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Extended Audio Sample An Unfinished Season: A Novel Audiobook, by Ward Just Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (371 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ward Just Narrator: William Dufris Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2005 ISBN: 9781455181278
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An Unfinished Season captures the postwar moment of the 1950s, a time of rabid anti-communism, worker unrest, and government corruption, when the modern world lay just over the horizon.

On the margins of Chicago’s North Shore, nineteen-year-old Wilson Ravan watches as his father’s life unravels. Gruff, unapproachable Teddy Ravan is confronting a strike and even death threats from union members who work at his printing business. Wilson, in the summer before college, finds himself straddling three worlds: the newsroom, where he has landed a coveted job as a rookie reporter, and where his colleagues find class struggle at the heart of every issue; the whirl of glittering North Shore debutante parties where he spends his nights; and the growing cold war between his parents at home. These worlds collide when he falls in love with the willful daughter of a renowned psychiatrist with a frightful past in World War II.

With unparalleled grace, Ward Just brings Wilson’s circle to radiant life. Through his finely wrought portraits of a father and son, young lovers, and newsroom dramas, Just also stirringly depicts an American political era.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A brilliant novel by Ward Just, whose writing is elegant and powerful…the book seems to fly by. Dufris demonstrates a gift for dialogue…[his] reading is both understated and highly effective.”

    AudioFile

  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award
  • One of the 2004 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Fiction
  • A 2005 Pulitzer Prize Finalist for Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Deale Hutton | 2/19/2014

    " Why did I like this book? I don't really know..not my type of story really. The story of a young rather wealthy boy's passage into adulthood. The pace was slow, and, yet, I enjoyed it. You observe 'Wils'observing his parents,life ,and his girlfriend all through the eyes of this unaware boy. He maintains a strange distance despite or because of the family wealth and privilege. And, yet he is sympathetic. The character development is good, and perhaps no matter our financial status, we are (or were) unaware observers. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lori | 2/12/2014

    " Vivid, beautiful writing guides the reader through the life of Wils Ravan, a young society man as he experiences life in Chicago at the age of 19. Wonderfully deliberate word choice brings this story to life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Scot | 2/4/2014

    " Strong sense of time period and social class evoked in this piece, a coming of age story of an upper class youth from the Chicago suburbs trying to make sense of a world that includes debutante parties, a hip jazz club, and a summer job as an errand boy for a sensational newspaper. The language is rich, the tone something of a cross between Catcher in the Rye and a sumptuous Douglas Sirk film. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Annie | 2/3/2014

    " Thoughtful and written beautifully. This was a story about growing up, realizing parents and adults are human, and that life is anything but simple. I liked it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 jill | 1/25/2014

    " I wouldn't have read this if not for book club, but I did end up enjoying it. Really lovely descriptions of 1950's era Chicago and the North Shore. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Laura | 1/12/2014

    " Enjoyable and well written, but nothing in it really grabbed me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carolyn | 1/8/2014

    " Eloquent, intellectual, rewarding. Recommended. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Melissa | 11/12/2013

    " Just wonderful . . . "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rachel Penso | 10/25/2013

    " Parts of this book seemed good, but parts seemed to drag on and on. Some of it tended to be over descriptive, in my opinion. But overall it was a pretty good story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sandi | 9/28/2013

    " Good, used Othello play in the theme. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tammy Due | 9/22/2013

    " I really enjoyed Ward Just and look forward to reading other books by him. I found his writing style to jive with the amount of detail and background information I like in reading books. He also engages human characteristics very well. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kate Robinson | 9/9/2013

    " If I could give this book two and an half stars I would, but giving it three stars is just too many. It was the epitome of 'okay.' Very atmospheric, but that was about all. The momentum it developed early on in the novel fizzled about a quarter of the way through. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jinny | 11/1/2012

    " Excellent book set in the early 1950s debutante season. Contrast of nouveau riche and old money, with family dysfunction all around. Extremely well written and plotted. Will definitely read more by Ward Just. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Evans | 5/7/2012

    " Great coming of age novel. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 joyousmin | 1/20/2012

    " Had a gard time getting through this...I know other people love it... but it was tough for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Edna | 1/8/2012

    " All in my smaller book club found this of interest and it engendered lots of discussion. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cherylck | 10/17/2011

    " Slow-moving account about life in 1950s Chicago. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susan Kavanagh | 12/5/2010

    " This book was an intersting look at the Chicago upper crust in the 50's. The characters were well drawn and the book caught the feelings of a first love very well. Reminded me a bit of F. Scott Fitzgerald's novels and The Catcher in the Rye. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susan | 10/2/2010

    " This book was an intersting look at the Chicago upper crust in the 50's. The characters were well drawn and the book caught the feelings of a first love very well. Reminded me a bit of F. Scott Fitzgerald's novels and The Catcher in the Rye. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tammy | 11/22/2009

    " I really enjoyed Ward Just and look forward to reading other books by him. I found his writing style to jive with the amount of detail and background information I like in reading books. He also engages human characteristics very well. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Melissa | 8/6/2009

    " Just wonderful . . . "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chris | 4/13/2009

    " A smoother beginning than the end balanced out. I'd read this again.
    A good one.
    "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kate | 12/2/2008

    " If I could give this book two and an half stars I would, but giving it three stars is just too many. It was the epitome of 'okay.' Very atmospheric, but that was about all. The momentum it developed early on in the novel fizzled about a quarter of the way through.

    "

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About the Author
Author Ward Just

Ward Just won the James Fenimore Cooper Prize from the Society of American Historians for his novel A Dangerous Friend and was nominated for the National Book Award for Echo House. Just and his wife, Sarah Catchpole, divide their time between Martha’s Vineyard and Europe.

About the Narrator

William Dufris attended the University of Southern Maine in Portland-Gorham before pursuing a career in voice work in London and then the United States. He has won more than twenty AudioFile Earphones Awards, was voted one of the Best Voices at the End of the Century by AudioFile magazine, and won the prestigious Audie Award in 2012 for best nonfiction narration. He lives with his family in Maine.