• by David Rhodes
  • Narrated by Lloyd James
  • 15 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Driftless is an unforgettable story of contemporary life in rural America. Words, Wisconsin, home to a few hundred people yet absent from state maps, comes richly to life by way of an extraordinary cast of characters.
Among them, a middle-aged couple guards the family farm from the mendacious schemes of their milk cooperative; a lifelong invalid finds herself crippled by her resentment of and her affection for her sister; a woman of conflicting impulses and pastor of the local Friends Church stumbles upon an enlightenment she never expected; a cantankerous retiree discovers a cougar living in his haymow, haunting him like a childhood memory; and a former drifter forever alters the ties that bind a community together.
At once intimate and funny, wise and generous, Driftless marks the triumphant return of a significant American writer.


What the Critics Say

"The best work of fiction to come out of the Midwest in many years." (Chicago Tribune)
"Rhodes illuminates the wisdom acquired through hard work, the ancient covenant of farming, and the balm of kindness. Encompassing and incisive, comedic and profound, Driftless is a radiant novel of community and courage." (Booklist)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


This is one of the best listens I've encountered in a long time. For me the writing ranks among giants like "Cold Mountain" (Charles Frazier) and "East of the Mountains" (David Guterson). David Rhodes' command of the English language approaches the poetic, and his economy of expression is such that not one word is wasted on frivolous description or exaggerated emotion. I would normally subtract a star for this ending - I thought it just barely established the characters in kind of a stable oasis, and the narrative could have used just one or two more sentences. It seemed the writing stopped rather abruptly and could have used a few more words - just a few - to cushion the blow. But that opinion is hardly enough to detract from this work of elegant fiction. Can't wait to read it again, now that I know the characters better!
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- Pamela Harvey


For those who crave a bigger life essence, the kind found in community, here is "Driftless." Go to your favorite reading chair, sit back and relax. Take a deep breath and exhale your present inner "situation". You are in for a story. There's a lot going on in Words, Wisconsin. Wait till you meet everybody!

Beautiful prose.
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- Mary Jane

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-15-2009
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.