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Publisher's Summary

Longlisted for the Booker Prize 2020.

A Barack Obama book of the year 2020.

America. In the twilight of the Gold Rush, two siblings cross a landscape with a gun in their hands and the body of their father on their backs....

Ba dies in the night, Ma is already gone. Lucy and Sam, 12 and 11, are suddenly alone and on the run. With their father's body on their backs, they roam an unforgiving landscape dotted with giant buffalo bones and tiger paw prints, searching for a place to give him a proper burial.

How Much of These Hills Is Gold is a sweeping adventure tale, an unforgettable sibling story and a remarkable novel about a family bound and divided by its memories.

©2020 C Pam Zhang (P)2020 Hachette Audio UK

Critic Reviews

"A tale of two sisters during the gold rush...beautifully written." (The i, Best Books of the Year)

"A daring and haunting epic." (Sunday Times)

"A fierce, feminist Western." (Daily Mail)

What listeners say about How Much of These Hills Is Gold

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  • Chrissy
  • 02-16-21

Vivid imagery of hard times and hard lives

This story is clearly written by a wordsmith who must have spent hours and hours drafting and redrafting words and sentences to paint vivid, pictures of depth in the reader’s minds. It’s a tale of hardship and poverty but there is also hope ,dreams and family. Definitely no Hollywood take on the gold rush! There were a few times I thought it was almost heavy going and descriptions could be laboured but perhaps they had to be to convey the character building life the protagonists lived. I honestly think I would have given up at times if reading actual text but the wonderful narration saw me through and I’m glad I stuck with it. The narrator’s calm, soothing tones complemented the writer’s descriptions so the focus was on the choice of words and not the voice which isn’t always the case. The ending has given me lots to think about and maybe there could be a sequel ? I would certainly recommend the book. It’s powerful and leaves many deep impressions.

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  • Fantasticreature
  • 07-30-21

Relentessy depressing

Performances were good. It was such a depressing story I found it hard to enjoy it.

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  • Gemrrrr
  • 01-15-21

Better than I anticipated

This book had a Slightly under whelming end, but I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.

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  • james walker
  • 09-21-20

Slow-paced Western with plenty of twists

Really enjoyed this debut for presenting a different perspective on the Western genre and giving other voices the opportunity to speak. Plenty of twists to keep you intrigued and a vivid sense of place to locate you in the story. The non linear narrative won't be for everyone but it worked for me.

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  • Lizzy h
  • 08-22-20

A story of immigration and gold rush.

I really enjoyed the book, which voices the experiences of poor Chinese immigrants in the American West. The writer captures the stark beauty of the landscape and how this influences the peoples.

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  • cheryle h.
  • 12-28-21

I can't finish it!

I'm loathe to give up on a book before finishing but I'm 3 hours in and it's so bleak I'll lose the will to live if I continue. The story unfolds in misery after misery and I've given up hope that the protagonist will find any hope for her future. I can't do it any more.

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  • Cath
  • 09-29-21

Beautifully written

Beautifully written but I feel left wanting… but loved the narration. Would recommend, thank you!

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-01-21

I just can't get through this!

I was recommended this book but after ny 3rd attempt I just can't get through this book! the language is overly poetic and not in a clever way more in a roll my eyes at trying too hard way. I'm sure there's a good story in here somewhere but I give up. I'm bored and just can't get invested

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