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Extended Audio Sample My Ántonia, by Willa Cather Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.19 out of 54.19 out of 54.19 out of 54.19 out of 54.19 out of 5 4.19 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Willa Cather Narrator: Patrick Lawlor Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2008 ISBN: 9781400178452
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After the death of his parents, Jim Burden is sent to live with his grandparents on the Nebraska plains. By chance, on that same train is Ántonia, a bright-eyed girl who will become his neighbor and lifelong friend. Her family has emigrated from Bohemia to start a new life farming, but they lose their money and must work hard just to survive. Through it all, Ántonia retains her natural pride and free spirit.

Jim’s grandparents have a large and tidy farm. They are kind to him, but conventional. Later, Jim becomes a scholar and Ántonia becomes a “hired girl” in town. She blossoms in the new freedom that town life offers. Jim can only taste this life vicariously through her recounting of town gossip and of the “dance tent.” Ántonia’s strong will, spirit, and honesty allow her to thrive in the midst of hardship.

In My Ántonia, Willa Cather paints a rich picture of life on the prairie at the beginning of the twentieth century and depicts some of the many cultures that came to compose the United States.

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Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Moodyblue | 2/20/2014

    " I wanted to like it, just couldn't connect on this one. Will try Willa Cather again. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Greta Roussos | 2/14/2014

    " Reading Willa Cather's semi-autobiographical novel, My Antonia, was great this time around. Since I read this story the first time, I've read considerably more about the settling of America by immigrants and am able to place her work in a much more expansive framework of writing by pioneers. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Louis | 2/12/2014

    " I read this book in high school. but i read it again this year and it surprised me. I enjoyed it more reading it for my pleasure than as an assignment for some class. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marvin | 2/9/2014

    " A wonderful book of a long gone era. A must read for anyone. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cami | 2/6/2014

    " Free on kindle! I am suprised at how much I loved this book! There was just something so real and poetic about how it describes the harsh but beautiful prarie living. I'm so grateful to book club for introducing me to this book. I can't wait to discuss it. It seems there are so many layers of meaning in the book, and I can't wait to hear the others' insights. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bobbi | 2/1/2014

    " I really enjoyed reading this book..and then I went to the book club discussion about it...and was making all these passionate comments about the characters in the book...and then someone realized that I was acting like these were real people...which I totally thought they were...I had read the entire thing, thinking it was a nonfiction book! While I thought the story was true, I found it fascinating, but once I knew it was fiction, I thought it was rather slow and disappointing. Funny how that little bit of info completely ruined the book for me...and made me feel a bit idiotic. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rachel McCready-Flora | 1/27/2014

    " I've heard fantastic things about this book for years and finally read it. It was a nice, gentle read but I can't really say I loved anything about it except that Cather presented a strong woman as a central character, which is rare in literature. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mark Nelson | 1/23/2014

    " Beautiful, absolutely beautiful...and heartbreaking...and uplifting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ben Batchelder | 1/13/2014

    " What a lovely, lyrical book about pioneer grit and grace so out of character with modern America. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 James Kayler | 1/13/2014

    " This is the December 2011 bookclub selection. Chosen because the group wanted to read an American classic this year. I am surprised that I had not read anything by Willa Cather along the way. I was struck by the language changes in the past one hundred years or so. For example in modern written English the British spelling of words has been Americanized. The author develops the important contributions of women and immigrants to the richness that is now America. I gained an appreciation of the midwest, the contribution of immigrant women to America. Will probably read something else by this author. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jessica Gee | 1/13/2014

    " I LOVE this book. When I first started it, I thought of it as a grown up Little House on the Prairie. Which it kind of is. But it is also beautifully written and generally lovely in it's own right. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Janeal | 1/9/2014

    " I loved reading about traditional values, being adaptive, working hard for what you get, surviving, and finding success and happiness. Beautiful read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shelley Jenkins | 1/5/2014

    " It was a pleasent change of reading style for me. Well worth the time "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Agnieszka | 1/3/2014

    " Well done, though quite sad... as all of these books are. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Matthew | 12/10/2013

    " An honest portrayal of rural life in the midwest. The story has purpose, and the historical account becomes a tale about the everlasting ties between people, even those who have been physically apart. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mlg | 12/10/2013

    " A reread of an old classic. It still has some of the best description of life on the edge of the Nebraska frontier that you will ever find. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joanne | 12/9/2013

    " I love the Classics. I love the characters in this book. Lovely story and beautifully written. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tom Wilda | 11/22/2013

    " My Antonia was written nearly 100 years ago, and is about some of the first settlers in Nebraska. Fascinating to me as one who enjoys reading history, and a good story well told. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 MASH | 11/16/2013

    " My favorite book of all time. I've read it three times and listened to it once. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jo | 10/18/2013

    " A re-read for me, this time for evening bookclub. A favorite classic because of it's simple yet vivid & beautiful descriptive writing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cathleen | 9/12/2013

    " I am a third of the way through and can't put it down. This is an incredible book, one of the best I've ever read. I'm already dreading the completion of it, but looking so forward to reading more by Willa Cather. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chantel | 8/16/2013

    " A bit slow but still a great read! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jon Larson | 6/9/2013

    " A great story about growing up in the Nebraska Prairies in the early 1900's. A very descriptive narrative of life in those times. This book was considered a masterpiece when it was first published. I thoroughly enjoyed it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nadia Sajadi | 5/24/2013

    " Rich landscapes, lively portraits and a heartfelt story in beautiful prose. Reminded me in some ways of Cider with Rosie. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Efshaw | 4/6/2013

