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Extended Audio Sample Angle of Repose: Modern Classic Audiobook, by Wallace Stegner Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (21,476 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Wallace Stegner Narrator: Mark Bramhall Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2009 ISBN: 9781455195770
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Wallace Stegner’s uniquely American classic centers on Lyman Ward, a noted historian, who relates a fictionalized biography of his pioneer grandparents at a time when he has become estranged from his own family. Through a combination of research, memory, and exaggeration, Ward voices ideas concerning the relationship between history and the present, art and life, parents and children, husbands and wives. Like other great quests in literature, Lyman Ward’s investigation leads him deep into the dark shadows of his own life. The result is a deeply moving novel that, through the prism of one family, illuminates the American present against the fascinating background of its past.

Set in many parts of the West, Angle of Repose is a story of discovery—personal, historical, and geographical—that endures as Wallace Stegner’s masterwork, an illumination of yesterday’s reality that speaks to today’s.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Angle of Repose is a novel about Time, as much as anything—about people who live through time, who believe in both a past and a future…It reveals how even the most rebellious crusades of our time follow paths that our great-grandfathers’ feet beat dusty.”

    Wallace Stegner 

  • “[A] long, intricate, deeply rewarding novel…For all [its] breadth and sweep, Angle of Repose achieves an effect of intimacy, hence of immediacy, and, though much of the material is ‘historical,’ an effect of discovery also, of experience newly minted rather than a pageant-like re-creation…Wallace Stegner has written a superb novel, with an amplitude of scale and richness of detail altogether uncommon in contemporary fiction.”

    Atlantic Monthly

  • “Mark Bramhall…leads us into the saga of intertwined generations. His pacing, his characterizations, and his convincing emotional repertoire embed us in this 1971 Pulitzer Prize winner that is in no way dated…a fine reading of a superb book.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Narrator Mark Bramhall adroitly manipulates an array of voices in this 1971 Pulitzer Prize winner. Wheelchair-bound Lyman Ward scours the letters, novels, and illustrations of his grandmother, genteel Susan Burling Ward, to re-create her life with her pioneer husband, Oliver Ward, in the ‘crude’ American West of the 1880s. Bramhall moves effortlessly between Lyman’s own troubled life—he incessantly interrupts his characters to ramble about his failed marriage—and his grandmother’s poignant writings. Even with this production’s hefty length, Bramhall’s character interpretations, along with the author’s rich, poetic descriptions of the Western frontier, remain fully engaging.”

    AudioFile

  • “If I were to walk into a room to meet the narrator, Mark Bramhall, I would expect to find a courageous, feisty disabled man in a wheel chair. His voice is strong and sure. He has conveyed to his listeners the gift of turning himself into Lyman Ward, the man determined to uncover, discover or recover the lives of his grandparents and settle them and him finally into an angle of rest and repose. With a slight alteration in tone and manner he easily becomes Susan or the scattered Haight-Ashbury hippie, Shelly. When I first read it, it was about the present and the past; now it is about a distant and not so distant past. If anything, this is better than I remembered, maybe because I am old enough to understand.”

    SoundCommentary.com (starred review)

  • One of SoundCommentary.com’s The Best of the Best in 2010
  • Winner of the 1972 Pulitzer Prize
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • One of the Modern Library's 100 Best English-Language Novels of the Twentieth Century

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Patty Kunsemiller | 2/19/2014

    " 2nd reading, this time on audible, was even better than the first. just one of the finest books i have ever had the privilege of reading. i love the west, and as willa cather so aptly does, wallace stegner amplifies the experience and feelings i have about this part of the country. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Vanessa | 2/14/2014

    " This is a great story told from an interesting perspective. I kept thinking to myself, "I can't believe this is fiction". It did get a little long at parts, especially towards the end. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Daniel | 2/6/2014

    " Didn't get through it.... Loved "Crossing to Safety" but this was a struggle. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Steve | 2/2/2014

    " Thoroughly enjoyed this book. At times it seemed almost biographical of my own experience in life. Perhaps my least favorite aspect of a very enjoyable book was the ending. A little bit of a let down for me; but still a favorite in fiction for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Janine | 1/18/2014

    " I found it a beautifully written book, not for those that like a page-turner, but for those that love words and how they are played together to create a place to slip in to. I was immersed in both plots and hated leaving each in turn and loved returning to each. I did find the ending (the dream) on easy out. I would have liked Lyman to come to the final question on his own or even with his ex's help but in real time, not a fantasy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lynn Buschhoff | 1/18/2014

    " An intelligent" Western". It has an epic feel but it has none of the cliches associated with books that take place in the West. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jen4short | 1/15/2014

