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Extended Audio Sample Five Skies, 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 Carlso Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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 by 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 by 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 by 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 by 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. "

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