Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (24,362 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jane Smiley Narrator: C. J. Critt Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Winner of both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award, Jane Smiley’s spellbinding novel also headed bestseller lists for many months. A Thousand Acres is the powerful, mythic story of an American farm family and the land that nourishes and consumes its members. Three daughters and their husbands are pulled into a tangle of love, jealousy, and fear when their father, Larry Cook, grows too old to manage the family’s fertile thousand-acre farm. As each couple struggles with their own tragedies and challenges, they know their father is judging them in light of the weighty inheritance that hovers within their reach. The Cook family, and the farm community around them, are part of a mosaic that is as enduring as the fences and fields of the broad midwestern landscape. But this endurance exacts an immense price from them in return. You will find that this nationally acclaimed, breathtaking story, in a stirring narration by C. J. Critt, is an unforgettable listening experience.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Absorbing…Exhilarating…An engrossing piece of fiction.”


  • “Powerful and poignant.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “A family portrait that is also a near-epic investigation into the broad landscape, the thousand dark acres of the human heart…The book has all the stark brutality of a Shakespearean tragedy.”

    Washington Post Book World

  • “Superb…There seems to be nothing Smiley can’t write about fabulously well.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “A full, commanding novel…A story bound and tethered to a lonely road in the Midwest, but drawn from a universal source…Profoundly American.”

    Boston Globe

  • “It has been a long time since a novel so surprised me with its power to haunt…A Thousand Acres [has] the prismatic quality of the greatest art.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “Brilliant…Absorbing…A thrilling work of art.”

    Chicago Sun-Times

  • “Smiley’s novel of family life on an insular Iowa farm raises profound questions about human conduct and moral responsibility.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Smiley lovingly creates an idyllic world of family farm life in Iowa in 1979…Not to be missed.”

    Library Journal

  • Winner of the 1992 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
  • Winner of the 1991 National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A USA Today Bestseller
  • Winner of the 1992 Ambassador Book Award
  • An ALA Notable Book Finalist for Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Krista | 2/17/2014

    " Exhausting book to read. So many repressed emotions. So much cleaning. So much emptiness. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Kittyfritter | 2/2/2014

    " Jane Smiley is so gifted. I read her with a pencil and post-its nearby. One of the best books I've read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Phyllis | 1/31/2014

    " Classic Smiley, very good, very controlled writing "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Christine | 1/30/2014

    " One of my all time favorite! "

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