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Download Five Skies Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Five Skies Audiobook, by Ron Carlson Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (645 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ron Carlson Narrator: Ron Carlson Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2007 ISBN: 9781429587211
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Five Skies, beloved story writer Ron Carlson’s first novel in thirty years, is the story of three men gathered high in the Rocky Mountains for a construction project that is to last the summer. Having participated in a spectacular betrayal in Los Angeles, the giant, silent Arthur Key drifts into work as a carpenter in southern Idaho. There he is hired, along with the shiftless and charming Ronnie Panelli, to build a stunt ramp beside a cavernous void. The two will be led by Darwin Gallegos, the foreman of the local ranch, who is filled with a primeval rage at God, at man, at life.

As they endeavor upon this simple, grand project, the three reveal themselves in cautiously resonant, profound ways. And in a voice of striking intimacy and grace, Carlson’s novel reveals itself as a story of biblical, almost spiritual force.

A bellwether return from one of our greatest craftsmen, Five Skies is sure to be one of the most praised and cherished novels of the year.

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mary | 2/10/2014

    " I have never read Carlson before. I really liked this book which follows three very likable men who have demons in their pasts. I found I got to appreciate the characters, especially Arthur Key who has made mistakes and is paying for them. He is a good man and takes Ronnie under his wing, helping himself and the young kid begin to make peace with their past issues and the way they have lived their lives. In the process, Art, Ronnie and even Darwin who hires them to work on a construction project become like a family. The novel has a wonderful flow, the writing is very good and I found the book to be moving. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Meg | 2/6/2014

    " I love Carlson's writing (LOVE IT), but this small novel didn't blow me away like his stories often do. Where his stories are precise, focused and hit all the right notes, this meandered and I had a hard time distinguishing the three male characters through the opening 50 pages. I still love Carlson though, and I think he's one of the best living short story writers in America. "

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

    " An engrossing novel. Great characters and a very "real"-feeling story. The setting actually felt like a character. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dick Gullickson | 1/15/2014

    " You may have seen Janie's review, so I will keep this short. This is our second Ron Carlson book -- we also greatly enjoyed "Signal." We listened to this one on a CD driving back from Minnesota. Carlson is a great story teller with a knack for character development. He also does a wonderful job of capturing the feeling of living and working in the mountains, in this story, an Idaho construction site far away from civilization. I've often thought of trying to write a book someday. I can't think of a better author to emulate than Carlson who combines a compelling narrative with a description of people you care about. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Carrie | 1/1/2014

    " I found this very difficult to read, it was stilted language and it all seemed rather pointless. I finally gave up after reading half the book. Perhaps it got better toward the end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Timothy | 10/17/2013

    " This is a great book for men. Having worked for decades on construction sites with a variety of people, this was such a realistic novel in many ways. The symbolism is awesome and the dialogue great. The ending/resolution seems somewhat out of character for the protagonist. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Marcy | 8/9/2013

    " Probably 2 1/2 stars because of the fine writing, but should have been a short story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Edward | 8/7/2013

    " I read this on Kindle. Another recommendation from Alan. Great story about life's complexities. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tim | 5/29/2013

    " Well written. Mildly disappointing ending. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alan | 5/26/2013

    " A really great book about 3 guys on a construction site in Twin Falls, Idaho dealing with their pasts. The writing was fantastic. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lynn | 5/17/2013

    " Loved this book. Carlson is great with characters. By the end of the book, you will feel you KNOW these guys. The climax will make you hold your breath. "

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

    " I had a hard time getting used to the author's writing style with this book, but I enjoyed reading a book about men and their friendships with one another, and their emotional struggles. Not a subject matter I usually read about. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Norman Waksler | 5/2/2013

    " A beautiful, concise, novel of men discovering friendship while atoning for past sins. It has a structural arc as clean as the arc of the sky (and not by accident.) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Juan | 4/11/2013

    " Outstanding. Lyrical, poetic, honest, painful, funny. Carlson shows us life, pain, happiness, beauty and thankfully doesn't tell us about it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tibe Jordan | 10/26/2012

    " A heartbreaking book of friendship, loyalty, love, and loss. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chris Ward | 7/14/2012

    " Most of my book club members liked this book. I didn't love it - the writing was good and the story line not bad but too much description of construction, tools, etc. If I had picked it up other than for my book club probably wouldn't have finished - took about 50 or more pages to get into it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rex | 6/14/2012

    " Not exactly a page turner. I kept wanting the author to get on with the story. However, the three main characters are memorable and it was interesting to see their lives unfold. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kay | 5/14/2012

    " Character development + Mike & Rachel gave this to me "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ann | 2/21/2012

    " I thought this would be too much of a male book for me. Boy was I wrong. It's written in such a way that the reader falls into the story head first. Excellent writing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dan | 8/20/2011

    " Sad, sweet, tender book. It's not long, but it makes you take your time. Definitely recommended. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chris | 4/23/2011

    " Most of my book club members liked this book. I didn't love it - the writing was good and the story line not bad but too much description of construction, tools, etc. If I had picked it up other than for my book club probably wouldn't have finished - took about 50 or more pages to get into it. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kristenfalsocapaldi | 2/26/2011

    " This was by far the worst book I've ever read. I wish I could give it half a star. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stephanie | 1/10/2011

    " I had a hard time getting used to the author's writing style with this book, but I enjoyed reading a book about men and their friendships with one another, and their emotional struggles. Not a subject matter I usually read about. "

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

    " Beautiful descriptions of the high desert of Idaho. The characters and story are spare with a fine eye for detail. I was very impressed with this book! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sutjohn | 10/30/2010

    " tedious, overindulged exploration of the characters past trials...and the setting did not work for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elizabeth | 10/12/2010

    " There are really four characters in this book -- the three men who are constructing a curious project and fighting their own demons and disappointments and the landscape itself. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shirley | 8/21/2010

    " What an interesting read. Dreams of jumping the Snake River abound. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brian | 7/27/2010

    " A fine novel about men. It explores male relationships, how many men try to build and fix things that are in the big scheme of things meaningless. A good read, which I will return to later in life to experience differently. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Vern | 6/16/2010

    " Ron Carlson is one of my favorite writers. He writes with truthfulness and believability and with a sense of humor. This one is about 3 men on a construction project in rural Idaho. We learn about their past as they look toward their futures. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shanil | 6/12/2010

    " A great insight into the character of men "

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About the Author
Author Ron Carlson

Ron Carlson is the author of several story collections and novels, including The Signal and Five Skies. His fiction has appeared in Harper’s, the New YorkerPlayboyGQBest American Short Stories, and The O. Henry Prize Stories. He is the director of the writing program at the University of California at Irvine and lives in Huntington Beach, California.