Extended Audio Sample

Download Oral History Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample Oral History (Unabridged) Audiobook, by Lee Smith
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (1,673 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Lee Smith Narrator: Full Cast Publisher: Recorded Books Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2004 ISBN:
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Oral History, the lyrical saga of a Virginia mountain family, follows four generations of Cantrells over more than a century. With each chapter, Lee Smith, a master of regional voices, adds another branch to a family tree that sings with secrets and sadness, beauty and joy. Researching an assignment for an Oral History course, Jennifer drives to the Virginia hills where her mother and father grew up. Raised by a stepmother, the young college student wonders why her father never talks of her real mother or relatives. So from the moment she steps out of the car, Jennifer is intrigued by the mystery of her heritage. One by one, the Cantrells tell of lives filled with vitality, colored by the land and family history. Through the voices of a full cast of narrators, Lee Smith's remarkable novel becomes a truly extraordinary listening experience. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Your Excellency | 2/12/2014

    " Borrrring...sorry! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ashley | 2/10/2014

    " I had to read this for a college course. I liked it, but read it in one night for an exam the next day. I really wasn't able to enjoy it the way I should have. It was a neat story, though. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Natalie | 1/21/2014

    " An amazing and fun story of people up in the mountains. It tells the story of the family line from different people throughout the family's history. An engaging read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anabil Flores | 1/14/2014

    " Really enjoyed reading this book. It was an English assignment and I truly did not think it was going to be this good. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nancy | 1/7/2014

    " Lee Smith has the unique ability to get inside her characters and project each vantage point...perfectly. Historical way of life in Appalachia with cherished customs, music, folklore, and drawl that still echo from craggy mountains and hidden "hollers" today. Loved the unexpected conversation at the end of the book between Lee Smith and Jink! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michaela | 1/4/2014

    " Once again: I love characterization. Lee Smith tells the story of generations of an Appalachian Mountain family in first person, but as many people. You have the old Granny at first with her traditional way of speaking, a young school teacher from Richmond with his pretentious language, all the way up to a modern-day hill-billy country diction. It's incredible how the author changed her voice throughout the novel to match her characters. I loved the book! "

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

    " Fantastic book. I read this for a class in college on Southern writers. At first I wasn't sure I'd like it, boy was I wrong! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Megan | 11/29/2013

    " If you ever get a chance to see Lee Smith in person, do so. She's v entertaining. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susie | 11/1/2013

    " Another great story by Lee Smith. I love southern writers,don't know why. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ron | 10/31/2013

    " An interesting book by a good southern writer. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Barbara | 10/29/2013

    " This was one of my "liten and walk" books. I would advise reading the words as I found it somewhat hard to follow. May just do that as I think if were to reread it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sandy | 10/29/2013

    " Lee Smith is a native of the mountains of the south. She takes her reader though a kind of life, past and present, that most readers could only imagine. I am glad to have read about the southern mountain people in a book written by a skillful, native guide. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rae | 3/17/2013

    " I did a 25 page paper in graduate school on this book. My thesis was something about the presence of black magic and witchcraft as it mingles with Southern Baptist ritual in rural Appalachia. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ann Lewis | 11/18/2012

    " The idea was good, but I would have enjoyed a cleaner version more. The middle section was a bit rough in places. I did like the Family History approach and finding the family stories. I just would rather do with out the sexual abuse/encounters that were described. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Lee | 10/6/2012

    " Thought this was another of her books. Actually haven't read this one. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Debra | 6/18/2012

    " It felt like a bad Peyton Place meets Appalacia with a witch thrown in. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cathy | 3/1/2012

    " This story takes place in the mountains of Virginia, where my life story bones lie. It was close to my heart to read. Lee Smith is a wonderful writer! But I love this book because of the familiarity of it -- it was like reading my journal or my grandmother's journal. Sigh . . . "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kate | 2/29/2012

    " Very authentic voices, but disjointed and plotless. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Melissa | 1/27/2012

