- Audio Cassette
- Publisher: Audio Book Contractors; AUDIO CASSETTE edition (1 June 1994)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1556852827
- ISBN-13: 978-1556852824
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 3.2 x 22.9 cm
- Customer Reviews: 4 customer reviews
My Antonia Audio, Cassette – Audiobook, Import
Audio, Cassette, Audiobook, Import
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My Antonia looks back at life on the Nebraska plains from the late 1800's to the turn of the century. The novel is perfect for audio--the narrative tone of reminiscence set when two life-long friends recall the adventures of their childhood. Grover Garner uses accents and dialect effectively for the voices of the European immigrants, who are an integral part of the story. The impersonal tone Gardner chooses for Jim Burden, the teller of the tale, is unfortunate. More inflection would enhance the presentation. Still, the pioneer spirit shines through, and this work should be a standard in a balanced audio collection. C.A.K. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine
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The setting of Black Hawk, Nebraska at the end of the 1800s provides the background for the world of the small town growing up with a population of farmers and merchants, immigrants and itinerant cowboys. We witness throughout this largely plotless though riveting novel the joys and the heartbreaks in this world. The narrator, Jim Burden, is profoundly influenced by the community but he also is fated to depart for the East. A few subsequent visits to his hometown over the ensuing decades round out the stories of the characters who had such lively and eventful times growing up.
I don’t want to diminish Cather’s powerful imagination but I think one of the things that’s so wonderful about this novel is the way that she used her own experiences to help her tell this story. Two of the bulls in the novel are named Gladstone and Brigham Young and this apparently was what her father called his own bulls on account of the stubborn disposition in one and the physical adequacy in the other. This kind of true life inspiration didn’t go unnoticed in Cather’s lifetime. According to the footnotes of the Willa Cather Scholarly Edition one local immigrant’s obituary made the claim about a passage in ‘My Antonia’ that “There is no doubt that the inspiration for this sketch came from her acquaintance with Mr. Hansen.”
Cather quotes Virgil in saying “in the lives of mortals the best days are the first to flee” and this book is a profound exploration of this theme of the early formative influences of life and their effect on our characters and personalities. It can also be understood to show the way the character of a community or nation is formed by its past as well. Cather also wrote that “Some memories are realities, and are better than anything that can ever happen to one again” and I would say that this book, too, is a reality, and reading it is better than anything that can ever happen to one.
The story was delightful to read, especially for one who came to the Midwest as a twelve year old German girl, who had to learn a new language, new customs, and make new friends.