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Once Upon a River  By  cover art

Once Upon a River

By: Bonnie Jo Campbell
Narrated by: Susan Bennett
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Publisher's Summary

A finalist for the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award, Bonnie Jo Campbell is a rising star in contemporary fiction. Hailed by Booklist as a female Huckleberry Finn, Campbell’s heroine is 16-year-old Margo Crane. Complicit in her father’s death, Margo flees home for the Stark River. And as she follows the current, she learns the ways of the world from the eccentric characters she meets.

©2011 Bonnie Jo Campbell (P)2011 Recorded Books, LLC

What listeners say about Once Upon a River

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  • Overall
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NOT Huckleberry Finn!

Huckleberry Finn did not "sleep" his way down the river to get what he needed as does the main character in this book. After the author goes to a bit of trouble to paint Margo Crane as a fairly resourceful and independent character, she has her solve all her problems in survival by living with men using sex as payment. I got about half way through the book and finally gave up. Yes, she's only sixteen and perhaps we are supposed to believe her helplessness because of her age, but many a sixteen year old has taken care of themselves and even others through the ages with only as many resources as Margo has. Considering her supposed skills, she was not very smart or forward looking. Don't "dis" Huck Finn by comparing this girl to him!!

4 people found this helpful

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Great Narrator - Horrific story

By Chapter 9, after the (spoiler alert) 2nd rape of the 15 year-old main character, I returned this torturous time. That was after I suffered through all the pointless gratuitous animal killing. I won't buy a book from this author again! Do NOT believe the reviews that call this book "a female Hick Finn" as I did, or you are in for a revolting slap in the face

3 people found this helpful

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A real world Katnis

This is a good survival story of a young girl as she grows into a woman under very difficult circumstances. The mistakes she makes are understandable considering her lack of adult guidance. She's what Katnis Everdeen (Hunger Games) would be in the real world. The narrator was excellent, was never apparent as I listened, as a narrator should be.

3 people found this helpful

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Just Yuk

I was hanging in there and trying to like it until the heroine began killing deer like a freaking serial killer. Then the "accident" happened and I was just turned off by the whole thing and quit listening to it.

3 people found this helpful

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Makes me think of "Battling Banjos"

The reader was very good and provided most of the positive aspects of this book. but the story caused me to have to struggle to stick to it to the bitter end. The main character was obviously boreingly dysfunctional, and I consider the book a wasted audible credit.

3 people found this helpful

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Great story, need a non southern narrator!

The book was well written, however the story takes place in Michigan yet all the characters and narrator had heavy southern accents, made it really hard to listen and believe it could actually occur in the Midwest.

1 person found this helpful

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Not sure I could get through it

It was quite grim with all of the deer killing and random sex the young girl participated in. It made her an unlikable character.
Even at the end I was not fond of her and had no attachment to whether she could truly exist or not.
Several times throughout the book I thought to exchange it and then thought it would get better so I kept persevering and unfortunately it did not.

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The natural strength and fortitude of Women

This was an amazing story about the innate ability, determination and brilliance of a young woman to survive when all was stacked against her. Well written and the narrator was incredible! Brava!

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Wonderful read! I thoroughly enjoyed the storyline

The story, location and best of all the time line of this was very enjoyable.

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Great novel-- a girl and her river(s)

What a beautiful novel. Bonnie Jo Campbell is clearly one of the important fiction writers of our time, and this is a beautiful book.