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Download Heyday Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Heyday Audiobook, by Kurt Andersen Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (786 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Kurt Andersen Narrator: Charles Leggett Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2007 ISBN: 9781482976786
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During one monumental month in 1848, gold is discovered in California, the United States wins its first foreign war, rebellion erupts throughout Europe, and an eager English gentleman named Benjamin Knowles plunges into love with the strong-minded New York actress and part-time prostitute Polly Lucking. He also meets her brother Duff, a dangerously damaged veteran of the Mexican War, and befriends the unforgettable Timothy Skaggs—journalist, daguerrotypist, mischief maker, stargazer.

As they set out on a wild, extraordinary transcontinental race west, lured by the prospect of easy wealth and new beginnings, they are unaware that a stranger bent on revenge shadows their every move.                                          

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A true novel of ideas…A tale of bright, rambunctious, aspiring young people.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Narrator Charles Leggett becomes a one-man band. He sings. He speaks English and French. He does accents: British, Irish, French, German, as well as American regionals from Brooklyn to California. He portrays men, women, and children. And he does it all well.”

    AudioFile

  • “Andersen’s satirical wit is well evident, but he plays fair, offering scenarios to offend nearly everyone. In the tradition of the old-fashioned epic, Heyday presents amazing coincidences, lengthy digressions, and myriad descriptions of mores and vices.”

    Booklist

  • “[Andersen] celebrates the tumultuous energy and the careless optimism of an America on the move.”

    Bookmarks magazine

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jen | 2/16/2014

    " great time period piece of work "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Wendy | 2/13/2014

    " Tried three times to read this book, as I love historic fiction, especially in this time frame (late 19th, early 20th century). I never got past the first 25 pages. The characters did not pique my interest, nor did the story lines. I normally try to give a book at least 50 pages before giving up on it, but I made an exception for this one. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Anne | 2/11/2014

    " Dull, wordy and empty. I couldn't even bear to finish it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dan | 2/7/2014

    " The fictional account of historical characters is a little hokey, but I learned the word "micturate," so I'll call it a draw. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jan | 2/7/2014

    " It took me awhile to really get into this book (although, admittedly, my reading has been "on hold" for a while...). It didn't grab me like a lot of "historical" type books do. There was a lot more fiction than history. The characters lacked vibrance. The story jumped around a lot. And, in the end, it was predictable. There were a few interesting story lines, but, kind of a yawn overall. At least I stuck with this 600+ page tome, that says something for it. But, I'm ready to move on. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Caralee | 2/4/2014

    " This is a really neat historical novel set in the late 1840s during the gold rush. The characters are intriguing, and I found myself not wanting to go to work because I wanted to know what happened next. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Donna | 1/21/2014

    " So in the end ... after 4 mos of sloggin' through this book, I was SO let down. Don't reco... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Suzanne | 1/20/2014

    " I hated to leave these characters. "

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

    " Tremendous read. Combines U.S. and European history and a God's honest thriller besides. The author must have done a really impressive amount of research to make New York in 1848 and San Francisco in 1849 and elsewhere all come so much alive. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 wendy | 1/5/2014

    " I finally made it through this on the 3rd attempt. I was pretty good for the first half or more but then slowed down when the group of friends headed west. The end was not as climactic as I had hoped but overall an entertaining read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tara Ivascu | 1/4/2014

    " my favorite recent read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rex | 12/14/2013

    " I enjoyed the obvious amounts of research and attention to detail, which really put me into the time period. Some of it seemed a bit too precious for it's own good, but overall it played well as an epic travelogue through an era of history. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linda Oleszczuk | 11/29/2013

    " Really good read, if you like historical fiction. Read this a while back, reminiscent of John Jakes "Homeland" and "American Dreams", both good reads too! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pat | 3/23/2013

    " Very good, though lengthy. It is an entertaining account of the life of interesting characters in New York City and the wild west in the mid 1800s. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michelle | 10/17/2012

    " I raced through this book like Manifest Destiny itself. I think it read it in 3 days. I loved the beginning but it started to fall apart in the middle with just one too many coincidences. However, I still recommend it to fans of historical fiction. I have a copy if anyone wants to borrow it... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christopher Cariola | 9/30/2012

    " Too long of a book. It had a nice ending with some twists, it just got to drag to the point of exhaustion. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kerrigallen | 9/29/2012

    " much too long and slow moving, but interesting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Meredith | 2/2/2012

    " Enjoyed the wit and bits of historical trivia. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Rachel | 1/5/2012

    " I hated this book so much, I gave up on it an hour into a 4-hr train ride and purposely left it for the maid at the hotel. I got to about page 130 and realized the 4 stories hadn't bothered to come together and I really didn't care about any of them. Not engaging at all. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mike | 7/6/2011

    " Half a dozen characters making their way through Europe, and the US in 1848-1849. Like Forrest Gump, they pass among the famous and yet to be famous; unlike Forrest Gump, they are being trailed by a vengeful French soldier. Good, not great. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hot Diggity Dan | 5/28/2011

    " Epic and pretty original. Do want. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linda | 5/21/2011

    " Really good read, if you like historical fiction. Read this a while back, reminiscent of John Jakes "Homeland" and "American Dreams", both good reads too! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sarah | 4/25/2011

    " really good, historical fiction but very slow moving "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jen | 3/27/2011

    " great time period piece of work "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 amy | 2/27/2011

    " "Raucous fecundity" seems a bit overstated. How about "the stagy picaresque"? 'Heyday' could make a great silent movie, with parts of the film run at double speed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jan | 9/21/2010

    " An adventure story set in 1848-49; four fictional characters bump into real historical figures and events. Kind of like experiencing what it was like to "be there." "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 C | 7/21/2010

    " Interesting from the historical novel perspective, but hard to get into the story and know the characters. Too much information connected in a not so believable chain of events. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 M.T. | 6/7/2010

    " First half of the book was very good, lots of facts along with an exciting story. When the journey leads west the book starts to drag. It did end pretty good though. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Anne | 5/28/2010

    " Dull, wordy and empty. I couldn't even bear to finish it. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Joanne | 5/27/2010

    " I had NO empathy for the characters...they weren't nice people...I didn't care about them "

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About the Author
Author Kurt Andersen

Kurt Andersen is an author and essayist. He has also written for film, television, and the stage and has contributed to the New Yorker, Vanity Fair, and Time. He is also host and cocreator of Studio 360, the Peabody Award–winning cultural magazine show produced by Public Radio International and WNYC and broadcast on 140 stations to 500,000 listeners each week. He cofounded the transformative independent magazine Spy, which was nominated for two National Magazine Awards.

About the Narrator

Charles Leggett is based in Seattle where he works onstage at Seattle Repertory Theatre, Seattle Children’s Theatre, ACT, Seattle Shakespeare Company, Portland Center Stage, The Empty Space, and Book-It Repertory Company, among many others. Charles’ voice work is also featured in the video games Dungeon Siege I and II, and in Hoyle’s Casino Empire.