The Ancient Minstrel: Novellas Audiobook, by Jim Harrison Play Audiobook Sample

Download The Ancient Minstrel: Novellas Audiobook

The Ancient Minstrel: Novellas Audiobook, by Jim Harrison Play Audiobook Sample
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Author: Jim Harrison Narrator: Mark Bramhall, Xe Sands, Keith Szarabajka Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Audio Length: Release Date: March 2016 Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download ISBN: 9781504685047

Publisher Description

New York Times bestselling author Jim Harrison is one of our most beloved and acclaimed writers, adored by both readers and critics. In The Ancient Minstrel, Harrison delivers three novellas that highlight his phenomenal range as a writer, shot through with his trademark wit and keen insight into the human condition.

Harrison has tremendous fun with his own reputation in the title novella, about an aging writer in Montana who spars with his estranged wife, with whom he still shares a home; weathers the slings and arrows of literary success; and tries to cope with the sow he buys on a whim and the unplanned litter of piglets that follow soon after. In “Eggs,” a Montana woman reminisces about staying in London with her grandparents and collecting eggs at their country house. Years later, having never had a child, she attempts to do so. And in “The Case of the Howling Buddhas,” retired Detective Sunderson—a recurring character from Harrison’s New York Times bestsellers The Great Leader and The Big Seven—is hired as a private investigator to look into a bizarre cult that achieves satori by howling along with howler monkeys at the zoo.

Fresh, incisive, and endlessly entertaining, with moments of both profound wisdom and sublime humor, The Ancient Minstrel is an exceptional reminder of why Jim Harrison is one of the most cherished and important writers at work today.

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  • “A trio full of [Harrison’s] trademark humor and insight.”

    - Boston Globe
  • “These novellas traverse Harrison’s familiar turf: the human relation to nature, how we live in it and consume it, how we believe we can rise above our natural urges and how often that makes us fools, and how nature’s mortal effects on humans always win in the end.”

    - Tampa Bay Times
  • “A blend of humor (much of it bawdy), sex (ditto), and observations on the human condition that verge on the profound. When reading Mr. Harrison, it’s not uncommon to guffaw one minute and go all transcendental the next.”

    - Washington Times
  • “Full of grace and humor…A fitting marker for Harrison’s life work.”

    - New West
  • “Jim Harrison’s novellas are always on point.”

    - BookRiot
  • “Three very different pieces with autobiographical elements in common…Grand entertainments all and a pleasure.”

    - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
  • “One of his loosest and most playful books…witty and inspired.”

    - Booklist (starred review)
  • “Three narrators interpret Harrison’s distinctive voice and outlook, and each conveys perfectly the contrary and carefully balanced elements that make up the three central characters. The individual stories are mainly third-person narrative with little dialogue or sustained action—making the narrator’s voice that much more important and defining. Mark Bramhall…and Keith Szarabajka bring to maximum effect Harrison’s randy old-man humor and the verbal richness of his style. Xe Sands, working with a quieter and more nuanced story, captures most effectively the intricate bond between people and their livestock. Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.”

    - AudioFile
  • “One of our grand old writers, Harrison has a way with novellas…and these pieces are classic.”

    - Library Journal
  • “It is fitting that for his final book, Jim Harrison return[ed] to the novella, a form that he spent more than three decades breathing fresh life into. The Ancient Minstrel, a collection of two novellas and one longish short story, is the author unadorned, warty and ruminative as ever.”

    - BookPage


  • A Pick for Most Anticipated Books of 2016
  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month for March 2016
  • A New York Times Editor’s Choice
  • A BookRiot Pick for Most Anticipated Reads of 2016 
  • A Boston Globe Pick for 23 of the Most Anticipated Books of 2016 
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award

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About the Author

Jim Harrison (1937–2016) was the author of over thirty-five books of poetry, nonfiction, and fiction, including Legends of the Fall, The Road Home, The English Major, and The Farmer’s Daughter. His writing appeared in the New Yorker, Esquire, Sports Illustrated, Playboy, and the New York Times. He earned a National Endowment for the Arts grant, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Spirit of the West Award from the Mountains & Plains Booksellers Association. His work has been recognized worldwide and published in twenty-two languages.

About the Narrators

Mark Bramhall has won the prestigious Audie Award for best narration, more than thirty AudioFile Earphones Awards, and has repeatedly been named by AudioFile magazine and Publishers Weekly among their “Best Voices of the Year.” He is also an award-winning actor whose acting credits include off-Broadway, regional, and many Los Angeles venues as well as television, animation, and feature films. He has taught and directed at the American Academy of Dramatic Art.

Xe Sands has more than a decade of experience bringing stories to life through narration, performance, and visual art, including recordings of the Nightwalkers series from Jaquelyn Frank. She has received several honors, including AudioFile Earphones Awards and a coveted Audie Award, and she was named Favorite Debut Romance Narrator of 2011 in the Romance Audiobooks poll.

Keith Szarabajka has appeared in many films, including The Dark Knight, Missing, and A Perfect World, and on such television shows as The Equalizer, Angel, Cold Case, Golden Years, and Profit. Szarabajka has also appeared in several episodes of Selected Shorts for National Public Radio. He won the 2001 Audie Award for Unabridged Fiction for his reading of Tom Robbins’s Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates and has won several Earphones Awards.