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Extended Audio Sample Pasadena: A Novel, by David Ebershoff Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (301 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: David Ebershoff Narrator: Lorna Raver Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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This sweeping, richly imagined novel charts the rapid transformation of Southern California from frontier to suburb during the first half of the twentieth century. At the story’s center is Linda Stamp, a fisher girl born in 1903 on a coastal farm in San Diego’s North County, and the three men who upend her life and vie for her affection: her pragmatic farming brother, Edmund; Captain Willis Poore, a Pasadena rancher with a heroic military past; and Bruder, the mysterious young man Linda’s father brings home from World War I. Through the darkly handsome Bruder, Linda glimpses love and a world beyond her own. She follows him to the seemingly greener pastures of Pasadena, where he is the foreman of a flourishing orange ranch, the homestead and inheritance of the charming bachelor Willis Poore.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Pasadena is not merely a wondrous novel about California. It is a breathtakingly powerful novel about America. Here is an altogether mesmerizing story of a world forever transformed, as well as one of the most authentic and beautiful love stories I’ve ever read. Pure and simple, this book is a treasure.”

    Chris Bohjalian, New York Times bestselling author of The Secrets of Eden and Midwives

  • Pasadena is like a grand opera…Ebershoff must be applauded for the grandness of his design, for grand characters, for grand setting, and…for his grand vision of Pasadena as the center of ‘real history.’”

    Los Angeles Times Book Review

  • “Full of detail and unerring language…magically evokes the rich and varied landscape of Southern California.”

    Boston Sunday Globe

  • “Both a triumph of historical re-creation and a full-bodied romance…You feel that, if you were transported back to Pasadena in 1925, Ebershoff’s book would enable you to find your way around perfectly.”

    Baltimore Sun

  • “Ebershoff’s crafting of characters is so sharp, so perfect, that we ache for most of them…[He] has us in thrall, and every word he writes counts.”

    Fort Worth Star-Telegram

  • “A luxurious tragedy…gorgeous, full of romance and disaster…Pasadena is a novel to get lost in.”

    Christian Science Monitor

  • “Rich with exuberant details…difficult to put down…Ebershoff has a luxuriant way with words, and through his beautiful prose he includes readers in the intrigue of a swiftly passing shop window, the refinement of a well-made lobster trap, and the coarseness of a saloon filled with whores and their clients. The many details bring us closer to each character’s motives, and when the last page is read we may even realize that the book moved us to a different time and place—just like a good book should.”

    Amazon.com Review

  • “Lorna Raver performs with great intelligence and enthusiasm. Her flexible voice reaches from sultry to shrill to raspy effortlessly.”


  • “Linda and Bruder are soulfully reminiscent of Emily Brontë’s ill-fated Cathy and Heathcliff and their tragic depiction of unfulfilled romantic passion in Wuthering Heights. This is a rich blend of California history in a well mastered plot that maintains an enduring element of surprise.”


  • “A meticulously researched narrative that combines elements of gothic fairy tale, nineteenth-century romance, and the rise and decline of an enchanted American city, Pasadena is a traditional family saga in the very best sense.”

    Carolyn See, author of The Handyman

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Alison | 2/19/2014

    " A huge sweeping novel of a family that settles in Southern California at a time when it is still undeveloped and vastly different from the East Coast. It is also an ill-fated love story which is the real heart of the novel. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Debbi | 2/17/2014

    " I read this several years ago and saw David speak at Vroman's. Scenes still pop up in my mind as I drive around Pasadena. It's so deliciously visual and heartbreaking. I can still feel the sweat on the workers in the orange groves. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Judy | 2/16/2014

    " Having grown up in the Pasadena area, and moving back here as an adult, I enjoyed reading this book purely for the fact that Mr. Ebershoff did an impressive job of weaving together much of Pasadena's history. Unfortunately, that can not be said for the story or for the characters. The story within a story with Bruder pouring his secrets out to Mr. Blackwood was simply not believable. Mr. Ebershoff wants to create a history that is akin to East of Eden, but sadly, Great American Novel material, this is not. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Martha Newman | 2/15/2014

    " I liked it. But it was a convoluted story and the characters were a little vague and you don't have a good sense of what motivates them. It would make a good miniseries. "

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