Extended Audio Sample

Gloryland Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample Gloryland (Unabridged), by Shelton Johnson
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (85 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Shelton Johnson Narrator: Shelton Johnson Publisher: Recorded Books Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Born on Emancipation Day, 1863, to a sharecropping family of African and Indian blood, Elijah Yancy never lived as a slave, but his self-image as a free person is at war with his surroundings: Spartanburg, South Carolina, in the Reconstructed South. Exiled for his own survival as a teenager, Elijah walks west to the Nebraska plains and, like other rootless young African-American men of that era, joins the U.S. Cavalry. The trajectory of Elijah's army career parallels the nation's imperial adventures in the late nineteenth century: subduing Native Americans in the West and quelling rebellion in the Philippines.

Haunted by the terrors endured by black Americans and by his part in persecuting other people of color, Elijah is sustained only by visions, memories, prayers, and his questing spirit - which ultimately finds a home when his troop is posted to guard the newly created Yosemite National Park in 1903. Here, living with little beyond mountain light, cold rivers, campfires, and stars, he becomes a man who owns himself completely, while knowing he's left pieces of himself scattered along his life's path like pebbles on a creekbed. Elijah's narrative voice - poetic, rhythmically cadenced, ranging freely through time - makes this novel a literary meditation on finding a self and a spiritual home, while unveiling a little-known chapter of America's past.

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Listener Reviews

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Review by Laurie | 2/16/2014

    " I noticed this book at the gift shop in Yosemite and decided to borrow it from the library. It's about Elijah Yancey, born in the South just after the official end of slavery. As he grows up, he discovers he can't live in a town where the mere fact that he walks on the sidewalk that the whites expect is only for them creates a threat to his family. He sets out on his own cross country, signs up for the Calvary, and ends up patrolling Yosemite on horseback. The book is written in the format of a memoir, and Johnson's descriptions of people, places, thoughts & feelings are so believable that I kept forgetting I was reading a novel and not a true story. I think this book would be an excellent choice for the Big Read or similar citywide book discussion. It's rich in discussion material on diverse topics such as racism, history, geography, and spirituality. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Review by Linda | 2/2/2014

    " Beautifully written. It takes Elijah Yancy a long time to get to Yosemite, but it's worth the wait. And everything he's gone through beforehand makes what he finds for himself in Yosemite even more precious. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Review by Cheryl | 1/20/2014

    " Shelton Johnson's story is a wonderful depiction of the life of a buffalo soldier just after Emancipation Day in the late 1800s. His descriptions are superb! He finds his true home at his posting to Yosemite. A truly great story! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Review by Cathy | 1/14/2014

    " The book was amazing, which is not to say that the criticisms I read are not also accurate. It is more poetry than plot, but since I didn't know what to expect going in, I was not disappointed. The use of simile and metaphor was the amazing part but I, also, found myself wanting more of a story. "

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