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Extended Audio Sample Spoon River Anthology Audiobook, by Edgar Lee Masters Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (6,657 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Edgar Lee Masters Narrator: Deaver Brown Publisher: Simply Magazine Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: December 2010 ISBN: 9781614960928
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Spoon River Anthology has over two hundred accounts of the lives of people in the town that explain its goings on over a couple of centuries. Each free form verse is presented as an epitaph of one of the citizens delivered themselves, often criticizing the words said about them on their tombstone or the monument or stone left above them. The stories build on one another as well as reference various family members and others mentioned in other stories.

The interplay between successful and unsuccessful, those who think they are high born, as one successful man thought, but was actually the illegitimate child of an old woman who never got to nurture her own successful child. These interplays move the story forward as well as our hearts in reading them.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patty | 2/20/2014

    " A very interesting little book. I enjoyed looking back on the lives of a small town. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Grey853 | 2/9/2014

    " If you like poems that tell a story, this is the one for you. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kdesoto | 2/9/2014

    " I didn't like this book very much. It was tombstone poetry in chronological order. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ashley | 1/25/2014

    " There are some very dry monologues, but the great ones are worth searching for. Lucinda Matlock, Elsa Wertman, for example. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dana | 1/17/2014

    " I first read these poems when I was in 9th grade. I was very intrigued by them, as they are all written by "residents" of Spoon River's cemetary. They were interesting poems and they made me feel as if I was learning dirty little secrets that only I shared with the characters. It's a quick read, but it really made me think about the things that people do that we may never know... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cristina | 1/8/2014

    " This was one of my text books used for Second year of acting, character work. Excellent for breaking down and embodying characters. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jen | 1/6/2014

    " die-lightful "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julie | 1/2/2014

    " I always love a good anthology. My review at this blog. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Andrew | 1/1/2014

    " More people should read this... it's modern epic poetry. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jim Gallen | 12/19/2013

    " Listen to the wisdom and enjoy. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alexis | 12/15/2013

    " i really loved how the imagery was clear and how everyone connected to one another in a way "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cristina | 12/11/2013

    " This was one of my text books used for Second year of acting, character work. Excellent for breaking down and embodying characters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cindi | 11/19/2013

    " When the dead of Spoon River Cemetery rise and tell their stories, one never knows what to expect: delight, depression, horror, despair, joy, sadness....all the emotions that make up the human condition. A remarkable work. A delight to read for Halloween!!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marlena | 11/12/2013

    " The poems have a sense of dramatics to them. Although I feel the thematics get redundant, trying to picture each poem and putting them all together is very entertaining. I look forward to doing dramatic work with, ironically my favorite piece of the book, "Flossie Cabanis". "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lucy | 11/6/2013

    " If this is what i think it is.. It is a collection of stories of how people lived and died in the same town of Spoon River. My cousin Laura and I both did scenes from it for drama class. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kathryn | 8/23/2013

    " How can you not love Midwestern gothic poetry? George Gray and Fiddler Jones run through my head all the time. These poems remind me how timeless our 'modern' troubles are. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marcel | 8/20/2013

    " The birth of Midwestern Gothic? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mel | 8/11/2013

    " I am not usually a great lover of poetry but I enjoyed reading this. What really interested me were the little puzzle pieces of interconnected lives (and deaths) found in almost every verse. I don't agree with the idea that this is "the original poetic indictment of small-town secrets" or an effort to "expose the ugly truths" and hypocrisy of small towns in the Midwest, as I've gathered from almost every professional analysis of this work. Why is it that literary critics are always in such a rush to see tales of human weakness as indictments of traditional or regional values? I saw this as a collection of human lives, fraught with human strengths and weaknesses. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sheri Fresonke Harper | 7/24/2013

    " character sketches of people in a town "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tammy | 7/17/2013

    " Ghosts with issues? What is not to love? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Deirdre | 7/7/2013

    " Loved this since I saw a production on TV. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 The Lau Azure Door | 7/7/2013

    " Stories from the hill, some nice, some are dark, some are not that funny "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alice | 7/5/2013

    " Masters is one of my favorite poets with George Gray being my favorite poem.I recommend this to anyone who loves poetry. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Emma | 6/30/2013

    " I loved this book. It's dark, it's not cheerful, but that haunting, illuminating quality is exactly what endears it to me. There are lovely sparks of wisdom throughout, which does help give some pop to the occasional monotony of everyone's drama and deceit. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rin | 6/4/2013

    " this book is neat. each poem is someone's story "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Andrea | 5/28/2013

    " Many Free verse Poems telling a stroy of a town from their graves. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carol Rose Stark Neal | 2/14/2013

    " Masters was a contemporary and competitor of Drieser and Sandburg. This book made a splash like the Kinsie report for its sexual content. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kelly Gallagher | 12/10/2012

    " Ech. Overrated, but I think I only came to that conclusion because I'm not too interested in seeing the poetry in the context of its time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lucy | 12/10/2012