    " this book is so beautifully written, it's like a movie where the cinematography is so gorgeous you want to rewind and watch certain parts again - i kept re-reading certain sentences. one of my all time favorite books. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jodie Norton | 11/6/2011

    " Lee Smith is a "local" author, I think from Shawsville, VA. I also think she studied at Hollins University in Roanoke. Excellent story about life in rural Virginia back when. I recommend this, as well at Fair and Tender Ladies, and Saving Grace. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John | 10/31/2011

    " This book was my introduction to Lee Smith. An Incredible read. One of the most entrancing and haunting beginnings to a novel that I have ever read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pattie | 10/25/2011

    " Even though I'm a Yankee through and through, Lee Smith is one of my favorite authors. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathy | 7/11/2011

    " I am captivated by the way Lee Smith can capture the heart and soul of the Appalachian people! The language and way of life seems to be spot-on! Looking forward to reading additional books by this author! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anita Clenney Clenney | 6/29/2011

    " Not my usual taste in books, but this was hard to put down. Very authentic, kept me interested. Love this author. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Carin | 5/10/2011

    " My bookclub read this one. It is a bit of a strange book. I didn't really like it but it was interesting, about a sub-culture I know nothing about. (Churches that do snake "charming" etc.) I guess in the end I found the main character kind of annoying. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Caitlin | 4/19/2011

    " read for Southern Lit, spring 11 "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Berkles | 4/16/2011

    " Smith owes a huge debt to O'Connor, but at least she acknowledges it. The ending feels flat, but genuine to the character of Grace. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Denise | 3/10/2011

    " Great book! The text flows easy and freely. The characters are realistic as well. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jennifer | 12/20/2010

    " This is a great book. It's a little strange and depressing, but totally worth the read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amy | 9/27/2010

    " This book is wonderful. The story comes full circle; each section is distinctly different and unpredictable (except for the parts that the narrator wants us to know); and the end leaves you wondering and wanting more. A++++ "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathy | 9/3/2010

    " A wonderful character and disturbing story. Such vivid fiction you feel like you're in the middle of a documentary about Appalachia, snake handlers, and fundamentalists. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Barb | 7/2/2010

    " My good friend passed this on to me. A fascinating book about believers in "signs" like snake handling in Appalachia. Lee Smith makes her characters so believable. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anita Clenney | 4/6/2010

    " Love this writer. Even though I don't normally read this type of book, she brings a poignancy to her stories that make it hard to put down. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ann | 3/22/2010

    " Interesting story of the about fundamentalist belief. Humility and humanity are present everywhere in this novel. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wendy | 3/11/2010

    " Another different view of someone's life. Not too intense, very interesting and I really enjoyed it. It was a random pick up from the library. I would like to read more by this author.
    "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mich | 12/5/2009

    " interesting read about poor applachian girl who's dad is a snake handler fanatic.
    yeah, i'd say read this one "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Amander | 11/8/2009

    " The first half, it totally had me captive--well-written, vivid characterization and good story. The second half, it went off the deep end a bit, and I was a little disappointed. But it was truthful. I recommend Gods in Alabama if you liked this book. :) "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Becky | 9/26/2009

    " One of the most depressing, sad books I have ever listened to. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rtyndall40 | 8/2/2009

    " I really wanted to like this book! I liked Grace but everyone else in the book seemed distant. Rich characters but it was hard to like or empathise with any of them because their flaws were so raw. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Juli | 8/1/2009

    " A well-written story about Grace's crazy life in Eastern Tennessee that kept me wanting to sit down and finish it quickly. I fell in love with Grace and could relate to her struggles with God as she viewed Him through her own experiences versus others' experience in Church and with life. "

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About the Author
Author Lee Smith

Lee Smith is a New York Times bestselling novelist. She has written numerous novels and short story collections, including Saving Grace, Fair and Tender Ladies, and a novella, The Christmas Letters. Her novel The Last Girls won the Southern Book Critics Circle Award and the North Carolina Award for Literature; two of her short story collections also won the O. Henry Award. Smith currently lives in Hillsborough, North Carolina.