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Extended Audio Sample Accordion Crimes, by Annie Proulx Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (3,369 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Annie Proulx Narrator: Edward Herrmann Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Rarely has a literary novel so captured the hearts and minds of readers across America and the world as E. Annie Proulx's The Shipping News, winner of the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. Now we have Proulx's new novel, Accordion Crimes, a masterpiece of storytelling that spans a century and a continent.

Accordion Crimes opens in 1890 in Sicily as an accordion maker completes his finest instrument and dreams of owning a music store in America. He and his eleven-year-old son, carrying little more than the accordion, voyage to the teeming, violent port of New Orleans. Within a year, the accordion maker is murdered by an anti-Italian lynching mob, but his instrument carries Proulx's story as it falls into the hands of various immigrants who carry it from Iowa to Texas, from Maine to Louisiana, looking for a decent life. The music is their last link with the past -- voice for their fantasies, sorrows and exuberance -- but it, too, is forced to change.

Proulx's prodigious knowledge, heartbreaking characters and daring storytelling unite the sections of Accordion Crimes -- a stunning novel, exhilarating in its scope and originality. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “Like all fairy tales, this one charms with its marvels and scares with its excesses...a thrilling read.”

    Chicago Tribune Book World

  • “[Proulx is] is a writer of brilliant descriptive abilities...Accordion Crimes...should please all the author’s fans and generate many new ones...[She] describes the life of [the] underclass with breathtaking vividness and humor.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “A prodigious achievement, a century-spanning, culture-hopping saga of the United States told with a historian’s unflinching intricacy and candor.”

    Miami Herald

  • “Spectacular...Proulx dazzled readers of The Shipping News and Postcards with her language, and she does so again.”

    Detroit Free Press

  • Accordion Crimes is both unnerving and amazingly rich, full of surprises.”

    Globe and Mail (Toronto)

  • “In scale, in vision and imaginative daring, Accordion Crimes uses all the resources of Proulx’s mature prose...She is a great novelist.”

    New Republic

  • “A mighty, searing reflection on US ethnic history.”


  • “The logic and power behind this riveting novel is Proulx’s exquisite attention to person and place...as complete a portrait of the twentieth century as we’re likely to find.”


  • “How beautifully written! From its arresting first paragraph, this epic of immigrant aspiration grips the listener with its canny plotting, vivid characterization, and masterful style. Edward Herrmann, best known as TV’s FDR, gives us such a flawlessly tasteful, insightful rendering that he makes us feel as if Pulitzer-winner Proulx created the story to be read aloud.”


  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Emily | 2/17/2014

    " Really quirky, but I like that! This is the story of a bunch of different people who own one accordion. It took me several months to read this- some smoother than others, but for the most part, I really enjoyed it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Kim Fowler | 2/6/2014

    " she's brilliant but this one was too dense for my addled mind. "

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

    " contemp fiction:America 20th century-----------separate stories through one accordion "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Michelle | 1/25/2014

    " There is just something about Annie Proulx's writing that I love. This isn't exactly a page turner and I even had to set it down for a while so I could bring something a little lighter on vacation. But the descriptions of classic Proulx hard-scrabble characters and places is terrific. Worth it when you have time to chew on words a bit. "

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