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Extended Audio Sample The Songcatcher Audiobook, by Sharyn McCrumb Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.95 out of 53.95 out of 53.95 out of 53.95 out of 53.95 out of 5 3.95 (37 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Sharyn McCrumb Narrator: James Daniels, Aasne Vigesaa Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Ballad Novels Release Date: September 2004 ISBN: 9781597107266
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Folksinger Lark McCourry is haunted by the memory of a song. As a child she heard it from her relatives in the North Carolina mountains, and she knows that the song has been in her family since 1759, when her ancestor, nine-year-old Malcolm MacQuarry, kidnapped from the Scottish island of Islay, learned it aboard an English ship. The song accompanied young Malcolm when he made his way to Morristown, New Jersey, where he apprenticed with an attorney, became a lawyer himself, and fought in the American Revolution. The song came with Malcolm in 1790, when he left his family and traveled the Wilderness Road to homestead in western North Carolina, where he remarried and raised a second family. The song, passed down through the generations, carries Malcolm's descendants through the settling of the frontier, the Civil War, the coming of the railroads, and into modern times, providing both solace in the present and a link to the past. Over the years, though, the memory of the old song has dimmed and Lark McCourry's only hope of preserving her family legacy lies in mountain wise-woman Nora Bonesteel, who talks to both the living and the dead. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah | 2/18/2014

    " This was an interesting book. Set in the Appalachians, what I enjoyed most about it was all of the history the author included, both about Appalachian music and the early Scottish settlers. I especially enjoyed her mention of the early Scottish settlers to Buncombe, North Carolina as I can trace my ancestry there. I did not think as far as being an overall great story that it really fit the bill for me, as it didn't seem thecharacters themselves really experienced any kind of growth or triumph as individuals, with the possible exception of Joe LeDonne. They seemed to be there more to embellish the story of the central song whose history is followed in the book. Perhaps that was the point, but I still felt like it would have been more satisfying if the characters had achieved anything from the beginning to the end of the book. Still I'm glad I came across it for the other reasons I've stated. I may read another book by Sharyn McCrumb just to see if I can dig as much history out of the next one. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karen | 2/14/2014

    " Lots of research in this one. A wonderful read! "

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

    " I really enjoyed this entire series, but this particular book was probably my favorite. The concept of a "songcatcher" and the interesting traditions of rural Appalachia made for a very satisfying read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Doris | 1/28/2014

    " An Appalachian folk novel about a singer in search of a song. Many interesting hill-bred characters in a variety of historical settings. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 R R | 1/3/2014

    " Sharyn McCrumb is a writer not to be missed. The Americana woven into the mystery gives you much more than expected. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Angelica | 12/14/2013

    " This was the first book of Sharyn's that I read. Unbeknownst to me, she had an entire series of recurring characters from what is called "The Appalachian Ballads". The author has such a gift with multi-layering. Her books are heavily entrenched in Appalachian history, whether it's Tennessee or North Carolina but she weaves a story that bring a current mystery together with the past. Very lyrical style of writing. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ginger | 12/14/2013

    " was a slow story but like most of her work, well written. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Merianna | 12/12/2013

    " I love the way McCrumb weaves history and present showing us that our stories, our songs, our lives don't happen in isolation, but sit on the shoulders of so many others' stories. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julie | 12/10/2013

    " The Songcatcher by Sharyn McCrumb (2002) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michelle | 12/10/2013

    " This was amazing! I always read a book before watching the movie. I did enjoy the movie though because you could actually listen to the beautiful songs of Appalachia. There is a surprise twist though! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nikki | 11/24/2013

    " Not a traditional mystery, more of a suspense story involving history, family dynamics, folk music and a touch of the supernatural, all set in east Tennessee and western North Carolina. Hard to put down. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dawn Galloway | 11/10/2013

    " One of the more intriguing books I've read in a long time. I loved the history behind the story and how the characters are entwined through the expanse of several, different generations. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elyse | 11/10/2013

    " I read this book while we were in Europe. I don't know if I remember the book so well because my trip was so memorable or if it was the book itself. I guess it could of been both. Anyways I liked the book because it was about something very interesting. Oral tradition. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Diane | 11/9/2013

