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The Glass Castle: A Memoir Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Glass Castle: A Memoir, by Jeannette Walls Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (304,703 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jeannette Walls Narrator: Jeannette Walls Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Jeannette Walls grew up with parents whose ideals and stubborn nonconformity were both their curse and their salvation. Rex and Rose Mary Walls had four children. In the beginning, they lived like nomads, moving among Southwest desert towns, camping in the mountains. Rex was a charismatic, brilliant man who, when sober, captured his children’s imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and above all, how to embrace life fearlessly. Rose Mary, who painted and wrote and couldn’t stand the responsibility of providing for her family, called herself an “excitement addict.” Cooking a meal that would be consumed in fifteen minutes had no appeal when she could make a painting that might last forever.

Later, when the money ran out, or the romance of the wandering life faded, the Walls retreated to the dismal West Virginia mining town—and the family—Rex Walls had done everything he could to escape. He drank. He stole the grocery money and disappeared for days. As the dysfunction of the family escalated, Jeannette and her brother and sisters had to fend for themselves, supporting one another as they weathered their parents’ betrayals and, finally, found the resources and will to leave home.

What is so astonishing about Jeannette Walls is not just that she had the guts and tenacity and intelligence to get out, but that she describes her parents with such deep affection and generosity. Hers is a story of triumph against all odds, but also a tender, moving tale of unconditional love in a family that despite its profound flaws gave her the fiery determination to carve out a successful life on her own terms.

For two decades, Jeannette Walls hid her roots. Now she tells her own story. A regular contributor to MSNBC.com, she lives in New York and Long Island and is married to the writer John Taylor.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Just read the first pages of The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, and I defy you not to go on. It’s funny, and sad, and quirky, and loving. I was incredibly touched by it.” 

    Dominick Dunne, New York Times bestselling author

  • “A very good memoir. At one point, describing her early literary tastes, Walls mentions that ‘my favorite books all involved people dealing with hardships.’ And she has succeeded in doing what most writers set out to do—to write the kind of book they themselves most want to read.” 

    New York Times

  • “Tragic and comic at the same time…an outrageous story, one that will break your heart.” 

    Sunday Independent (London)

  • “Walls doesn’t pull her punches…in this excellent, unusual book…fantastic storytelling.” 

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • A USA Today Bestseller
  • An ALA Notable Book for Nonfiction
  • Winner of the 2006 YALSA Alex Award
  • Nominated for the 2008 Abraham Lincoln Award
  • A #1 New York Times Bestseller
  • A 2005 New York Times Book Review Notable Book

Listener Reviews

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Review by Tasha Swinney | 2/8/2014

    " I finished The Glass Castle in just over two days of reading. By the time I got to the last line, I had to read it twice, it is THAT beautifully written. It is the jaw-dropping, raw, sincere story of a family of kids who survived devastating poverty and cripplingly prideful parentage. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Review by Mary Lou | 2/2/2014

    " April 2013 book club selection. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Review by Wendy | 1/27/2014

    " Some explanation of why people are homeless, it is a choice for some. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Review by Annie | 1/15/2014

    " A beautiful story of hardship. "

  • > Show All
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About the Author
Author Jeannette Walls

Jeannette Walls graduated from Barnard College and worked as a journalist in New York for two decades. Her internationally bestselling memoir, The Glass Castle, is a triumphant account of overcoming a difficult childhood and was chosen as Elle magazine’s book of the year. She is a recipient of numerous honors and awards. Walls and her husband, writer John Taylor, live in rural Virginia.