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A lot can happen in 100 years, as Jane Smiley shows to dazzling effect in her Last Hundred Years trilogy. But as Golden Age, its final installment, opens in 1987, the next generation of Langdons face economic, social, political - and personal - challenges unlike anything their ancestors encountered before.
Michael and Richie, the rivalrous twin sons of World War II hero Frank, work in the high-stakes world of government and finance in Washington and New York, but they soon realize that one's fiercest enemies can be closest to home; Charlie, the charming, recently found scion, struggles with whether he wishes to make a mark on the world; and Guthrie, once poised to take over the Langdons' Iowa farm, is instead deployed to Iraq, leaving the land - ever the heart of this compelling saga - in the capable hands of his younger sister.
Determined to evade disaster for the planet and her family, Felicity worries that the farm's once-bountiful soil may be permanently imperiled by more than the extremes of climate change. And as they enter deeper into the 21st century, all the Langdon women - wives, mothers, daughters - find themselves charged with carrying their storied past into an uncertain future.
Combining intimate drama, emotional suspense, and a full command of history, Golden Age brings to a magnificent conclusion the century-spanning portrait of this unforgettable family - and the dynamic times in which they've loved, lived, and died: a crowning literary achievement from a beloved master of American storytelling.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Jean Tepperman on 12-17-15
brilliant and moving masterpiece
The whole trilogy gives a brilliant, incisive, sympathetic, unflinching, and amazingly complex picture of white middle class America from 1920 to 2020. The characters are fully drawn and engaging. The personal lives and varied journeys of four generations of a family starting on an Iowa farm present a panoramic and developmental account of social, economic, political, and cultural history. The story ends just a little farther down the road than we are now, brilliantly detailing how we arrived at our current economic, political, and environmental peril. At the same time the exquisitely sensitive descriptions of life stages -- infancy, adolescence, marriage, work, and old age -- are deeply moving. This is trilogy makes me wish I was still a teacher. I would love to teach a full-year course on the history of the last 100 years using this as the main text with student reports on what she left out (mainly the experiences of people of color and working class, also a little of conventional "history" thrown in). I can't remember reading anything I thought was this great, at least not for a long time
4 of 5 people found this review helpful
By Amazon Customer on 11-01-16
Little hard to follow all the characters.
Where does Golden Age rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
I would rank it near the middle 50%. Perhaps if I had listened to the earlier works, it would have been easier to follow.
Would you recommend Golden Age to your friends? Why or why not?
I would recommend reading the book, rather than just listening to it. There are so many characters, I needed to draw up my own family chart.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
No, this is a really long saga. I listened to it over about 10 days.