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Extended Audio Sample The Living Audiobook, by Annie Dillard Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,333 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Annie Dillard Narrator: Laurence Luckinbill Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2007 ISBN: 9780061473937
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This New York Times bestselling novel by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Annie Dillard is a mesmerizing evocation of life in the Pacific Northwest during the last decades of the 19th century.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “An invigorating, intricate first novel.”  

    New York Times Book Review 

  • The Living is an impressive piece of fiction and a riveting hunk of history.” 

    Los Angeles Times 

  • The Living is an extraordinary accomplishment, one of those rare occasions when the written word results through the magic and talent of the author in the creation of the whole world.”

    Boston Sunday Globe 

  • “A panoramic, hypnotic novel.”  

    Seattle Times 

  • Booklist Editors’ Choice
  • New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Julie H. | 2/19/2014

    " This is one of those novels where the landscape is as much a character as any named individual. This was a great opportunity to read about natives and newcomers in and around Puget Sound, the effects of lumber companies on the area, and why Seatttle's downtown looks a bit like it does. Beautiful writing and really strong storytelling. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David Morman | 2/13/2014

    " I enjoy everything by Dillard. This is a long historical saga that follows a large cast of pioneer characters through the late 1800s in and around present-day Bellingham. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Heather | 2/12/2014

    " This book got into my skin like the good pioneer dirt and the deathsong of burning redwoods. I think Annie Dillard is my new favorite. I loved the epic sweep of this novel; every character became as irritating and loveable as my own household mates, every animal and being took my breath away with his or her particular awareness and being. I am inpsired to research, to write, to learn, to think, to breathe, to climb, to swim, to drown in the waters of life and literature. "

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

    " I thought that this book was a little hard to get into but, once I did, I really enjoyed it. Beautiful and sad. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Melissa | 1/31/2014

    " Favorite book of all time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Godlarvae | 1/22/2014

    " absolutely mesmerizing, a quick read of someone who knows how to use the language to present thoughts. how one person was able to do this is too fascinating-- "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeannie Colling | 1/20/2014

    " Part of the appeal was that the story was about the settling of Bellingham Bay. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Trina | 1/20/2014

    " I always recommend this book as an evocation of the early settling of what is now the state of Washington. The descriptions of the wild landscape, the miserable winter weather, and the hardsrabble lives of the settlers are memorable. It has the most ethereal last scene of any book I've ever read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Collette | 1/15/2014

    " This book should be called The Dying. Every character is killed off in some gruesome fashion, illustrating the harsh lives people lived when settling the American west. But I couldn't keep reading -- about halfway I ditched the wagon trains and settled in Idaho. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dana | 12/28/2013

    " Damn. How does Annie Dillard draw such an intimate portrait of so many families and generations? A beautiful book, spare and unforgiving yet rich with such a clear-eyed vision of life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marc Cull | 12/28/2013

    " More sympathetic and optimistic than Blood Meridian, but similarly unsentimental; similarily about hard people in a hard place. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Larissacherpeski | 12/3/2013

    " This book is in my top ten. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jackie | 12/1/2013

    " Historical fiction about Seattle area "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael Muscari | 7/21/2013

    " I read this book the year I moved to Seattle. Dillard's gift at describing time and place added to my appreciation of living in the Pacific Northwest. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John | 6/20/2013

    " Beautifully written story of a group of families that settled Washington state in the 1800's. Engaging narrative; complex characters. A souvenir from my trip to Seattle in '97. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Patty | 6/14/2013

    " intriguing, but a little odd, especially interesting for people from coastal Washington "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tonya Cheney | 4/24/2013

    " Very dense. A different style of writing than what I usually read, but I loved the way the author was so knowledgeable about life 100 or more years ago. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dina | 4/8/2013

    " A novel about the settling of the American Northwest...pioneer life, Native American conflicts, and other hardships come alive in this beautiful book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karen Krieg | 4/1/2013

    " Really interesting look at frontier life in Washington State in the late 1800s Characters can get a tad bit confusing at times, but the story is so rich with details about that time in life and the people that I highly recommend this read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Diana | 2/24/2013

    " Not done yet, but I can't put it down. Amazing, amazing book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shelly | 11/4/2012

    " A great novel set near Bellingham, Washington at the turn of the century. A sparse, un-romanticized tale of the settling of the Pacific Northwest. Annie Dillard is a master of language, a pleasure to read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura | 11/1/2012

    " I find myself still remembering scenes from this book, which is a good sign. Someone once rightly said it might be more accurately entitled The Dead, but still, it has that relentless beauty that I so love in Annie Dillard's work. It's a little like a fiction equivalent of For the Time Being. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gail Fligstein | 9/18/2012

    " I couldn't put this one down. Brings to life how it must have felt to be a pioneer in the Pacific Northwest. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jayden | 5/13/2012

    " not her best work, but great if you like historical fiction. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Catherine Byers | 5/3/2012

    " Incredible story of the hearty settlers in the Pacific Northwest. It took a long time for me to finish, and like the settlers, I found myself bogged down in parts. But the writing is careful and beautiful. Worth perservering. "

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About the Author
Author Annie DillardAnnie Dillard has written twelve books, including in nonfiction For the Time Being, Teaching a Stone to Talk, Holy the Firm, and Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.