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Download The 42nd Parallel Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The 42nd Parallel Audiobook, by John Dos Passos Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,929 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: John Dos Passos Narrator: David Drummond Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The USA Trilogy Release Date: August 2010 ISBN: 9781400189106
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With his U.S.A. trilogy, comprising The 42nd Parallel, 1919, and The Big Money, John Dos Passos is said by many to have written the great American novel. While Fitzgerald and Hemingway were cultivating what Edmund Wilson once called their "own little corners," Dos Passos was taking on the world. Counted as one of the best novels of the twentieth century by the Modern Library and by some of the finest writers working today, U.S.A. is a grand, kaleidoscopic portrait of a nation, buzzing with history and life. The trilogy opens with The 42nd Parallel, where we find a young country at the dawn of the twentieth century. Slowly, in stories artfully spliced together, the lives and fortunes of five characters unfold. Mac, Janey, Eleanor, Ward, and Charley are caught on the storm track of this parallel and blown New Yorkward. As their lives cross and double back again, the likes of Eugene Debs, Thomas Edison, and Andrew Carnegie make cameo appearances. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • David Drummond is fully invested in the project.... His interpretation fits Dos Passos's unique style...Drummond's approach brings listeners into this distinctive fictional world with fervor and energy. AudioFile

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 John | 2/7/2014

    " Currently reading this as part of the entire trilogy, so the star rating is basically for the first third of the sequence. Entirely modern in some ways and a century old in others. All in all, some compelling narratives set amidst the tussle between capital and labor and impending war (WWI). Looking forward to the second book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Leslie | 1/19/2014

    " Amazing first book of Dos Passos' trilogy U.S.A. about life in America at the end of WW1. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Wayne G | 1/2/2014

    " The USA trilogy is one of the top five "books" I've ever read... and you should read all three in succession... the trilogy interweaves non-fiction and fiction the way Doctorow did in Ragtime and alternates in styles throughout... I LOVED the 2-3 page biographies of famous people at the turn of the 20th century... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Wil | 12/25/2013

    " It was a bit hard to appreciate as so many events were time-sensitive, but in general I liked his multiple approach to societal description. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carl | 12/18/2013

    " As the Romney-Obama election nears, the book seems even more relevant. Working stiffs looking for a break. Lives are fragmented; relationships are fragmented; education is spotty; morals so-so; definitely racist. Dos Passos does not romanticize the working man. But he does make it clear that, faults and all, he deserves better than he is getting from the corporations and the government. And he does make it clear that the rich are getting more than they deserve from the corporations and the government. Things have obviously improved since 1919, and all those improvement matter. Still, the USA is not an equitable society, and on that score, progress has turned to regress. Dos Passos ends this book with Charley Anderson heading off to drive an ambulance in WWI. I'm going to take a break and then come back to the second book in the trilogy, 1919. Having read a biography of Wilson not too long ago, I'll be interested to hear Dos Passos's take. "

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

    " I'm reading an old family copy of this book from a 1961 edition. I'm sure it will crumble as I turn the yellowed pages, but it's got great illustrations and fits in my pocket. This has been on my to read list forever. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jerry Landry | 11/29/2013

    " Great novel -- provided much insight into the everyday lives of people in the beginning of the 20th century. It does have a whole host of characters to keep up with, but for the most part, the characterizations are vivid enough that the reader can smoothly follow what's going on. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marie | 11/5/2013

    " This is another Modern period piece and part of the trilogy entitled USA. Dos Passos does a great job of showing the framentation of the political and social world right before WWI. I am currently working on the second part of this trilogy. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 James | 9/29/2013

    " American Dickens? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Clint | 9/10/2013

    " Part One of John Dos Passos' acclaimed U.S.A. Trilogy utilizes several modernist literary techniques to ultimately provide a stunning cross-section of class and culture in pre-WWI America. I eagerly look forward to reading Parts Two and Three. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jessie | 3/12/2013

    " This book is kind of ungainly, with flat characters and contrived plots, but it is somehow great in its portrayal of America. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brian | 12/26/2012

    " Book that makes me wonder why good books ever go out of print. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tyler | 10/14/2012

    " Let me just say: I think I've found what to do with my summer! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mollie | 2/11/2012

    " Engaging look at early twentieth-century America. Lots of different voices and locations give it an unusual tone. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lis | 1/29/2012

    " So engrossing that I missed my stop on the A train and wound up in Harlem. Some people can really tell a story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kristopher | 8/4/2011

    " This is already one of the most affecting books I've read in years. It's beautifully conceived, wonderfully written. I never wanted it to end. I can't wait to read the rest of the trilogy. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Eric | 6/22/2011

    " I believe historical fiction should read like the 42nd Parallel: maintain some boundaries between the real and the fiction. Of course, it's the real events leading Americans into the First World War that seem far more ridiculous than the fictional narratives that command most of the novel. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kristopher | 1/26/2011

    " This is already one of the most affecting books I've read in years. It's beautifully conceived, wonderfully written. I never wanted it to end. I can't wait to read the rest of the trilogy. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 K | 1/7/2011

    " Why isn't this book on everyone's list. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 SamanthaLee | 12/6/2010

    " Refreshing modernist novel that will make an active reader out of the most passive. I definitely want to complete the trilogy to see where the stories go. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brian | 9/12/2010

    " Book that makes me wonder why good books ever go out of print. "

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About the Author
Author John Dos Passos

John Dos Passos (1896–1970), a member of the Lost Generation, published more than forty works of fiction and nonfiction, including Three Soldiers and Manhattan Transfer.

About the Narrator

David Drummond has made his living as an actor for over twenty-five years, appearing on stages large and small throughout the country and in Seattle, Washington, his hometown. He has narrated over thirty audiobooks, in genres ranging from current political commentary to historical nonfiction, fantasy, military, thrillers, and humor. He received an AudioFile Earphones Award for his first audiobook, Love ’Em or Lose ’Em: Getting Good People to Stay. When not narrating, he keeps busy writing plays and stories for children.