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Download San Miguel Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample San Miguel, by T. C. Boyle Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,031 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: T. C. Boyle Narrator: Barbara Caruso Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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From the New York Times bestselling author of The Women comes a historical novel about three women’s lives on a California island.

On a tiny, desolate, windswept island off the coast of Southern California, two families, one in the 1880s and one in the 1930s, come to start new lives and pursue dreams of self-reliance and freedom. Their extraordinary stories, full of struggle and hope, are the subject of T. C. Boyle’s haunting novel.

Thirty-eight-year-old Marantha Waters arrives on San Miguel on New Year’s Day 1888 to restore her failing health. Joined by her husband, a stubborn, driven Civil War veteran who will take over the operation of the sheep ranch on the island, Marantha strives to persevere in the face of the hardships, some anticipated and some not, of living in such brutal isolation. Two years later their adopted teenage daughter, Edith, an aspiring actress, will exploit every opportunity to escape the captivity her father has imposed on her. Time closes in on them all and as the new century approaches, the ranch stands untenanted. And then in March 1930, Elise Lester, a librarian from New York City, settles on San Miguel with her husband, Herbie, a World War I veteran full of manic energy. As the years go on they find a measure of fulfillment and serenity; Elise gives birth to two daughters, and the family even achieves a celebrity of sorts. But will the peace and beauty of the island see them through the impending war as it had seen them through the Depression?

Rendered in Boyle’s accomplished, assured voice, with great period detail and utterly memorable characters, this is a moving and dramatic work from one of America’s most talented and inventive storytellers.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Mesmerizing and elegiac.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “An absorbing work of historical fiction based on the lives of two real families who resided on San Miguel Island in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries…The intensity of Boyle’s narrative never lets it flag.”

    Washington Post

  • “As always, [Boyle] fills his pages with wonderfully precise character studies and lush descriptions of the physical landscape.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “Boyle’s spirited novels are a reckoning with consequence laced with humor, insight, and pathos…Boyle has carved out a beautiful, damp, atmospheric novel, sharp and exacting, with the tip of a rusty knife on a piece of driftwood.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “In T. C. Boyle’s San Miguel, two strong women generations apart are seduced and mistreated by the same powerful entity—not a man but a starkly beautiful, barely inhabited island off the California coast…Boyle portrays the heartbreaking toll San Miguel takes on these couples in a novel as beguiling as the island itself.”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • “[Boyle’s] evocations of landscape are vivid and he can dream up a cast of characters—the families, their hired hands, their visitors by sea and later by air—with verve.”

    Guardian (London)

  • “Ripe with exhaustively researched period detail, Boyle’s epic saga of struggle, loss, and resilience tackles Pacific pioneer history with literary verve. [He] subtly interweaves the fates of Native Americans, Irish immigrants, Spanish and Italian migrant workers, and Chinese fisherman into the Waters’ and Lesters’ lives, but the novel is primarily a history of the land itself, unchanging despite its various visitors and residents, and as beautiful, imperfect, and unrelenting as Boyle’s characters.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “The fourteenth novel from Boyle returns to the Channel Islands off the coast of California, a setting which served him so well in his previous novel…What may seem to some like paradise offers no happy endings in this fine novel.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A Los Angeles Times Bestseller
  • A Kirkus Reviews Top 25 Book, September 2012
  • A 2012 Kansas City Star Top 100 Book for Fiction
  • A 2012 BookPage Best Book for Fiction
  • A 2012 San Francisco Chronicle Best Book for Fiction
  • One of the 2012 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Kasa Cotugno | 2/20/2014

    " T C Boyle has found his niche -- after remaining unclassifiable through years of writing diverse works that roamed all possibilities but never settled on one genre, he has taken to a form of historical fiction that breathes life into the past. As he lives in Santa Barbara, in the only Frank Lloyd Wright house in the area, his fascination with his city's past has resulted in several explorations. This latest tells the story of San Miguel Island through the eyes of three women who lived there, two in the late 1800's and one during the 1930's. He brings a modern understanding to earlier times in a way no other author does, and because of his personal attraction to the area, fills the pages with more than usual period detail and verisimilitude. Highly recommended. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Stephanie | 2/9/2014

    " Beautifully written, terrifically depressing. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Michael Jenkins | 2/6/2014

    " Although this book started off interesting, it did not pull me in. As intriguing as it was, the characters felt to interest me throughout and find myself questioning why I even bothered. There are a few things that I look for in a novel and this one lacked the crucial things. The content of the story itself was good but too many loopholes and inconsistency. However I will say that the first part of the story had potential but did not bother to suffer through the other parts. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Janis Risch | 2/3/2014

    " One of my favorite authors. Enjoyed the book. "

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