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Extended Audio Sample The Meadow, 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:
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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 by 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 by 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 by 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 by 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. "

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