Extended Audio Sample

Alexander's Bridge Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample Alexanders Bridge (Unabridged), by Willa Cather
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (417 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Willa Cather Narrator: Marguerite Gavin Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc. Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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There is a pleasure in listening to the imagery of Alexander's Bridge that is similar to viewing a beautiful watercolor, as in the following description of a Boston street in late afternoon: The sun sank rapidly; the silvery light had faded from the bare boughs and the watery twilight was setting in when Wilson at last walked down the hill, descending into cooler and cooler depths of grayish shadow.

Against this delicate imagery, Willa Cather renders the tough inner terrain of a man in mid-life crisis. Bartley Alexander is a master bridge engineer. At 43 he is at the height of his power, comfortable with success and all it brings. Yet he yearns for the lost vibrancy of his youth. He leads a double life, veering between his beautiful, accomplished wife and his mistress, an actress he knew as a student in Paris. The conflict creates a crack in the structure of his life that ultimately undermines him.

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Listener Reviews

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Review by Beth | 2/8/2014

    " Another book on tape. "Alexander's Bridge" is a novella with a dated morality. Bradly (I think) Alexander is an architect/engineer who builds bridges. He is seen by his friend and teacher as a somewhat unstoppable force with flaws. He's idolized by his clever and self-contained wife. He is in love with his wife but when he encounters an old flame, he plans to meet her in London where he is scheduled to be the next summer. He agonizes over his lust for the old flame and his loyalty for his wife and is saved from making a decision about the "right" thing to do by death when one of his bridges collapses. His wife retreats into grieving in a lady-like way. Well written but the issues seem somewhat irrelevant, or perhaps it's not the issues but the pace at which they are either resolved or not. A minor work and probably rightly so. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Review by Eileend | 2/3/2014

    " Skip this dog. Even in the preface, Cather admits this isn't her finest work. Trite, and no character is fully sketched out. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Review by Betty | 1/31/2014

    " I'm reading Cather's novels in order of publication this year (a challenge from the Cather Foundation picked up by a blog I follow). She was 39 when this was published, which accounts for the maturity of the theme (mid-life crisis). It wasn't too hard to predict the outcome of the story, which made it entirely satisfactory when it transpired. I think I would have felt tricked by any other resolution. I look forward to the next work. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Review by Jean | 1/20/2014

    " Some beautiful writing in this first novel of Willa Cather. I have enjoyed some of her others more, but definitely hints of future excellence here. I did identify with the mid-life feelings of the main character, though his way of dealing with regaining his lost youth was,sadly, not the right way to go. I never really felt like the characters in this novel were quite fleshed out. The analogy of the bridge was a good one, I think, but not very subtle. Early on I predicted what the end would be and I was not the least surprised. "

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About the Author
Author Willa Cather

Willa Cather (1873–1947), the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of more than fifteen books, is widely considered one of the most distinguished American writers of the early twentieth century. She grew up in Nebraska and is best known for her depictions of frontier life on the Great Plains in novels such as O Pioneers!, My Ántonia, and Song of the Lark. In 1944 she was awarded the American Academy of Arts and Letters Gold Medal for Fiction.

About the Narrator

Marguerite Gavin is a seasoned theater veteran, a five-time nominee for the prestigious Audie Award, and the winner of numerous AudioFile Earphones and Publishers Weekly awards. Marguerite has been an actor, director, and audiobook narrator for her entire professional career. With over four hundred titles to her credit, her narration spans nearly every genre, from nonfiction to mystery, science fiction, fantasy, romance, and children’s fiction. AudioFile magazine says, “Marguerite Gavin…has a sonorous voice, rich and full of emotion.”