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Publisher's Summary

Dancing at the Rascal Fair by National Book Award nominee Ivan Doig, captures the passion and tenacity of turn-of-the-century immigrants struggling to build new lives amidst Montana’s windswept Rockies. The tale unfolds into a contest of the heart between Anna Ramsay and Angus McCaskill—kept apart by obligations—as they and their stormy kin vie to tame the brutal land.
©1987 Ivan Doig (P)2010 Recorded Books, LLC
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Critic Reviews

“Magnificent…Dancing at the Rascal Fair establishes its author in the front ranks of contemporary American writers.” (Seattle Times)
"The settlement of Montana between 1890 and 1919 is recounted through the quiet but compelling life of Angus McCaskill, a young Scotsman who travels with his friend Rob Barclay to Montana's Two Medicine Country to homestead. Doig writes fervently of the voyage from Scotland and the lean first years, as the two share the work and hardship of establishing claims and building up flocks of sheep. He tells of their separate marriages, the severing of their friendship, and the final resolution of their conflict through death. Doig successfully recaptures the violence of the Montana elements and the staunch heritage of the Scottish settlers." (Library Journal)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Dana C. Nicolay on 05-28-10

New Favorite

The books starts off slow. However you will be richly rewarded with a powerful and passionate story if you stay with it. This book entices the reader with paragraph after paragraph of poetic prose. Then, the author grabs your attention with a spellbinding story that has all of the elements that make you want to begin reading and never stop. His beloved Montana comes to life such that you can hear the constant wind, feel the biting cold, taste the dust of the dry years, smell the sheep pens at shearing time, and see the vast expanses of prarie fading into the impossibly rugged mountains. This book grabbed me and wouldn't let go.

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36 of 38 people found this review helpful


By Janis on 09-01-10

What an Enchanting Story!

Thoroughly enjoyed this book written in the voice of a young Scottish immigrant who grows throughout this book in the realities of manhood in a rugged land. A coworker who was born and raised as the son of a Montana sheep herding family originally from Scotland said this book portrayed the true reality of that life style. This writer is among his favorites. The poetic prose of the writer coupled with his touching story makes this book one of my favorites also.

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18 of 20 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By sarahmoose2000 on 04-19-10

Scots Whahey

Another hidden gem here, not having had any interest in history, audible has further boosted my learning with this tale of two fellow Scots moving to Montana.

We learn of their heartbreaking battles with the climate and the demands of mother nature on body and mind. Your dreamy picture of a sunny Montana is harshly sullied by the bleak depictions of the winters. A real eyeopener, you'll love it and its characters.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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