• The Great Glorious Goddamn of It All

  • A Novel
  • By: Josh Ritter
  • Narrated by: Josh Ritter
  • Length: 6 hrs and 52 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (376 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From singer-songwriter Josh Ritter, a lyrical, sweeping novel about a young boy's coming of age during the last days of the lumberjacks.

In the tiny timber town of Cordelia, Idaho, 99-year-old Weldon Applegate recounts his life in all its glory, filled with tall tales writ large with murder, mayhem, avalanches, and bootlegging. It’s the story of dark pine forests brewing with ancient magic, and Weldon’s struggle as a boy to keep his father’s inherited timber claim, the Lost Lot, from the ravenous clutches of Linden Laughlin.

Ever since young Weldon stepped foot in the deep Cordelia woods as a child, he dreamed of joining the rowdy ranks of his ancestors in their epic axe-swinging adventures. Local legend says their family line boasts some of the greatest lumberjacks to ever roam the American West, but at the beginning of the 20th century, the jacks are dying out, and it’s up to Weldon to defend his family legacy.

Braided with haunting saloon tunes and just the right dose of magic, The Great Glorious Goddamn of It All is a novel bursting with heart, humor, and an utterly transporting adventure that is sure to sweep you away into the beauty of the tall snowy mountain timber.

©2021 Josh Ritter (P)2021 Harlequin Enterprises, Limited

Editor's Pick

An ode to American folk art
Coming from a musical background, I was drawn to this novel for its “haunting saloon tunes.” I loved its ominous earworms throughout, but from the moment I pressed play I realized I would be addicted to this audiobook for more than just its siren songs. To me, The Great Glorious Goddamn of It All is a beautiful testament to American folk traditions in all their forms. Larger than life, its lumberjacks eclipse Paul Bunyan as their origin stories set the stage for this listen like “meteors carving canyons.” Josh Ritter’s lush imagery paints the immense beauty of the American wilderness with an undeniable magic, and his elements of suspense put a chill down my spine that transported me to snowy mountaintops alongside his characters. I felt like I was listening to a tall tale told ’round a campfire. It truly made me excited for crisper autumn days to come. —Haley H., Audible Editor

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What listeners say about The Great Glorious Goddamn of It All

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

That was a pretty good story….

I may read it again to see if I missed anything!
And BTW, my goal is to be 108 years old when I finally kick the bucket! Wish me luck!

13 people found this helpful

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Great Narration

I'm not one for waxing poetic. I will say this though, I thought the narrator, who also happened to be the author was fantastic. In addition, I loved the grittiness of the main character. He was in no way perfect, and never claimed to be.

13 people found this helpful

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Even better than Bright’s Passage

Although one of music’s greatest lyricists I was still pleasantly surprised Josh Ritter could out do Bright’s Passage. However he managed to do it. The Great Glorious Goddamn Of It All stands as his greatest literary achievement to date. I anxiously await his third book.

12 people found this helpful

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Terrific Storytelling!

Absolutely love the way that Ritter strings his words together, whether in writing or in song. The poetry and Josh's narration swept me back in time to the Lost Lot and make me want to visit that corner of the universe. I'll be carrying the images with me for a while!

11 people found this helpful

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Eloquent Villain; If The Devil Carried an Axe

I am a massive Josh Ritter fan, so my opinion may be biased, but rarely have I so viscerally hated a villain. The everyday tedium and flaw of his characters adds a great realness to them all, and therefore moreso adds to the malice of well spoken Linden Laughlin. Weldon Applegate knows how to keep a ghost on his mountain.

10 people found this helpful

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Witty, fun, and raw

Great fun read of tall tales and a wonderful historical perspective of lumber jacking. Higher marks for performance when speaking for the older characters if a much older voice was used.

10 people found this helpful

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Gritty Artistry

Several years ago my music service recommended Josh Ritter as a lyricist I might enjoy. This service was correct, and my husband and I both started listening to anything he wanted to sing about. There is a realness and a beauty to the way he uses words. It’s a gift. When I saw he wrote a book, I thought, yeah, I want to check that thing out. The book is the same. It’s rough but beautiful. And listening to Josh Ritter read the book, well it felt like I had a friend telling me stories all day.

I listened to it in two days while I was doing some housework. And I’m a bit put out it’s over. There is a beautiful lyrical way that Josh Ritter uses words, and even describing something like a fight there’s beauty in there somewhere, some somewhere. I just really enjoyed the story structure, like a friend filling you in on the last 99 years of their life, there is a lot of cussing, so, see title, so if that will turn you off, no ahead of time. But the language feels exactly like it fits with Weldon.

8 people found this helpful

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Wonderful

The story was wonderful. Everything I thought it would be. I missed it when it was over.
But I better narrator would’ve really brought the whole thing to life.

7 people found this helpful

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  • KB
  • 09-30-21

Someday I'll go some some where

Evocative descriptions and eloquent vernacular of an old Jack in a lost time in a lost place.

7 people found this helpful

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A better narrator might have made a difference

Well, I found this rather boring. A different narrator might have made it more dramatic. Generally, I don’t find authors to be good narrators ( there are exceptions, Neil Gaiman being a stand-out example of a GREAT author/narrator ). Josh Ritter isn’t terrible, but he doesn’t give the story any emotional heft IMHO.

4 people found this helpful