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Extended Audio Sample Dancing at the Rascal Fair Audiobook, by Ivan Doig Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (2,280 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ivan Doig Narrator: Robert Ian MacKenzie Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Montana Trilogy Release Date: September 1987 ISBN: 9781440791017
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Dancing at the Rascal Fair by National Book Award nominee Ivan Doig captures the passion and tenacity of turn-of-the-century immigrants struggling to build new lives amidst Montana’s windswept Rockies. The tale unfolds into a contest of the heart between Anna Ramsay and Angus McCaskill—kept apart by obligations—as they and their stormy kin vie to tame the brutal land. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • Magnificent … Dancing at the Rascal Fair establishes its author in the front ranks of contemporary American writers. Seattle Times

Listener Opinions

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

    " This is the "central" or second-written book in Doig's Montana Trilogy, but within the trilogy's chronology it's a prequel to English Creek -- telling the story of the beginning of the McCaskill family in Montana. It starts with Angus' immigration from Scotland in 1889 and covers until 1919. Angus and his friend Rob both emigrate as 19 year olds, and much of the book is about how their friendship changes over the years. We also get a complete picture of the town they settle in, the people in the town, the early days of homesteading in that area, and their constant struggles with the harsh but beautiful landscape. Doig's style is lyrical and colloquial at the same time, and the characters' voices really came through the in the dialogue (Angus and Lucas, especially). The plot's pace was faster than English Creek, which I appreciated, and it was fun to see the earlier versions of many of the characters from that book. It's hard to articulate why I liked this book so much... I was in the mood for this era of history, I'm still in my "mountain obsessing phase", I loved the writing, became invested in the characters and what happened to them, the story was emotionally resonant... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lea | 2/11/2014

    " This book has stayed with me over the years. It's one I wished I'd experienced myself, or I feel like I did, like it's my own story. It became part of me. One of the best books I've ever read, period. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tamra | 2/8/2014

    " Didn't really care for this book. Too much detail, the story kind of dragged for me and I just had a hard time really liking or caring about the characters. My friend really, really wanted me to read it. He just knew "I'd loved it." I didn't. I may just tell a little white lie and tell him I liked it a little more than I actually did. Does that make me a liar or a good friend? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathy Halsan | 2/2/2014

    " Doig is a wonerful story teller. I've read 2 of his books this summer. Dancing at the Rascal Fair tells the story of the Scottish Immigrants to Montana. It is the earliest story of his Montana Trilogy. Loved it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jenny | 1/31/2014

    " This is the 2nd Ivan Doig book I have read. I really like his style and his characters - who are very real. His books are set in late 1800's early 1900's Montana and the struggles the early homesteaders had there. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susan | 1/19/2014

    " Starts slowly, but is an engaging story of love and friendship set in northern Montana during the homestead period. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susy | 1/19/2014

    " Another perfect story about the early days of Montana from a native son who was raised in its country & then went to achieve a PhD in history, but clearly Montana has stayed in his soul. This story follows best friends, Angus & Rob, from their home in Scotland to the sheep country of northern Montana. The journey begins when they are 18 & follows them for the next 30 years. Doig writes about the land, its early Scottish settlers and the fierce task of homesteading with such a becautiful voice. He has a clever and surprisingly subtle way of leading the story from one plot point to the next - often with surprise but presented in a way that creeps up on the reader than than throwing it in one's face. He created a song to weave through the story & invented quotes by Scotland's favorite son poet, Robert Burns, to enhance the story with such convincing word choice it was hard to believe they aren't authentic. I think of Montana as vast plains surrounded by mountains but didn't know much about its history. Now I am eager to visit this Big Sky state. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Janice | 1/7/2014

    " This is quite a saga of the hardships of homesteading in Montana and maintaining a sheep ranch. The characters are complex and interesting. As always, however, Montana and its weather and geography is the major player. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Doris | 1/6/2014

    " Ivan Doig does a good job of letting you know what it was like to homestead and sheep farm in early Montana. Some of his characters lack development, but otherwise is an interesting read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alys | 12/17/2013

