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Download The Coalwood Way: A Memoir Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Coalwood Way: A Memoir Audiobook, by Homer Hickam Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (617 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Homer Hickam Narrator: David Lansbury Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2000 ISBN: 9780553753165
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It is fall 1959. Homer “Sonny” Hickam and his fellow Rocket Boys are in their senior year at Big Creek High, and the town of Coalwood finds itself at a painful crossroads. 

The strains can be felt within the Hickam home, where Homer Sr. struggles to save the mine, and his wife, Elsie, is feeling increasingly isolated from both her family and the townspeople. Sonny, despite a blossoming relationship with a local girl, finds his own mood darkened by an unexplainable sadness. 

Then, with the holidays approaching, trouble at the mine and the arrival of a beautiful young outsider bring unexpected changes in both the Hickam family and the town of Coalwood ... as this luminous memoir moves toward its poignant conclusion.

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Listener Opinions

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

    " At first I was worried that it would repeat a lot of the Rocket Boy's book, because it covers a lot of the same time frame. But, his focus is different and I really liked his writing style and felt like I sort of had a better idea what in the heck teenage boys have goin' on inside their heads. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jane | 2/17/2014

    " I thought this book was an excellent story of small town life in a West Virginia mining town during the 1950's. I grew up in a small town in Florida, yet could relate to Hickam's humor and description of Coalwood's activities. I liked reading a chapter/night and enjoyed the pace of the story and the memoir style. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ellis | 1/31/2014

    " I haven't read any of Homer Hickam's fiction books yet, but I've loved his memoirs. What a great storyteller. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karen L. | 1/31/2014

    " If you liked the "Rocket Boys," you'll like this book. It tells the story of his boyhood town and it's people; their heartbreaks, sorrows and joys. Their lives are very interesting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pat | 1/27/2014

    " Having loved "Rocket Boys" I was a bit disappointed in this entry in the series as I almost felt it was a redressing of story lines already touched upon in Rocket Boys; but still enjoyed it as I love Hickam's writing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ron | 1/27/2014

    " Another good one from Homer Hickam. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ann Amadori | 1/17/2014

    " Not really a sequel to October Sky. More, an addition, as it covers some of the same time period - Homer's first semester as a high school senior. There is less about the rockets and more about Homer trying to figure out why he has bouts of depression, as well as the meaning of his life. Also more about other residents of Coalwood and their struggles. I liked the book and am looking forward to reading the next one, Sky of Stone. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 James | 1/14/2014

    " My third Homer Hickham book. I still like the way he writes! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathy | 1/13/2014

    " Great story based on Homer Hickam's childhood. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gail | 1/3/2014

    " This is the same author that wrote Rocket Boys, (made into the movie, October Sky.) Good book! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rj Roles | 12/23/2013

    " a fantastic sequel to an already fantastic story and must read to anyone that has lived in the shadows of the Appalachian mountains "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Say | 12/19/2013

    " The second in the series of memoirs. GREAT!!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lauren | 12/17/2013

    " A sequel to Rocket Boys (October Sky). More engaging and moving stories from growing up in the mining company town of Coalwood, West Virginia. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shywvgrl | 12/13/2013

    " Must read after Rocket Boys! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Etta Mcquade | 12/11/2013

    " I enjoy Homer Hickham. He's down to earth, and here tells a remarkable story, which is a memoir. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mom | 12/6/2013

    " This is a good book showing how kids in a coal mining area want to get away and not be miners. These seniors want more. This is the way I felt when I wanted to get away from the town where my family grew up and stayed, working in the coal mines and staying around close to family members. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ellen | 9/6/2013

    " Enjoyable read, although not as good as "Rocket Boys" (aka October Sky). "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sean Gillen | 6/27/2013

    " Another fantastic book by Hickam. Really enjoyed it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 jeannine | 6/12/2013

    " Very well done. A mix of October Sky and other stories of his life. A very good read. Enjoyed it very much. Loved the squirrel parts! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Beth | 1/30/2013

    " While I didn't find it as engaging as Sky of Stone, it definitely picked up steam as it went and was a great read. If you liked Rocket Boys or Sky of Stone, you'll enjoy this. I'm giving all three as a gift to my dad for Christmas - don't tell! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joni | 10/28/2012

    " I loved this memoir of Homer Hickam growing up in a small mining community. I read the author's other novel October Sky and enjoyed it as well. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rae | 5/25/2012

    " This memoir covers a lot of the same ground as October Sky but lets the reader in on Homer's personal and home life. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 GymGuy | 5/3/2012

    " Meh. After reading "Rocket Boys" I thought this was a bit of a let-down. It deals primarily with Sonny's last Christmas and is a re-hash of the same time period of his prior book. Actually I'm not quite sure why he wrote it, because it just really doesn't cover much. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shea | 3/3/2012

    " I loved this book! My husband worked in Welch, West Virginia, for a time and we would always say, "I wish I knew what this town was like in its hay-day." To read this book allowed me to "visit" Welch when it was a boom-town of the coal industry. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Eric | 10/6/2011

    " Since my Dad is from West Virginia, and my Grandpa was a coal miner, I found this book intriguing. Such a different life from the one I live in Ohio! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ronen | 9/24/2011

    " Definitely worth a read if you liked Rocket Boys "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michelle Ule | 4/4/2011

    " Further adventures and stories about Coalwood, the town where Hickam grew up and which was memorialized in October Sky. Interesting, thoughtful and a good read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tammy | 1/9/2011

    " I enjoyed reading this book--- Since my husband is in the mining industry I enjoyed reading how certain things came about. Also, I enjoy reading autobiographys - he kept my attention. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Coralie | 7/27/2010

    " Hickam is also the author of Rocket Boys/October Sky. In this book, the author tells more about his life in Coalwood, a mining town in West Virginia. This was a good book, but some of it was a repeat of Rocket Boys. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Etta | 3/22/2010

    " I enjoy Homer Hickham. He's down to earth, and here tells a remarkable story, which is a memoir. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mom | 1/31/2010

    " This is a good book showing how kids in a coal mining area want to get away and not be miners. These seniors want more. This is the way I felt when I wanted to get away from the town where my family grew up and stayed, working in the coal mines and staying around close to family members. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gail | 9/8/2009

    " This is the same author that wrote Rocket Boys, (made into the movie, October Sky.) Good book! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rhonda | 7/13/2009

    " I really enjoyed this book about life from the perspective of a teen-age boy in coal mining town. It seemed very honest. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah | 4/11/2009

    " I read this for my bookclub "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cheryl S. | 4/1/2009

    " Any book that makes me laugh and cry gets 5 stars. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ellen | 1/2/2009

    " Enjoyable read, although not as good as "Rocket Boys" (aka October Sky). "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Say | 12/22/2008

    " The second in the series of memoirs. GREAT!!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joni | 11/17/2008

    " I loved this memoir of Homer Hickam growing up in a small mining community. I read the author's other novel October Sky and enjoyed it as well. "

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About the Author
Homer H. Hickam Jr. is the author of the bestselling The Keeper's Son and many other books, including The Coalwood Way and Sky of Stone. He and his wife and cats share their time between homes in Huntsville, Alabama, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.