Extended Audio Sample

Download The All-True Travels and Adventures of Lidie Newton Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The All-True Travels and Adventures of Lidie Newton Audiobook, by Jane Smiley Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,221 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jane Smiley Narrator: Anna Fields Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2000 ISBN: 9780375417085
Regular Price: $24.95 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $20.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

Six years after her Pulitzer Prize-winning bestseller, A Thousand Acres, and three years after her witty, acclaimed, and bestselling novel of academe, Moo, Jane Smiley once again demonstrates her extraordinary range and brilliance.

Her new novel, set in the 1850s, speaks to us in a splendidly quirky voice—the strong, wry, no-nonsense voice of Lidie Harkness of Quincy, Illinois, a young woman of courage, good sense, and good heart. It carries us into an America so violently torn apart by the question of slavery that it makes our current political battlegrounds seem a peaceable kingdom.

Lidie is hard to scare. She is almost shockingly alive—a tall, plain girl who rides and shoots and speaks her mind, and whose straightforward ways paradoxically amount to a kind of glamour. We see her at twenty, making a good marriage—to Thomas Newton, a steady, sweet-tempered Yankee who passes through her hometown on a dangerous mission. He belongs to a group of rashly brave New England abolitionists who dedicate themselves to settling the Kansas Territory with like-minded folk to ensure its entering the Union as a Free State.

Lidie packs up and goes with him. And the novel races alongside them into the Territory, into the maelstrom of “Bloody Kansas,” where slaveholding Missourians constantly and viciously clash with Free Staters, where wandering youths kill you as soon as look at you—where Lidie becomes even more fervently abolitionist than her husband as the young couple again and again barely escape entrapment in webs of atrocity on both sides of the great question.

And when, suddenly, cold-blooded murder invades her own intimate circle, Lidie doesn't falter. She cuts off her hair, disguises herself as a boy, and rides into Missouri in search of the killers—a woman in a fiercely male world, an abolitionist spy in slave territory. On the run, her life threatened, her wits sharpened, she takes on yet another identity—and, in the very midst of her masquerade, discovers herself.

Lidie grows increasingly important to us as we follow her travels and adventures on the feverish eve of the War Between the States. With its crackling portrayal of a totally individual and wonderfully articulate woman, its storytelling drive, and its powerful recapturing of an almost forgotten part of the American story, this is Jane Smiley at her enthralling and enriching best.

Download and start listening now!

BK_RAND_000042

Quotes & Awards

  • A 1998 New York Times Notable Book for Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lori | 2/16/2014

    " Slogged through 1/2 of its 400+ pages before giving it up. Didn't pique. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer | 2/13/2014

    " Oh...it just got really good...rubbing my hands back and forth in anticipation! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sandy | 2/12/2014

    " Jane Smiley is good but this one didn't leave much of an impression. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linda | 2/6/2014

    " I would have liked to have given this book a 3.5 rating. I could have put it down at any time and never picked it up again. BUT, it was a good history lesson. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sylvia | 2/3/2014

    " I loved this book. It was almost like living in those years with her. The only Jane Smiley book I have really enjoyed. The sense of the time, the travel on the rivers, by horse -- family life, death and politics are all wonderfully outlined. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 CJ | 1/20/2014

    " When I started this book, I was taken by the writing style and format of the story. A little further in, it seemed to become tedious so I skipped over passages here and there. The final three chapters brought me back, but over 400 pages? Too long... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shirley | 1/20/2014

    " This is a adventurous book about the time around the Civil War in the midwest - very fun. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 emma | 12/26/2013

    " an epic read, one of Smiley's best yet. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Lanette | 11/27/2013

    " This is one of the few books that I absolutely could not force myself to finish. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pam | 11/12/2013

    " Not up to her par with The Thousand Acres. Somewhat interesting to read the history of the early Kansas territory and the beginnings of the Civil War in that area. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ed | 6/3/2013

    " After the first 10 minutes of this audio book, I didn't think I would like it, but it quickly picked up, was entertaining, fairly easy to follow plus kept my attention the entire book. I might even listen again some day. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ellie | 3/9/2013

    " I couldn't finish this book -- too long. I really like Smiley's earlier books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ruthanne | 2/5/2013

    " Set in the 1800s during the last years of slavery. Lidie Newton is a strong woman who has a hard road to travel. A touching, realistic story I read when I lived in Kansas. Made me feel a bit better about living there at the time. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Virginia | 5/17/2012

    " This book had a plodding character, save the last 100 pages. The protagonist was captivating but the men were disappointingly flat. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lori | 4/24/2012

    " If you don't know Jane Smilely, you should get familiar. She's an excellent author, and this book is different than her norm. I was inspired by Lidie Newton and wish she could have been my friend. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marie | 3/11/2012

    " gritty, independent woman marries an abolitionist and ends up in pre-Civil War Kansas during the conflict with Missouri "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ann | 3/6/2012

    " unfortunately forgettable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lynette | 12/27/2011

    " A fascinating historical fiction about the free-staters who came west from New England to help keep Kansas a state without slaves, and the challenges among and between the abolitionists and those who wanted slaves. Told from the perspective of a woman. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Melody | 1/28/2011

    " I finished 'book 1' of this book, and couldn't make it through 'book 2.' It was an interesting read, but not interesting enough to get through it all. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sandy | 1/9/2011

    " Jane Smiley is good but this one didn't leave much of an impression. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jan | 1/8/2011

    " I loved the KS-Lawrence-MO setting and learned a lot from this book. I'd forgotten about it until I was explaining how much I liked this author! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ed | 10/15/2010

    " After the first 10 minutes of this audio book, I didn't think I would like it, but it quickly picked up, was entertaining, fairly easy to follow plus kept my attention the entire book. I might even listen again some day. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Connie | 8/29/2010

    " This was historically very interesting and I enjoyed the characters, but wouldn't call it a Must Read! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kyria | 7/30/2010

    " Enjoyed it, and learned a lot about Kansas in the 1850's. Not a place I would want to be living!! Wouldn't call it a fantastic book though, as it dragged a bit in some parts, and just wasn't what I was expecting it to be. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Judy | 6/28/2010

    " life in Lawrence, KS in late 1800's. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeanne | 6/19/2010

    " A woman's experiences in pre-civil war USA. Well written "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Marshaferz | 6/19/2010

    " It was just too slow for me. I liked Lidie, but she was written so passively that I couldn't stay awake. "

Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations
About the Author
Author Jane SmileyJANE SMILEY is the author of eleven novels, including the Pulitzer Prize–winning A Thousand Acres, and three works of nonfiction. She was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2001. Smiley lives in Northern California.
About the Narrator

Kate Fleming (a.k.a. Anna Fields) (1965–2006), winner of more than a dozen Earphones Awards and the prestigious Audie Award in 2004, was one of the most respected narrators in the industry. Trained at the Actors Theatre of Louisville, she was also a director, producer, and technician at her own studio, Cedar House Audio.