    " Good book. A little long but I can see why it gained Pulitzer Prize winning status. Great final line; one I was hoping for but not expecting. Recommended, but only if you don't mind a long read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Brooke | 1/14/2014

    " At page 75 I wasn't engaged with this book like I was Crossing To Safety. Moving on... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dan Gobble | 1/14/2014

    " By retracing his grandparents' journey out west in the late 1800's, the character Lyman Ward is able to understand his own struggle with relationships, family, and the necessity for grace and forgiving one another if relationships are to remain vital and intimate. Partially based on a real pioneer woman's memoirs, Stegner uses a detective approach to unravel old letters, photos, drawings, and newspaper clippings in an effort to retell particularly his grandmother's story. How did she end up at the end of her 90 some years to be the person he knew? What forces and choices set in motion and formed the resultant life he now puzzles over with these artifacts along with his memories of her before she passed away? Lengthy, but a great read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Caberdoo | 12/30/2013

    " Of course it was good, but I didn't like it as much as Crossing to Safety. Or perhaps didn't relate to it as well? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Robert Fleming | 12/10/2013

    " Simply the best modern American novel, and maybe the best ever. I love it, love it, love it. I don't care about the alleged plagiarism back-story; it's just good writing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Deborah Ashe | 12/9/2013

    " I can't wait to re-read this one. It was a great read for our Book Group! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kevin Tole | 11/22/2013

    " An epic narrative and passage thru time that keeps you going and turning the pages. I don't know much about Mr Stegner but his writing is sparse and concise with great insight itnto character a bit Dreiser like in some ways "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Olivia | 11/18/2013

    " I can see why this was a prize winner. Wonderful to read and such a fascinating story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Janice White | 6/1/2013

    " I liked the fact that this story was based on a true life person. I found it quite long and drawn out though and thought that it would have benefitted from being slightly shorter. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeanoc | 1/14/2013

    " I'm rereading this book I read years ago. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Meghan | 7/27/2012

    " Adding this to the very short list of books I want to read again someday. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pat Dit | 6/23/2012

    " Read this a long time ago - going to re-read - for some reason it has been on my mind lately. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Traci Mckay | 6/16/2012

    " Why did no one ever tell me before that Wallace Stegner is the bomb? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susan Hennessy | 4/7/2012

    " One of my all time favorites. I recommend it to everyone - especially those who live in Colorado. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stacey | 4/4/2012

    " One of my favorite books. The journey is a lifetime were lessons had to be taught over and over and love comes in many different forms. A must read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah Papworth | 3/15/2012

    " I love, love, loved Wallace Stegner's writing, but did not really love/understand/relate to the characters. But the longer it has been since I have read it, the more I have thought about it. The story has kind of haunted me, but it a good way. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ben Knowlton | 9/24/2011

    " Beautiful writing and an intriguing story. I loved it. It makes you think and stays with you. Wallace Stegner is just gifted. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lorene | 9/5/2011

    " A really good read. Takes a bit to get into it but once that happens it kept my thought and attention. Kind of a 3 generation 'thoughts about life' book. I liked it. It would be a good Book Club choice! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rick | 6/22/2011

    " This book is quite well written. However, at 569 pages, it was a time commitment. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Heather | 5/9/2011

    " a book you could read each decade and understand differently. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jen | 5/1/2011

    " Wallace Stegner is my favorite author and this is my favorite book. Crossing to Safety is a close second. I would like to read every word he has ever written. It is a joy to read his prose and contemplate the themes and people and relationships he writes about. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Katie | 4/15/2011

    " One of my favorite books of all time.
    "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 E. R. | 4/13/2011

    " Wallace is one of the twentieth century's best authors in my opinion. His books are engrossing and memorable. I loved it. His descriptive writing is unparalleled. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Valerie | 4/13/2011

    " Read this years ago, but I remember it being amazing. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kelly | 4/12/2011

    " I am apparently the only woman ever who hated this book. He just seemed so judgmental of his female characters. "

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About the Author
Author Wallace Stegner

Wallace Stegner (1909–1993) wrote many books of fiction and nonfiction, including Crossing to Safety and the National Book Award–winning The Spectator BirdAngle of Repose won the Pulitzer Prize in 1972. An American historian, novelist, short story writer, and environmentalist, Stegner was often called the “dean of Western writers” and has left a lasting legacy in the literary community.

About the Narrator

Mark Bramhall has won thirty-four AudioFile Earphones Awards and has twice been a finalist for the Audiobook Publishers Association’s prestigious Audie Award for best narration. He has been named by Publishers Weekly and AudioFile magazine among their “Best Voices of the Year” in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013. He is also an award-winning actor whose acting credits include off-Broadway, regional, and many Los Angeles venues as well as television, animation, and feature films. He has taught and directed at the American Academy of Dramatic Art.