    " the most amazing descriptions and use of words. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Miss GP | 3/23/2013

    " Perhaps the most beautifully written, atmospheric book I've ever read. I'm not generally a fan of Plains lit (Ivan Doig doesn't do much for me), but man, this one's fantastic. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rhonda Pearson | 2/8/2013

    " Oh, this is one of my all time favorite books. Good story, excellent writing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Page | 12/21/2012

    " loved the writing style, loved the ordinary life of the characters "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kelly Brownell | 12/14/2012

    " A beautifully written book. The descriptions of the prairie farmland are rich and detailed, and the characters are amazing. If this is one of the classics you missed along the way, as I did, you won't be disappointed. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Geoffrey Bateman | 11/30/2012

    " One of my favorite books of all time! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kaitlin | 11/1/2012

    " I really loved, and enjoyed this book! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jen | 8/7/2012

    " I liked this Cather read better than Song of the Lark. Cather's vivid descriptions of the west make me long for the west again. The ending was better than Song of the Lark, but it wasn't my favorite (or my ideal for the characters). But I would recommend this book to others. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susan | 7/31/2012

    " One of the few books I read again and again. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Debra | 6/3/2012

    " I liked it much better than "Death comes for the Archbishop". I now see why she is so redeemed as a great American author. I really liked the characters with all the their character flaws. I especially liked the ending...I was pleased that it turned out as life would, not a fairy tale ending. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wystan | 6/1/2012

    " I found myself very drawn into the story of this book, in which things happen but also not much happens. Wonderful characters, very rich. I felt like I really understood the motivations behind those old Nebraskan farmers and town people. Definitely recommended. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joseph Patterson | 5/24/2012

    " Very touching. I love when a book brings a tear to my eye. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kimberly | 5/20/2012

    " I did not expect to like this book, but I did. Likable, real characters. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 James | 4/16/2012

    " Held my attention the whole way through. Not many books can do that. True, I'm reading this for a class, but I found myself wanting to read it. And I might just read it again for fun! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Amy Smith | 3/29/2012

    " Overall it was an ok story...read it for American Novels. It turned out to be just as depressing as the other books we've read, but at least there were some bright points. If you like the style of older novels My Antonia is wonderful, but if you're not into classics like me, well its a classic... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Donna Meadows | 2/1/2012

    " Another 'required' reading in high school...I loved this book...and have thought about this book often through the years...Don't know why, but I think of a firefly in a jar when I remember My Antonia.... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Samara | 12/21/2011

    " I read this well after high school and on my own free time. I love it. It isn't one of those tough classics to get into, nor is it stale and mind-numbingly boring. A very good read! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Efshaw | 10/24/2011

    " the most amazing descriptions and use of words. "

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

    " An under-appreciated classic by a revolutionary female author. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Martha Meyers | 9/7/2011

    " Willa Cather is a wonderful author! Her characters are so well-defined that they just come to life. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Katie Kasben | 8/27/2011

    " It is so worth the journey into this world. This is just an incredible book and my life is richer for having read it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lincwright | 7/12/2011

    " Few authors write such clear, transcendent prose. I always feel better while reading a Willa Cather book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joanne | 6/30/2011

    " I love the Classics. I love the characters in this book. Lovely story and beautifully written. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ashley | 5/23/2011

    " I wasn't sure I was going to be able to get through this book, it being a classic book, but I loved it. I loved the way it was written, it was so descriptive and beautifully written... I could just picture everything so vividly in my mind. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cdenning5 | 5/22/2011

    " Love the style of Willa Cather. Good book about the west and enduring friendships. "

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

    " Excellent story about early American pioneers and the human condition.
    Easy to read- hard to put down. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathy | 5/19/2011

    " It took me too many years to finally read this book. I had a different story in mind. This was wonderful. Strong women. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Edie | 5/17/2011

    " Don't know how I missed reading this book when I was in my pioneer phase. Great book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katie | 5/15/2011

    " I love this book. I've read it three times over the past 15 years. The writing is poetic, realistic, and moving. You need to read it - especially if you've ever lived in the Midwest. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kaylan | 5/14/2011

    " Cather's flowing, poetic language makes this a quick, enjoyable read and the tenderness and realness of the characters therein is so touching. Reading this reminded me of how much I truly enjoy early 20th-century American literature. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lauren | 5/14/2011

    " I think the title is completely wrong for the book. If I think of it as a love story of the narrator's home land/town, it would be much more appropriate. I never felt like I could connect with Antonia and therefore found it a little unfulfilling. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lynda | 5/13/2011

    " She is a beautiful writer. She develops the characters fully. Probably high school "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Andrea | 5/12/2011

    " I must have never finished this book. I can't remember the ending, however I do know I was bored! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chris | 5/12/2011

    " I loved this book. I felt like I'd lived on the ranch and know how it is there! Such a wonderful, lovable character and an interesting life story well told. The last 2 meeting had me in tears. A very heart warming story! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Emily | 5/11/2011

    " Just a lovely book. Warmly captures a particular place and era in American history and a complex, eminently likable cast of characters. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lilly | 5/11/2011

    " Great book. Very interesting for me because the main character Antonia and few other characters in the book as well came to Nebraska from Bohemia ( Czech Republic from where I am from) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Katherine | 5/10/2011

    " This book wasn't on the reading lists when I was in school and after hearing a review of it on NPR I decided to read it. I found the story as spacious as the prairie itself. I have an appreciation for the subtleness of the plot and the picture of the times it created. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mary | 5/10/2011

    " The pictures that Willa Cather paints of Nebraska in the spring and the summer are breathtaking. An easy, gentle read. "

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