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Publisher's Summary

Deemed "essential" in the canon of American literature, this audiobook masterpiece performed in its entirety by a full cast makes the classic accessible to everyone. From a cemetery in a fictional mid-American town, the dead speak the truths about their lives. Some speak of hardships and sordidness; others, of their simple, honest, happy lives. Some are elderly and others are youthful or children; mortality has claimed them all. Their voices reach us deeply, alternately plaintive, anguished, enigmatic, angry, contemptuous, and comedic, evoking themes of love and hope, disappointment, despair, and abiding faith. As the Spoon River residents examine their lives, they invite us to do the same.
Public Domain (P)2002 Patrick Franley and the Audio Partners Publishing Corp. Published by The Audio Partners.

Critic Reviews

"The cast of 50, headed by Patrick Fraley and Edward Asner, is well matched to the many characters in this excellent production." (AudioFile)

What listeners say about Spoon River Anthology

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    48
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    17
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    15
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    7
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Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    40
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    11
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    9
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    2
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    2
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    30
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    14
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    12
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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

Magnificent American poetry

This anthology of beautiful, often gritty poems is every bit as powerful, amusing, and American as Whitman's Leaves of Grass. The Asner et. al. performance is magnificent! I wish they would record Whitman's great legacy to American letters like this! The performers lend meaning to the material in the best way. This is the way to read poetry! This is the way to listen to it!

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Music and - sound effects?

I wonder if Mr. Masters would've liked the quasi-folky guitar music that punctuates and interrupts his poetry, or the spooky howling wind behind the introduction of this - I hate to say - childlike interpretation of his work. Somehow, I doubt it, but if you like such add-ons and unnecessary nonsense, then go ahead and spend your $17.47. I wish I could have mine back.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Classic lessons from

Sound great and if they seem depressing, the point is being missed. They are meant to teach the living how to live and not carry their regrets to the grave.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Book

This is one of those books that I remember friends reading in high school, but for some reason my teacher skipped. It is something that I have meant to read for years, but have never made time for; well I am glad I finally made the time. Even though I knew the reputation of the book, I was still surprised by how well it worked. The depth and variety of the characters were surprising. Part of me really wanted to sit down and make a chart of all the interconnecting stories like I was some sort of school kid. If you have never made the time for this classic, I would suggest that you do so as soon as possible.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Good dramatic reading

I was looking for a good dramatic reading of this anthology on audio and this is the best one I've found. There is a cast of 50 that includes Patrick Fraley and Edward Asner. I highly recommend this version.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Treatment of a Great Work

This version of "Anthology" is beautfully read, and if the artistic choices are not always the ones I would choose, they are invariably well-chosen.

The exception to this is the music, which is a distraction. Sometimes the overly-folksy and sentimental music seems to be nothing more than a bridge between segments. Other times the music serves as a 'stinger' to emphasize a particularly arch point, as if to say, "Get it? Do you get it?" The musical contributions to this audiobook are unfortunate.

Beyond this, the audiobook is excellent.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Don't bother with this downer

I highly recommend this if you are feeling to good and need to take yourself down a peg. A continuous stream of bitter snipets from the grave

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Spoon River

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Yes, because I have always liked the work.

If you’ve listened to books by Edgar Lee Masters before, how does this one compare?

Not overly great.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

It's okay.

Was Spoon River Anthology worth the listening time?

Yes, because the work itself is memorable; the production seemed a little shallow.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Probably better to read it on the page

The readers all give quality performances, but the pace is so brisk that there’s not a lot of time to absorb much about each one.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Superb rendition of this classic!

The spirited performances by the fifty-plus actors in this superbly produced audiobook breathe life into Masters’ fascinating cast of characters who make their eternal home in the necropolis upon The Hill. Especially poignant poems include “The Hill,” “Amanda Barker,” “Fiddler Jones,” and “Petit, the Poet.”