    " One of my very favorite books! A mix of past legend with modern mystery. Haunting and wonderful! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Debbie | 11/7/2013

    " started to reread this book id forgotten id read and it all seemed familiar and i realized my mistake . it was good but not memorable and not worth rereading at least not now. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennifer | 11/6/2013

    " The story of a song from Scotland passsed down through families. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pat | 10/29/2013

    " Nothing earth-shattering, but it kept me entertained. The author's afterword, though, somewhat changed my perspective. Turns out much of the novel is based on her own family history, and I enjoyed learning that. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Susan | 9/29/2013

    " I enjoyed the story, it gets a little confusing with characters that are named after each other. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Teresa | 8/14/2013

    " This was my second reading. I liked it even better the second time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susan | 7/23/2013

    " This book was so moving - I hope you'll take the time to read it! I have, several times! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Teresa | 5/8/2013

    " I've read this one twice! Great read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susan | 1/28/2013

    " I chose this book for my book club to read. I especially like it because it follows McCrumb's own family history. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leah | 12/26/2012

    " I love Sharyn McCrumb books. They always take place in the Appalachians, whether in Tennessee or North Carolina (unless they are her Elizabeth McPherson novels which are a series that are completely separate). I am not normally drawn to stories that take place in the US but her books are so good. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Vilo | 9/30/2012

    " Another great read by the Appalachian bard-ess; one that mixes history and present day and makes you want to move to eastern Tennessee. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ginnyr | 6/10/2012

    " Love books abpout the Appalachian people. Good read "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Vicki | 10/1/2011

    " A song originating in Scotland is brought to American by the family & passed down trhu the generations-interesting interweaving of the different generations. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Helen | 7/27/2011

    " nice historical/Nora Bonesteel interlace, cosmic possums "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sharon Sherman | 5/28/2011

    " The Songcatcher is a book all book reading groups should read and discuss - and such a lot to discuss as it meanders through bits of the past and mountain culture. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susan | 4/27/2011

    " Good story. I enjoyed the history down through the generations. The multiple storylines were a little bit distracting but it was worth it when they came together at the end. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Diane | 4/16/2011

    " One of my very favorite books! A mix of past legend with modern mystery. Haunting and wonderful! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susan | 2/26/2011

    " I chose this book for my book club to read. I especially like it because it follows McCrumb's own family history. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Vilo | 7/18/2010

    " Another great read by the Appalachian bard-ess; one that mixes history and present day and makes you want to move to eastern Tennessee. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Barbara | 6/10/2010

    " Generations of family history ranging from Scotland to the mountains of Appalachia with some magic realism and old ballads thrown in. Well written and entertaining. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Doris | 6/5/2010

    " An Appalachian folk novel about a singer in search of a song. Many interesting hill-bred characters in a variety of historical settings.
    "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Heather | 4/3/2009

    " I loved this book about the people who brought their songs from Scotland and Ireland to America. It is a little bit mystery and a little bit history. A great read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ingrid | 1/16/2009

    " Good book...was hoping for a more captivating ending, but loved reading about the life stories carried on from one generation to the next. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alex | 1/11/2009

    " By one of my favorite authors. Best quote;

    "I like my women featherbrained, gushing and chocolate box pretty" "

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About the Author
Author Sharyn McCrumb

Sharyn McCrumb is the New York Times bestselling author of The Rosewood Casket, She Walks These Hills, The Hangman’s Beautiful Daughter, If I Ever Return, and many more acclaimed novels. Her books have been named Notable Books of the Year by the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, and she has been honored for Outstanding Contribution to Appalachian Literature. Her awards include Best Appalachian Novel, the Agatha, and the Anthony as well as the Edgar Award and the Nero Award. McCrumb is a graduate of the University of North Carolina, and holds an MA in English from Virginia Tech.

About the Narrators

James Daniels is a labor organization attorney who performed Shakespeare in London, received a Grammy nomination for his audiobook narration, and wrote the hard-boiled noir mystery Ghost Bride. He and his family live in the Midwest.

Aasne Vigesaa lives in Springfield, Illinois, with her husband, James, their daughter Willa, and two dogs. When she is not narrating, she enjoys acting and teaching yoga.