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Publisher's Summary

My Ántonia is considered one of the greatest novels by American writer Willa Cather. It is the final book of the "prairie trilogy" of novels by Cather that also includes O Pioneers! and The Song of the Lark.

My Ántonia tells the stories of several immigrant families who move out to rural Nebraska to start new lives in America, with a particular focus on a Bohemian family, the Shimerdas, whose eldest daughter is named Ántonia. The book's narrator, Jim Burden, arrives in the fictional town of Black Hawk, Nebraska, on the same train as the Shimerdas, as he travels to live with his grandparents after his parents have died. Jim develops strong feelings for Ántonia, something between a crush and a filial bond, and we view Ántonia's life, including its struggles and triumphs, through his eyes.

Public Domain (P)1988 Jimcin Recordings

What listeners say about My Antonia

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Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Great performance of a great novel

I never could read this novel because I always fell asleep. The Audible performance is compelling, and the novel is beautiful, heartfelt and true.

3 people found this helpful

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A Beautifully written book

This book is an extraordinary, compelling portrait of a place and the people that move through time within it. You will be drawn into life on the Nebraska prairie, and in a small and larger town there. Unforgettable characters will step into your mind, and the beauty of the land described will live in your imagination, in the fullest and most literal meaning of the word. You will be glad you visited this universe.

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Well done

One of Cather's best novel. Loved it. Obviously some disagreement about the reading. I thought it was very good. Some did not. I suggest you listen to the sample before getting it. Why people don't do that before getting the book...and then complain....I really don't understand.

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Worst Narrator Ever!

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Cindy Hardin Killavey and Jim Killavey ?

Anybody

Any additional comments?

I have listened to dozens of audio books and I have never heard a narrator this bad. It sounded like "text to talk" half the time. It was so grating I had to stop listening. I decided to just read the book and it was wonderful. I am so disappointed I wasted money on this recording. I will keep note of this narrator to make sure I never have to listen to him again!

4 people found this helpful

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Terrible recording. So stiff and dull

The stiffest and most boring recording i have ever tried to listen to. Absolutely no emotion and impossible to listen to. Literally fell sleep as it is so dull

1 person found this helpful

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Primative beginnings

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I might recommend this to some people who would be interested in the settling of Nebraska but not entertainment value.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

I would have ended the book after the people moved to the town. The first half was fine but the second half was all narrative. The individual people had no character and their stories were too erratic.

Which character – as performed by Cindy Hardin Killavey and Jim Killavey – was your favorite?

I liked the primary character, Jim, when he was young but not when he was an adult.

Did My Antonia inspire you to do anything?

No.

Any additional comments?

Even where the story was good, the character development was poor.

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Stephen Hawking with a Boston accent

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

If they were reading it themselves.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Changed the narrator. The male narrator has a heavy Boston accent and a cadence that is reminiscent of Stephen Hawking, which is very grating and hard to overcome.

1 person found this helpful

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Choose a Different Reader

This is probably a much better book than the reader made it. Now I am turned off to the author.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Dull reader

Jim Killarney, who reads almost all of this book, is extremely dull in his presentation, slightly better than computer-generated audio. This is a shame because Cather is known for her sensuous and descriptive prose.

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    2 out of 5 stars

Just read the book, the audio version horrible!

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

A friend, no. An enemy who I wanted to suffer horrifically, poorly read narrative by a person with an incongruous accent, poor cadence, and no humanity in their speech, perhaps.

Would you ever listen to anything by Willa Cather again?

Based on this terrible experience, no.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Cindy Hardin Killavey and Jim Killavey ?

Siri would have read this with more emotional depth and conversational rhythm.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

No, it would not make an interesting film.

Any additional comments?

I have never before encountered such a horrible narrator! His voice was so lacking in depth or emotion that he quite honestly sounded like an inexpensive text-to-speech robot. His Bostonian accent was completely incongruous with the story, set in the Midwest, and he made listening to the already dry story complete drudgery! Imagine the Mayor of Springfield from The Simpsons, only without any actual human intonation.