The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio

  • by Terry Ryan
  • Narrated by Terry Ryan
  • 4 hrs and 30 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Stepping back into a time when fledgling advertising agencies were active partners with consumers, Terry Ryan tells how her mother kept the family afloat by writing jingles and contest entries. Mom's winning ways defied the church, her alcoholic husband, and antiquated views of housewives. To her, flouting convention was a small price to pay when it came to securing a happy home for her six sons and four daughters. Evelyn, who would surely be a Madison Avenue executive if she were working today, composed her jingles not in the boardroom, but on the ironing board. Evelyn Ryan won every appliance her family ever owned by entering contests. It wasn't just the winning that was miraculous; it was the timing. If a toaster died, one was sure to arrive in the mail from a forgotten contest. Graced with a rare appreciation for life's inherent hilarity, Evelyn turned every financial challenge into an opportunity for fun and profit. From her frenetic supermarket shopping spree - worth $3,000 today - to her clever entries worthy of Erma Bombeck, Dorothy Parker, and Ogden Nash, Evelyn Ryan's story shows how a winning spirit will triumph over the poverty of circumstance.

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What the Critics Say

"If Mrs. Ryan were starting out today, she'd be president of J. Walter Thompson tomorrow." (The New York Times)
"This well-told, suspenseful tale...has a fiction-worthy climax that will keep listeners laughing even as they're glued to Ryan's tale." (Publishers Weekly)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Totally Delightful!

I had read Terry Ryan's book when it was newly published and enjoyed it very much. When I saw that it was available via Audible, I never hesitated to purchase it and listen to Terry read it--in fact, I think I'll probably download it again and again. The writing is refreshing and truly a work to honor her mother, father and siblings. I recommend this to anyone who wants to hear an amazing story of a family growing up in the fifties in hard times.
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- Deena

When will I learn???

99% of the time, I am disappointed when an author reads their own book, and this time was no exception. I'm sure I would have loved this book if I'd read it (rather than listened to it), but the reader, who is the author, is the most monotone reader EVER. It is a humorous memoir, but she manages to suck the lifeblood from the story at every turn. I also think the jingles that are an integral part of the story are just better to look at on a page than to listen to, ironically, as many of them have word plays that you really ought to slow down to truly appreciate. Finally, it is totally my fault, but I didn't realize this was an abridged version, which just ain't the real thing. Save your $ and check this one out of your local library in print.
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- Lynn

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-27-2001
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio