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Extended Audio Sample Work Song, by Ivan Doig Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (942 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ivan Doig Narrator: Jonathan Hogan Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Whistling Season Series Release Date: June 2010 ISBN: 9781449837648
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National Book Award finalist and Wallace Stegner Award winner Ivan Doig has garnered critical and popular acclaim for his vibrant, authentic tales of the American West. In Work Song he takes listeners to Butte, Montana, in 1919 for the tale of one charmer’s efforts to elude Chicago gangsters.

Stepping off the train in the world’s copper mining capital, Morris Morgan secures a room at the boarding house of an attractive widow he’d like to know better. As the erudite Morris begins working at the local library, he tries not to take sides in the labor dispute at the Anaconda Mining Company. But when he’s mistaken for an undercover union operative, he’s soon caught up in the seething ferment of an iron-fisted company, radical union agitators, and beleaguered miners.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Not one stitch unravels in this intricately threaded narrative. And while Doig lays out the plot somewhat predictably, he also makes room for reflective moments in which Morrie confronts fears both real and imagined; it’s through these reflections that we get fine glimpses of his darker persona…In conjunction with Morrie’s interactions among the oher characters, these more introspective passages help to build an appealing storytelling rhythm.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “A classic tale from they heyday of American capitalism by the king of the Western novel.”

    Daily Beast

  • “If you were looking for a novel that best expresses the American spirit, you’d have to ride past a lot of fence posts before finding anything as worthy as Work Song.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “As enjoyable and subtly thought-provoking a piece of fiction as you’re likely to pick up this summer. A pleasure to read.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “Readers who fell in love with Morrie Morgan in The Whistling Season will welcome him back to Montana in Ivan Doig’s latest adventure…Richly imagined and beautifully paced.”

    Associated Press

  • “Charismatic dialogue and charming, homespun characterization make Doig’s latest another surefire winner.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Doig delivers solid storytelling with a keen respect for the past and gives voice to his characters in a humorous and affectionate light.”

    Library Journal

  • “More atmospheric, pleasingly old-fashioned storytelling from Doig, whose ear for the way people spoke and thought in times gone by is as faultless as ever.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • Selected for the July 2010 Indie Next List

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karenbike Patterson | 2/17/2014

    " This is not the typical Doig book. It is sweet and simple but the plot is very weak and the characters are too. Usually Doig has poetic and majestic settings and a plot with tense conflict. Not here. It is Doig "light." "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tom | 1/26/2014

    " Doig is a very fine storyteller, and this is one of his best, I think. Set in Butte, MT after W.W. I., with a backdrop of copper mining, barons, unions, and the Reds. Great characters. I love his use of language. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susan Edwards | 1/25/2014

    " Interesting to see the political pressures vs todays -- writes with a clarity of thought "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sue | 1/21/2014

    " I was disappointed in Doig's latest novel. The book was a little short on plot. The characters were well developed but the story need more work. It would have worked better as a short story. That said, I always look forward to reading Ivan Doig's novels. I hope he has a more complex storyline in development for his next book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Deborah Barone | 1/19/2014

    " john harris would like this book. well-written, kind of leisurely. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Janet | 1/16/2014

    " A fitting follow-up to Doig's Whistling Season. Work Song is a terrific historical look at Butte, MT in the days of the copper mining boom, but from the point of view of the former teacher in Whistling Season, turned librarian in this rough and tumble town of the era. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pat Hillenmeyer | 1/14/2014

    " I loved this as a sequel to The Whistling Season by Doig. I don't think it was quite as good as The Whistling Season, but I felt that it finished the story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tuck | 12/29/2013

    " i thought doig was a thick writer like wallace stegner or gaddis. not so. he is light and fluffy maybe like louis lamour? this isn't a bad novel, about butte montana in 1919 when IWW, unions, and anaconda were all fighting over the profits of copper mining. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Betty | 12/10/2013

    " This is a sequel to The Whistling Season. It is a story about miners and their community in the Butte MT copper mines of the Anaconda Mining Company in the early 1900's. If you liked The Whistling Season, you will like this. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy | 11/30/2013

    " My first Nook Color read. Not as deep in tone or literariness as English Creek, but delightful nonetheless, and I loved the connection to The Whistling Season. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rosemary Raphael | 11/27/2013

