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Download Gabriel’s Story Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Gabriel’s Story Audiobook, by David Anthony Durham Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (116 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: David Anthony Durham Narrator: Thomas Penny Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2001 ISBN: 9781436172455
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Gabriel’s Story recounts the adventures and trials of a pioneer family in the late 1870s. At the center of the story is Gabriel, a young man who moves reluctantly from the urban North with his mother and younger brother to join his stepfather, a homesteader in Kansas.

While his mother and brother accept the reduced circumstances of their new life, Gabriel looks with loathing upon the primitive one-room sod house, the meager crops, and the endless fields of grass. Filled with memories of his deceased father and the dreams they shared, Gabriel decides to run away and become a cowboy. However, his search for excitement brings trouble and danger as he encounters a host of unsavory characters while testing himself against this brutally unforgiving new landscape.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Artistically impressive and emotionally satisfying, a serious work that heads off in exhilarating directions.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Wise and beautifully written.”

    USA Today

  • “Haunting…[with] masterful prose.”

    Christian Science Monitor

  • “A sensational debut…lush and atmospheric.”

    Essence

  • “Moving…The moral gravity of Durham’s narrative is offset by his attentiveness to the primacy of nature in the Western landscape.”

    New Yorker

  • “Sweeps the reader up into a fascinating, Oz-like whirlwind of language.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “Durham captures with exquisite precision the isolation, loneliness, and cruelty of life in the vastness of the West…The reader turns the last page with regret at the journey’s end.”

    Times-Picayune (New Orleans)

  • “Compelling, suspenseful, and meticulously written, Gabriel’s Story is an exploration of the idea of the frontier and the meaning of ownership, filtered through the narrator’s cynical, over-the-hill teenage perspective. And Gabriel himself, who seems old beyond his years, is a memorable protagonist: a grouchy lost boy, impatient for his life to unfold.”

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • “The old West, both beautiful and brutal, is the setting of Durham’s magnificently realized debut novel, a classic coming-of-age story of an African-American boy…Durham is a born storyteller…The tale’s racial dimension is subtly and intelligently developed, and though some readers may be turned off by the violence Gabriel witnesses, all will be impressed by Durham’s maturity, skill, and lovingly crafted prose.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • Winner of the 2002 YALSA Alex Award
  • Winner of the 2002 BCALA Literary Award for First Novelist

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary Jane | 4/27/2013

    " Nice coming of age story set in the sod-buster days of the great plains and old west, told from an African American perspective. Very evocative descriptions of location and period. Thoroughly enjoyed it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jinx Landis | 9/21/2012

    " Some brutality in this tale set in the wild west but a good story. "

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

    " Great story of the prairie and wild west. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Deb | 8/29/2011

    " A very different coming-of-age story. Themes of good vs. evil, the grass is greener, etc. Ending was quite tense. Enjoyed it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joani | 5/4/2011

    " So good on so many levels! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maha | 3/13/2011

    " While not a novel that I would normally have picked up were I not simply trawling through the library looking for something to read, I found it engaging and illustrative of a history that I had hardly considered. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kettricken | 7/14/2010

    " Beautifully written book set in the time of slavery in America. I didn't know a lot about this time, but Durham made it very much alive for me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Clinton | 7/13/2010

    " This is a 3.5 star read. David Anthony Durham crafts a compelling narrative that can be summed in an early quote, "'Ye cannot escape God's laws, God's sight, God's blessing, and God's judgment.'" "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Clinton | 5/25/2010

    " This is a 3.5 star read. David Anthony Durham crafts a compelling narrative that can be summed in an early quote, "'Ye cannot escape God's laws, God's sight, God's blessing, and God's judgment.'" "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maha | 1/29/2010

    " While not a novel that I would normally have picked up were I not simply trawling through the library looking for something to read, I found it engaging and illustrative of a history that I had hardly considered. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary | 8/20/2009

    " Nice coming of age story set in the sod-buster days of the great plains and old west, told from an African American perspective. Very evocative descriptions of location and period. Thoroughly enjoyed it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carol | 2/17/2009

    " Great story of the prairie and wild west. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joani | 11/21/2008

    " So good on so many levels! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kettricken | 11/4/2008

    " Beautifully written book set in the time of slavery in America. I didn't know a lot about this time, but Durham made it very much alive for me. "

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About the Author
Author David Anthony Durham

David Anthony Durham earned an MFA from the University of Maryland. His first novel, Gabriel’s Story, was published to wide acclaim in 2001. He has won several awards, including the Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Fiction Award, a First Novel Award from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association, and a Legacy Award. His short fiction appears in Gumbo: An Anthology of African American Writing. He lives with his wife and two children California and teaches creative writing at Cal St. Fresno.

About the Narrator

Thomas Penny is an audiobook narrator whose readings include The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard, Fighting for America by Christopher Moore, and Forged by Fire by Sharon M. Draper, among others.