    " Very enjoyable read. Beautiful and clever writing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 bert-bobbi | 12/14/2013

    " excellent! very visually descriptive. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emmett | 12/12/2013

    " I'm not really sure if there is a correct way to read this series, but I went from the middle to the end to the beginning. I think your supposed to go middle, beginning, end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Keith Slade | 12/12/2013

    " Good story of friends in early Montana, who came from Scotland are new to the rugged area. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Drew Johnson | 11/30/2013

    " Stegner-like but not quite as good "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Steven Cobb | 11/17/2013

    " I have never read a book that has made me feel with such intensity the pain of unrequited love. A beautiful story with an arresting setting: Montana as it was being settled so many years ago. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Teresa | 11/3/2013

    " Beautiful writing and such a compelling historical fiction novel. It is one of those books that had me thinking about it even when I wasn't reading it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carol Murphy | 10/12/2013

    " It's been a long time since I read this one....I'll have to do a re-read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Meg | 9/4/2013

    " brutally, painfully, truthfully, beautiful book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Doug | 4/14/2013

    " If you haven't read Doig - read Doig. He is a quintessential chronicler of the American West. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ashley | 12/5/2012

    " This is my favorite of the Doig books. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Beth | 5/16/2012

    " Oh, I loved this. Beautiful voice, heartbreaking. I'm thrilled to have a new (to me) author to devour. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julia Anderson | 1/24/2012

    " Enjoyed the presentation of Montana culture and experience. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Barbara Naslund | 10/16/2011

    " I love every book by Ivan Doig. Amazing writer who brings you the best characters. You'll never want to say goodbye to them. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nonie | 9/24/2011

    " Historical novel about homesteading in Montana. Good exciting read with healthy dose of love, angst and bare boned excitement. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lacie | 6/16/2011

    " This was hard to get into and a lot of times I found myself scanning through pages of more info than I ever wanted to know about homesteading in the new America. However, for some reason I could not put it down. Strange. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Amy | 5/3/2011

    " I am always looking for a homesteading novel that is an enjoyable as These Is My Words. This isn't it. The author had some interesting twists in the plot and some unpredictable character development, but all said, it was just average. "

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

    " I would give this one six stars, no SEVEN, if I could! Terrific story, deliciously told "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laura | 3/28/2011

    " This is the first book I've read by Ivan Doig and I definitely plan to read more. I enjoyed this story of the first homesteaders in Montana and thought the complicated relationship between the two main characters, Rob and Angus, was well illustrated and fascinating. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Janice | 2/20/2011

    " This is quite a saga of the hardships of homesteading in Montana and maintaining a sheep ranch. The characters are complex and interesting. As always, however, Montana and its weather and geography is the major player. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lisa | 1/29/2011

    " I just finished listening to this. It's one of my favorite novels, and a few years since the last time I read it. This is an excellent performance/recording. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chris | 1/28/2011

    " My first book written by Ivan Doig. Hooked me right away. One of my top five favorite authors. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tricia | 1/12/2011

    " Wonderful story and beautiful, evocative writing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Janet | 12/5/2010

    " DOIG, IVAN. DANCING AT THE RASCAL FAIR. 1987. **SUE**
    The first in Doig’s Montana trilogy recounts the life of Angus McCaskill, a young Scotsman who travels to Two Medicine County to homestead. Not great
    "

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About the Author
Author Ivan Doig

Ivan Doig is the author of over a dozen books, including the Indiebound bestseller Work Song, the classic memoir This House of Sky, and the acclaimed Montana trilogy. He has been a National Book Award finalist and has received the Wallace Stegner Award, among many other honors. He lives in Seattle.

About the Narrator

Robert Ian Mackenzie became an actor after holding a wide variety of other jobs, including everything from London policeman to water ski instructor in Greece. Since then, his acting career has encompassed straight theater, musicals, opera, films, television, voice-overs, commercials, and recorded books.