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Extended Audio Sample This House of Sky: Landscapes of a Western Mind Audiobook, by Ivan Doig Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.39 out of 54.39 out of 54.39 out of 54.39 out of 54.39 out of 5 4.39 (38 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ivan Doig Narrator: Ivan Doig Publisher: Highbridge Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2000 ISBN: 9781598871111
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This House of Sky is the moving chronicle of Ivan Doig’s youth growing up in Montana. At age six, his mother died, leaving his father, rancher and cowboy, Charlie Doig, and maternal grandmother, the stalwart Bessie Ringer, to raise him. Times were hard; work was difficult; poverty always shadowed them. But drawing on their strong love and gritty determination, they find the strength to withstand these difficult circumstances. They are, Doig reflects, relics of an earlier time and a different lifestyle—uncomplaining, unquestioning, accepting the western land with all its hardships and beauty.

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susan | 2/20/2014

    " This is an absolutely beautifully written memoir. Ivan Doig was raised in Montana by his single father and his grandmother (the mother of his deceased mother) during the waning days of small time ranching and sheepherding in Montana. His father represents the last of that era. Doig's description of his father's and grandmother's hardscrabble life, set against the harsh, yet sometimes sublime, landscape is both fascinating and moving. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stephanie | 1/29/2014

    " Loved this book! It's about my homeland - Montana. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nancy Peacock | 1/25/2014

    " It took me awhile to get into Doig's language, but once I did I was swept into this world. I found this book moving and haunting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelly | 1/22/2014

    " Touching memoir of a boy growing up in rural Montana, raised by his father and grandmother, who lovingly recounts the environment & life that made him who he is. Descriptive, solidly paced, and thoroughly transports you to these little towns and their people. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Clinton | 1/21/2014

    " Beautifully written personal narrative of a child thrust into an adult's world after he and his father adjust to life without his mother "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lindsey | 1/21/2014

    " Most people know how much I love "Dancing at the Rascal Fair," but until recently that was the only book I'd ever read by Ivan Doig. While that book is fictional, "This House of Sky" is a memoir of Doig's childhood, and it secured him even more as one of my favorite authors. I don't even know where to start with this book. The characters (if you can call them that in a memoir) are incredibly vivid, and Doig does a great job of capturing the dialect of his European family members and the rest of the townspeople. This is a book that makes you want to read sections aloud to anyone who's nearby (thanks for your patience, Brian!) because of all the hilarious stories and descriptions. As someone who's obsessed with Montana, I also liked that he always included the names of towns, creeks, and mountains so I could picture exactly where he was. (Yes, I had my map out.) :) Doig also must have had a fantastic editor because he doesn't include too many random tangents that don't fit the themes he's working with (which is usually my complaint about this genre). I can honestly say this is the best memoir I've ever read and just one of the best books in general. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julie | 1/20/2014

    " I read this while traveling in Montana and it was a perfect choice. Doig's descriptions of his early life on sheep and cattle ranches in Montana are vivid and charming. The countryside, his family members, their challenges, and the other characters he encounters in this harsh but beautiful landscape are described with quotes from the participants and his own evocative words. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brett Cottrell | 1/19/2014

    " I quit smoking after reading this novel. Thanks, Mr. Doig! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Keith | 1/6/2014

    " Really enjoyable book. Doig presents detail without bogging the story down. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andrea | 12/30/2013

    " Such a beautiful writer. It took me a while to get into the book, but by the end I was so sorry there wasn't more of it. The book completely grabbed my heart. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Barbara Naslund | 12/10/2013

    " This is part of a series story. Love, love, love it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erica | 12/3/2013

    " not a book in which a lot happens, exactly, which i like; it's more about the telling of what happened. beautiful, descriptive story, full of detail about the use of language by the figures in doig's early life, which to me was one of the most interesting elements of this book. "

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

    " It took a few pages to get in tune with his lyrical writing, and then I fell in love with this book. An absolutely wonderful family tribute and memoir....such love! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Becky | 11/18/2013

    " I re-read this last weekend and it's just as beautiful and lyrical and fully encompassing of the West as it was the first time I read it. You really can't be a Westerner, no matter how long your family has been here, until you've read 'This House of Sky'. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maureen De mszula | 10/8/2013

    " Hands down the best memoir I have ever has the pleasure of reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Seraphina | 8/16/2013

    " Read this in about a week (extremely fast for me). Poetic prose about the life and landscape of western Montana ranch life. When so many people I knew were somehow in Montana I was reading all about it... almost as good as being there. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennifer | 6/22/2013

    " This is Doig's autobiogrphy. It is written in odd prose and I need to go back and re-read it before passing judgement. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Toni | 6/17/2013

    " The detail that Diog has put into this book is remarkable. At times, I wanted the story to move along a bit quicker but it was still a heartwarming story that gives the reader an insight to Diog and his books. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Emily | 4/5/2013

    " One of the finest books I've read recently. Looking forward to reading more of Ivan Doig. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 M K | 1/1/2013

    " This is one of my absolute favorites! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dottie | 11/24/2012

    " What a life -- what lives, is a better statement. Lives to match the challenge of the landscapes in which they played out. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Glenna | 11/10/2012

    " Ivan Doig is one of the greatest Western genre authors. His writing is beautifully lyrical. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jude | 9/13/2012

    " The man can paint pictures with his words... I find myself retreading and a bit in awe. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Greg Fox | 2/23/2012

    " It doesn't get any better. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ciara | 12/20/2011

    " One of the best books I have ever read. His prose is incredible! I would recommend this to anyone interested in pioneers or Montana. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stacey | 9/29/2011

    " Brilliant! Filled with imagery that truly captures the landscapes of Montana. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jrobertus | 7/11/2011

    " a marvelous memoir of a bright young man growing up in western montana in 1936-50. a very human story, although nothing spectacular happens. nice. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pam | 5/10/2011

    " Has a few spots with language/content. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shelly | 3/10/2011

    " Ivan Doig is marvelous. This is a wonderful insight into his life and the inspirations for his stories and characters. Really enjoyed it, but it ended too soon. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stephanie | 3/3/2011

    " Loved this book! It's about my homeland - Montana. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lisa | 2/26/2011

    " This was a good book but a little hard to get into--the ending should get at least 4 stars but overall I'm giving it 3 stars. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sharon | 2/21/2011

    " This is one of the best memoirs I've read in a long time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Janice | 2/20/2011

    " Having fallen in love with Montana, I have now fallen in love with Ivan Doig's books and his unique literary voice. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leah | 1/17/2011

    " COuld have been a 3 1/2. A little hard to get into, and not a quick read. Also a little somber. But a touching, real story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rose | 1/3/2011

    "
    Deeply riveting thoughts of the author's childhood, his family,his land. Having had an 'unconventional' upbringing myself, I could identify with his loving conclusions. All you need is love! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tamra | 11/24/2010

    " This story was a telling of Larry's life with a few exceptions and a review of life as we both experienced as children. Beautifully written. A bit wordy for me in some places. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bill | 9/7/2010

    " very interesting story of how it really is to live in Montana and the strong bonds of father and son even when they are quite distant sometimes "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lauren | 9/1/2010

    " A nearly perfect book, although his reluctance to split infinitives nearly drove me insane a few times, since it marred what would otherwise have been still more beautiful turns of phrase. "

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About the Author
Author Ivan Doig

Ivan Doig is the author of over a dozen books, including the Indiebound bestseller Work Song, the classic memoir This House of Sky, and the acclaimed Montana trilogy. He has been a National Book Award finalist and has received the Wallace Stegner Award, among many other honors. He lives in Seattle.