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Extended Audio Sample Accordion Crimes Audiobook, 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 (3,373 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Annie Proulx Narrator: Tom Stechschulte Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2011 ISBN: 9781442342606
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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!

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Quotes & Awards

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

    Chicago Tribune Book World

  • “A superb storyteller…Proulx’s stories are familiar because they belong to all of us.” 

    Vogue

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

    Globe and Mail (Toronto)

  • “Proulx has a passion for storytelling and the precision of a diamond cutter, not to mention being wickedly funny.” 

    Boston Sunday Globe

  • New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patrick | 2/17/2014

    " I enjoyed how the accordian was weaved into the stories of so many people over the years. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Dennis | 2/14/2014

    " This wasn't a great book but it had its moments. Really the explicit thread linking the parts in this collection of short stories, the green button accordian, played a very small part in most of the tales and was almost non-existent in the later ones, except as an afterthought. The more implicit thread was that everyone who comes to the United States (or is a minority there) gets fucked over by the "Americans" who live there, including disrespect, drug addiction, sexual abuse as children and death. Oh well, since so many of the characters were miserable, misogynist, racist and bigoted themselves, maybe they brought this mistreatment on themselves - put them out of their misery, at least. There was some good writing in this but when it's so hard to find anyone to like or at least identify with, it gets to be slow going. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Debbie M. | 2/13/2014

    " I listened to this book on CD. Does that count as reading it? I picked it up in the library to look at the text - - although the detailed descriptions are great on CD I don't think I'd have the percerverance to read the entire book. The story line is great and wonderfully told. I laughed out loud more than once. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Judy | 2/7/2014

    " Well written, however I didn't like any character in it. Plot moves along very well. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Chloe | 1/25/2014

    " Still struggling through this...grim... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jackson | 1/18/2014

    " Life is hard, but hardest for immigrants. Why can't people just get along? "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sara | 1/18/2014

    " I can't remember the last time it took me so long to get through a book. I kept thinking that it would get easier as I read on, but it wasn't until around pg. 350 (out of about 475) that I actually became mildly interested. I'd never read any Annie Proulx and the description of the book intrigued me, but it was nothing like I expected. I was hoping for more of a story ABOUT the accordeon, I guess, but it was really how the accordeon ended up in the hands of random people that you never had any interest in or attachment to. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chelsea Starr | 1/1/2014

    " i liked this book a lot. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah Honenberger | 12/28/2013

    " Tough reading, but I admire her attempt here. She has a strong vision of what she wants to write about, and that's unusual in today's writing for the market mentality. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Martha | 11/17/2013

    " The device of an accordion that changes hands many times permits the telling of many stories of very different characters. Very entertaining. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Anne | 11/16/2013

    " Gruesome, realistic series of immigrants' tales of coming to/living in the U.S. Violent, absurd twists in each character's (even minor, incidental ones) story. Her writing is superb, but a sense of humor would make everything more palatable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael Mckinney | 11/14/2013

    " If you liked the red violin, you will like this account of a cursed instrument. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sotakim | 8/22/2013

    " To me, this a great American novel- it cuts across many ethinicities and the stories of many families while following one accordian on its way from Italy to and through America. It is dark and tragic at times, but the breadth of it just amazed me. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Colleen Love | 7/1/2013

    " Okay, I really tried to finish this book. I rarely give up on a book, but I did with this one. I'm not sure what others see in it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Matt Stewart | 3/18/2013

    " annie proulx is the greatest writer in history. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Trish | 1/15/2013

    " Great device following one item throughout its history...good story, well written, interesting historical commentary. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Susan Chamberlain | 9/13/2012

    " Honestly, who cares? It's an accordian, not a Stradivarius! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kristal | 6/9/2012

    " I could only get to chapter three. The book is depressing in my opinion. I would give this book to someone is the paid for the shipping. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sally Bullock | 5/20/2012

    " Lots of love for E. Annie Proulx. One of 'merica's best contemporary authors, in my opinion. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Slemons | 2/28/2012

    " Sprawling, epic novel, but it was so sad I couldn't finish it. Proulx is a terrific writer, but with a dark vision sometimes. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pam | 12/12/2011

    " quite good so far. Vivid picture of the life of immigrants in the 1920-1930's. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lyle | 10/14/2011

    " Curious series of stories tied together with an accordion made in Italy and subsequently brought to New Orleans. Some of the stories are intriguing but all seem to end abruptly and tragically until the accordion itself meets its end. Not up to the standards of other Proulx books I've read "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Peggy | 7/31/2011

    " Sad, haunting story that follows an object, an accordian, rather than a person, through time. It chronicles amazingly well the triumphs and tribulations of generations as they struggle to make their way. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kate | 5/22/2011

    " Well, I powered through it and survived. Wonderful prose but impossibly depressing. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Angela | 4/9/2011

    " too gory..couldn't stand the crudness of this story...not Annie's best book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 ElizaAnne | 3/24/2011

    " a gritty little book...a very gritty little book

    But in the big scheme of things, Proulx points out the cultural importance of the accordian to nearly every group of emmigrants to the United States. I liked it, a lot.

    "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jack | 3/18/2011

    " Liked the Shipping News better.She does a good job at creating some unforgetable characters but the book took
    on a drone after a while it just didn't leave you satisfied. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Claire | 3/15/2011

    " Wow...as usual, a wonderful book by Annie Proulx about a bunch of miserable people and an accordion which is passed down through cultures and generations. Dark and funny at the same time. A great read! But don't expect anything good to happen. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rebecca | 2/8/2011

    " Not as good as the Shipping News. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Norah | 1/30/2011

    " This book really does ramble off on a lot of tangents...sometimes the accordion isn't even mentioned for what seems like days. But there are some memorable
    Characters involved. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sylvia | 1/28/2011

    " toch niet de allerbeste van annie "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Emily | 1/11/2011

    " 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. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sandy | 1/5/2011

    " I actually didn't finish this book. It was one of the most brutal books I have ever read. May start a list of all the ways she killed off her characters. I couldn't attach to any one person and couldn't care much about the accordion either. "

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About the Author

Annie Proulx is the author of eight books, including the novel The Shipping News and the story collection Close Range. Her many honors include a Pulitzer Prize, a National Book Award, the Irish Times International Fiction Prize, and a PEN/Faulkner Award. Her short story “Brokeback Mountain,” which originally appeared in the New Yorker, was made into an Academy Award–winning film starring Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal. Proulx currently lives in Wyoming.

About the Narrator

Tom Stechschulte has narrated well over a hundred audiobooks and has won fifteen AudioFile Earphones Awards. He won the prestigious Audie Award in 2009 and has been a finalist for the Audie in 2005 and 2011. As an actor, he has been seen in eleven Broadway shows as well as numerous television and film shows, including the remake of The Manchurian Candidate.