audio book: 8.5 hours
*** About the Book ***
From the book jacket:
Of Ántonia, the passionate and majestic central character in Willa Cather’s greatest novel, the narrator, Jim Burden, says that she left “images in the mind that did not fade–that grew stronger with time.” The same is true of the book in which Cather enshrines her heroine. On one level, My Ántonia is a straight-forward narrative, written in limpid prose of uncanny descriptive accuracy, about the struggles endured by a family of immigrant pioneers and the small community that surrounds them on the unsettled Nebraska plains. On another, it is a novel that represents a perfect marriage of form and feeling.
In its magnificent tableaux of human beings caught in the toils of an abundant and overpowering natural world, and in the quiet, understated sympathy it displays for life of every sort, My Ántonia is a novel that effortlessly encompasses history and wilderness and the destiny of the individual–even as it lovingly and unsentimentally portrays a woman whose robust spirit and enduring warmth make her emblematic of what Cather most admired in the American people.
*** My Thoughts ***
Back in high school I read this book and didn't care for it at all. However I've read about it in several collections of classics or recommended books and thought I'd better give it another shot. Maybe I missed something as a teen that I'd appreciate now.
This book is a Did-Not-Finish (DNF) for me - I gave up after two CDs. Honestly? I was bored. I didn't find the story all that interesting back in high school and I still don't find it interesting now. I remember being very disappointed in the ending when I first read it, and I'd rather not be disappointed yet again.
I asked for input from my readers before I quit listening - I was hoping someone would tell me that there is some amazing reason to stick with is. You can browse the comments at this post to see what everyone said, but the gist of it was that most people didn't like it, and those who did couldn't really say why. So it went back to the library rather quickly.