A Thousand Acres

  • by Jane Smiley
  • Narrated by C. J. Critt
  • 14 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Winner of both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award, Jane Smiley's spellbinding novel also headed best-seller lists for many months. A Thousand Acres is the powerful, mythic story of an American farm family and the land that nourishes and consumes its members.Three daughters and their husbands are pulled into a tangle of love, jealousy, and fear when their father, Larry Cook, grows too old to manage the family's fertile thousand-acre farm. As each couple struggles with their own tragedies and challenges, they know their father is judging them in light of the weighty inheritance that hovers within their reach.The Cook family, and the farm community around them, are part of a mosaic that is as enduring as the fences and fields of the broad midwestern landscape. But this endurance exacts an immense price from them in return. You will find that this nationally-acclaimed, breathtaking story, in a stirring narration by C. J. Critt, is an unforgettable listening experience.

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What the Critics Say



Pulitzer Prize winner, Fiction, 1992
National Book Critics Circle Award, Fiction, 1991

"[A] magnificent, haunting family drama, an American retelling of Shakespeare's King Lear set on a contemporary Iowa farm....a favorite choice of reading groups everywhere (it would be a natural for Oprah)." (Entertainment Weekly)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

good book bad reader

I stopped listening and will buy this book to read. The narrator was awful--she read as if the book were as simple as the characters are "supposed" to be--as if she did not have a clue about what is really inside the book she was reading. This recording is a reminder to me of how I can sometimes take the important contributions of good readers for granted!
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- C. Carlson

A great read.

What did you love best about A Thousand Acres?

There were so many good things about this book...the characters and their development, the details that made you feel like you were right there, the unveiling of relationships, the contrast points to King Lear...and the narration.


Who was your favorite character and why?

Ginny was my favorite, although I liked her more in the beginning than the end. Her self discovery was surprising and amazing. It made me like the characters with their flaws.


What does C. J. Critt bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

This was read so well, I don't know how she accomplished it! With so many different people to play, her voice managed to give faces to them all. She gave weight to small things, didn't overdramatize the heavy moments. When playing Larry, she made him so mean and threatening, it was visual. She is an amazing reader.


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

No, not all at once.


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- sfgirlnow

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-23-2008
  • Publisher: Recorded Books