Pulling Down the Barn

  • by Anne-Marie Oomen
  • Narrated by Michelle Babb
  • 5 hrs and 0 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Pulling Down the Barn eloquently recalls author Anne-Marie Oomen's personal journey as she discovers herself an outsider on her family farm located in western Michigan's Oceana County, in the township of Elbridge - a couple hundred acres in the middle of rural America. Written as a series of heartfelt interlocking narratives, this collection of essays portrays the realities of farm life: haying, picking asparagus and cherries, the machinery of tractors and pickers; but each chapter also touches upon the more ethereal and rarely articulated: the stoic love that permeates a family, the farmer's struggle with identity, and the way land can shape a childhood. With its rich language and style, Pulling Down the Barn engrosses the listener in Oomen's memories - setting beauty and wonder against work and loss - and paints a poignant portrait of growing up in rural Michigan.
Winner of the Michigan Notable Book Awards. The book is published by Wayne State University Press.

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What the Critics Say

"Anne-Marie Oomen has written a perfect gem of a book: deceptively quiet, delicately structured, but with the enduring force, strength, and brilliance of a diamond." (A. Manette Ansay, author of Limbo and Vinegar Hill)
"Pulling Down the Barn is a vivid and magical work." (Barbara Hurd, author of Entering the Stone: On Caves and Feeling Through the Dark)
"Pulling Down the Barn is a wonderfully lyrical and evocative memoir." (Michael Steinberg, founding editor of Fourth Genre: Explorations in Nonfiction and author of Still Pitching: A Memoir)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Lots of little tiny stories

Would you listen to Pulling Down the Barn again? Why?

Most likely won't listen to it again. It was ok, and the details were good, it was just sometimes there was too many tiny details that it was easy to get sidetracked from what was going on with the people.


If you’ve listened to books by Anne-Marie Oomen before, how does this one compare?

No i havn't


Which scene was your favorite?

I found the whole party line for the phones pretty cool. My mom had that all while growing up and my grandma still had times where neighbors calls could be heard when she picked up the phone in the mid to later 80s.

I also liked the part where the one brother was hurt by the other brother, yelling to the parents that the one brother had been killed/was dead, and then all the kids getting in trouble even though only the 2 boys did the actions.... so typical for a lot of parents even today.


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, it was good to listen to a few stories and come back later and listen to a few more.


Any additional comments?

"This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of Audiobook Blast."

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- Jennifer Mulder

Pulling Down the Barn

Many interwoven short stories about growing up on a Michigan farm. The overall premise is good, but the tales sometimes ramble.



The narration was well done.The characters were well portrayed.


“This audiobook was given by the narrator at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review."
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- April H.

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-08-2015
  • Publisher: University Press Audiobooks