    " If this is what i think it is.. It is a collection of stories of how people lived and died in the same town of Spoon River. My cousin Laura and I both did scenes from it for drama class. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Charles | 11/12/2012

    " This book is the source material for a great CD. The Hill by Richard Buckner. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kathryn | 10/4/2012

    " How can you not love Midwestern gothic poetry? George Gray and Fiddler Jones run through my head all the time. These poems remind me how timeless our 'modern' troubles are. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jim Gallen | 10/3/2012

    " Listen to the wisdom and enjoy. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Emma | 9/24/2012

    " I loved this book. It's dark, it's not cheerful, but that haunting, illuminating quality is exactly what endears it to me. There are lovely sparks of wisdom throughout, which does help give some pop to the occasional monotony of everyone's drama and deceit. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rustam | 8/13/2012

    " I think this is a staple at many high schools around the country. This collection of poems/vignettes introduced me to the depth and darkness of small-town life. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Matt | 8/11/2012

    " Haunting and fun to read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John Young | 8/3/2012

    " A favorite of mine... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Angie | 5/9/2012

    " Poetry is not a favorite for me, but I was interested in this book because it is so unique. It's a collection of epitaphs of the residents of Spoon River. The deceased themselves have written the epitaphs and shown a side of themselves they may not have shown in life. Really excellent! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bethany | 5/4/2012

    " A favorite since I discovered it in high school. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jessica | 1/2/2012

    " Context. I was in the piece as a performance at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2003. I owe it another read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lisa B | 11/17/2011

    " Have owned this book for years - poems about people who have died and are all buried in the cemetery on the hill. Some are comical, some are not - all wonderful windows into the lives of each of these individuals. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Daniel | 10/3/2011

    " but the poems themselves just aren't that good! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah Key | 10/1/2011

    " By far one of the most depressing things I have read all year. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Martha | 7/13/2011

    " I read these poems over and over. Using the form of an epitaph he gives wonderful word pictures of people in his town. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Caittyloohoo | 6/29/2011

    " i was zilpha marsh,
    and had to act out my poem as i saw it.
    after that and learning my way around analyzing poetry i grew a new found love for poems like these. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 John | 6/28/2011

    " I had read anthologized selections of this but never the whole book. I recommend that approach. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lisa B | 5/16/2011

    " Have owned this book for years - poems about people who have died and are all buried in the cemetery on the hill. Some are comical, some are not - all wonderful windows into the lives of each of these individuals. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carol Rose Stark | 5/15/2011

    " Masters was a contemporary and competitor of Drieser and Sandburg. This book made a splash like the Kinsie report for its sexual content. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sandra | 5/2/2011

    " I struggle with poetry and the discipline it takes to read it. Spoon River Anthology is not an easy read but well worth the effort. I know it will not leave my mind. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ashley | 4/11/2011

    " There are some very dry monologues, but the great ones are worth searching for. Lucinda Matlock, Elsa Wertman, for example. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Wendy | 4/10/2011

    " Probably 2.5 stars. Overall, I found this to be very depressing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah | 3/30/2011

    " By far one of the most depressing things I have read all year. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Beth | 3/29/2011

    " Reading this again in anticipation of teaching creative writing next school year. Now that I'm done, I will have to choose carefully so that my students don't get bored. I'm going to combine it with a trip to the local cemetery and our own stories. Should be fun! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cindi | 1/12/2011

    " When the dead of Spoon River Cemetery rise and tell their stories, one never knows what to expect: delight, depression, horror, despair, joy, sadness....all the emotions that make up the human condition. A remarkable work. A delight to read for Halloween!!! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Megs | 1/4/2011

    " It was good; it was heart-breaking and morbid and sad and lovely. I really appreciated the writing style and concept, but when reading it, my heart wasn't in it--which is, of course, not fair to the book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jadedragon | 12/29/2010

    " When you keep reading this fun and fantastic book and the whole town starts to come together, it is thrilling. I loved this book. I read it years ago and it still resonates in my mind! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chrissie | 12/13/2010

    " My heart, not my head, has dictated how many stars I have given this book! I can think of many reasons why I should give it more, but three is what I feel is right for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dana | 12/6/2010

    " Fictional tale of life and death told from the inhabitants of a small cemetery on a hill. Each life story encapsulated in a few brief sentences. Moving and unique. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Manuela | 11/25/2010

    " Letto per la scuola, ma l'ho apprezzato moltissimo. "

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About the Author
Author Edgar Lee Masters

Edgar Lee Masters (1868–1950) was an American poet, biographer, and dramatist. He published over thirty books, including biographies of Abraham Lincoln, Mark Twain, and Walt Whitman.

About the Narrator

Deaver Brown is an author and entrepreneur. He is a graduate of Harvard Business School, and his books include Crucial Conversations, Presidential Wisdom, George Washington: Farewell Address, and numerous others.