    " Doig tells a good story but I didn't find this one as engaging as some of his previous books. My favorites remain the Montana trilogy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris | 10/29/2013

    " Written in a very clear, straightforward way that came across as immediate and compelling. Really brought the life of the mining town of Butte, MT, to life and was even pretty funny in some parts. I was sorry when it was over. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cheryl | 7/15/2013

    " It was ok. Read for book club. Good writer, just not an interesting subject. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Janice | 4/28/2013

    " It follows one of the characters (Morrie) from Doig's previous book, Whistling Season from the prairie of Montana to Butte, Montana 10 years later. Doig is a great storyteller. Liked Whistling Season more but this was still a good story with funny, tongue-in-cheek dialogue. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karen | 4/3/2013

    " The ending is very abrupt "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linnet | 3/31/2013

    " Butte in 1919 with the teacher from Whistling Season finally finding a wife . . . and a work song for the miners. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pam | 3/5/2013

    " Since I lived in Montana briefly, I enjoy the books by Ivan Doig about places there. this one is about Butte just after WWI. Miners and the Anaconda Mining Co clash. Lots of interesting characters and an enjoyable plot. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kathy | 8/1/2012

    " I loved his book the Whistling Season that came before this...just a good story teller. This one was a faster read about a miner's town in Butte MT and struggles with starting a union. Interesting characters, romance, action and great story about the wild times. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jane | 5/12/2012

    " I enjoyed another book by this author and this one is good as well. Takes place in Butte, Montana right after WWI and focuses on the miners and their relationship with the mining company. A number of interesting characters and I wanted the book to go on longer. It did seem to end rather abruptly. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Corine | 3/5/2012

    " Love Ivan Doig. This book is a sequel to "The Whistling Season" and the setting is Butte, Montana. This is a light, quick read and a fun story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ted | 1/30/2012

    " If you liked Whistling Season, you will love this book too. Doig has such a unique writing style and is great at building characters. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 J R | 7/15/2011

    " I always enjoy Ivan Doig's work for his use of language. Some of his plots are better than others. This one deals with labor disputes in Butte, Montana in 1919. It catches up with Morrie Morgan from The Whistling Season about ten years after he left his teaching job in Marias Coulee. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rhonda | 5/18/2011

    " This is the sequel to Whistling Season, and I tihnk it is better. Morrie's story continues in Butte, Montana, and the plot revolves around the story of the mining company explioting its workers and the rancher turned librarian. Quick read. Sometimes the plot neded developed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy | 5/8/2011

    " My first Nook Color read. Not as deep in tone or literariness as English Creek, but delightful nonetheless, and I loved the connection to The Whistling Season. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lindy | 4/27/2011

    " I liked learning about Butte, Montana and about the copper mining but the book was a bit slow in parts. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gail | 4/12/2011

    " Followup to The Whistling Season - set in Butte, Montana. Copper mining and books... Enjoyable. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lorna | 4/12/2011

    " A sequel of sorts to Whistling Season- I read this book first and LOVED it. Great characters and an interesting plot. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathy | 4/11/2011

    " Doig is, hands down, one of the most gifted writers I've encountered, and I haven't read enough of his work. His writing is beautiful -- poetic and descriptive at the same time, though he doesn't overdo. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anne | 4/7/2011

    " I love his very lyrical writing, this is set in Butte, Montana in 1919. A story of the Copper mines and the struggle of the miners to get a working wage......not a heavy read, and full of humour with his wonderful hold on language. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jean | 3/20/2011

    " Doig triumphs again. His character and plot developments are both engaging. He's a master story-teller as usual. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marilyn | 3/18/2011

    " union organizing – a great read; once again, mining for coal – they came up with the diamond "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David | 3/9/2011

    " A follow-on to Doig's Whistling Season. So read that first. Not absolutely necessary but it does enhance the experience of this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jill | 3/8/2011

    " Loved this book! As always, Doig knows how to weave in characters from previous books and provide an added dimension of enjoyment to those who know them, yet the stories always stand well on their own too. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Hrn1947 | 3/6/2011

    " expected something more. maybe more of the landscape or the flavor of the people besides the miners. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pam | 2/20/2011

    " Since I lived in Montana briefly, I enjoy the books by Ivan Doig about places there. this one is about Butte just after WWI. Miners and the Anaconda Mining Co clash. Lots of interesting characters and an enjoyable plot. "

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