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Extended Audio Sample The Meadow Audiobook, by James Galvin Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (678 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: James Galvin Narrator: Patrick Lawlor Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2015 ISBN: 9781504626637
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Through short vignettes that read like a novel, James Galvin depicts the hundred-year history of a meadow in the arid mountains of the Colorado-Wyoming border. Galvin describes the seasons, the weather, the wildlife, but most of all he reveals deeply personal portraits of the few people who live there and who do not so much possess but are themselves possessed by the terrain.

For Lyle, Ray, Clara, and App, the struggle to survive on an independent family ranch is a series of blameless failures and unacclaimed successes that illuminate the Western character. The Meadow evolves a sense of place that can be achieved only by someone who knows it intimately.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Gifted poet James Galvin blends fiction and fact into a haunting story…This careful, honest, and passionate exploration gives The Meadow its power and beauty.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Readers of Richard Ford, Jim Harrison, and Rick Bass will feel at home in Galvin’s country.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Galvin…knows the landscape intimately and conveys an unforgettable sense of the beauty and isolation of the area. Equally fascinating are the portraits of the few who inhabit this landscape of rugged individualists and family ranches. Rarely has an author captured life in the American West with such poignancy. Highly recommended.”

    Library Journal

  • “This fine piece of regional writing will recall the land and people of the American West to anyone who has been there and introduce them to those who have not.”

    School Library Journal

  • “Close-ups of seldom-seen bedrock people of the American West, adroitly drawn and deeply felt.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

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

    " This novel is a quiet, understated stunner; I nearly want to compare it to an Ondaatje novel in its poetic sensibility and beguiling concision. It speaks most powerfully through images and distilled, economic character revelations, and its cumulate effects will work their way deep inside of you. Like some of my other favorite novels (To the Lighthouse, By the Lake, etc.), this novel forces you to slow down to enter its world properly: if you do, though, you'll be greatly rewarded. I'd struggle to come up with another novel that offers such a memorable and penetrating sense of place than Galvin's, and it doesn't hurt that the characters end up being so sharply rendered as well. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Charles | 2/11/2014

    " A true masterpiece. I've given this book away more times then I can count. Deceptively simple, even sparse, prose that brings an unknown little meadow to life. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Syd | 2/11/2014

    " If you like descriptive writing regarding scenery and weather, this book is for you. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 David Morman | 2/9/2014

    " Good writing about nature and homesteaders' lives in the high country on the Wyoming-Colorado border. The characters remind me of stories of my parents' Colorado relatives and friends. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 joel | 2/9/2014

    " Thanks go to my friend kelly for sending me this one! Beautiful! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Barbara | 2/1/2014

    " I really like this genre, and I enjoyed the characters. Good writing, poetic at times. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kendra | 1/28/2014

    " Its good--I like the idea of taking a place (in this case a piece of land) and using it to drive a story. I am slowly reading it, because when I get to the end, the experience will be over. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ellen | 1/24/2014

    " beautiful meditation on place and what it means to us in the American west "

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

    " A beautifully written book. Characters you fall in love with. It's like a movie without any dialogue, but the most incredible cinematography you've ever seen. The landscape was brilliantly described, the world and people within it were all impeccably composed as the story was quietly revealed. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dee | 12/23/2013

    " I love the way this man writes. Such a sense of place. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susan | 12/18/2013

    " Provocative, interesting picture of life on the border of Colorado and Wyoming. Very engaging book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jgstott Stott | 11/19/2013

    " Best book about the West. Ever. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mackay | 11/19/2013

    " An astonishing book, so slender as to be almost slight, yet full of more than a century of real people, deeply portrayed and real. This book is not to be missed. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Anna Cate | 11/11/2013

    " Exquisite moments. Didn't compel me as a whole. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karen Burke | 10/18/2013

    " If you live in Colorado or Wyoming a fun read! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kathleenc | 10/13/2013

    " Read this out loud to a fellow lover of the west. Poetic "

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

    " Excellent work of nonfiction about one of the most beautiful areas in the West. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 jen | 3/20/2013

    " One of the most beautiful books I've ever read. Even if you live in the city, you know these people, I know you do. And you've seen the view from that hill. Somehow Galvin makes everything very very familiar. Makes me want to move to the country NOW. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Barb | 2/23/2013

    " Beautifully written, thoroughly enjoyed it, even realizing how much has been lost. Off goes another donation to Legacy Land Trust! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Melinda | 11/23/2012

    " I have trouble remembering books, but not this one. If you like a good story and beautiful, descriptive, poetic writing I recommend it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nick Calvin | 10/26/2012

    " An incredible, poetic portrayal of life in the plains of Colorado and Wyoming. A must read for anyone who wants to fall in love with the simple life. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alison | 7/23/2012

    " I thought it was a well written account of the relationship of characters of different generations to the same place. However, I think the structure and style - nonlinear vignettes - was the best part. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Terry | 7/4/2012

    " A delight! Tells the story of a parcel of land in north central Colorado...nearly to Wyoming...its 'owners' and their lives at 'the Meadow'..... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 tana | 6/2/2012

    " a poet writes a narrative of life on the margin, but what an intricate life and a grand margin: the edge of the prairie in Wyoming where loneliness and creativity flower into unnoticed grandeur. a book all true westerners will take to heart. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jana | 5/1/2012

    " What a beautiful and solemn description of life, nature, people who build things by hand and old values. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Retha | 10/24/2011

    " If you have ever spent time in Wyoming and northern Colorado, this is a must read. Writing and images are beautiful. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 prairiesister | 6/5/2011

    " Galvin's writing is amazing. It's deceptively simple while it says so very much, so poetically. I CAN'T WANT FOR ANOTHER. I did like Fencing the Sky much more, and this one got five stars! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jsanders1379 | 5/14/2011

    " Loved this book- very poetic-regional n. colorado "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jgstott | 1/8/2011

    " Best book about the West. Ever. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Barb | 12/26/2010

    " Beautifully written, thoroughly enjoyed it, even realizing how much has been lost. Off goes another donation to Legacy Land Trust! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jenna | 11/9/2010

    " WYOMING! a tad hard to follow jumping between generations. lovely descriptions, reminding me of my wyoming love :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tucker | 8/2/2010

    " The American West, and the people who inhabit it, beautifully and honestly depicted. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Candice | 3/19/2010

    " What a sense of place encapsulated in a book. "

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About the Author

James Galvin, the author of three volumes of poetry, has received the Nation/Discovery Award as well as fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Institute. Raised in northern Colorado, he lives in Wyoming but teaches each year at the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

About the Narrator

Patrick Lawlor, an award-winning narrator, is also an accomplished stage actor, director, and combat choreographer. He has worked extensively off Broadway and has been an actor and stuntman in both film and television. He has been an Audie Award finalist multiple times and has garnered several AudioFile Earphones Awards, a Publishers Weekly Listen-Up Award, and many starred audio reviews from Library Journal and Kirkus Reviews.