Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The Big Rock Candy Mountain by Wallace Stegner

There's a song of course...and the inference of moonshine running in the backwoods.  I thought perhaps this would be an account of such things in the Appalachians.  But, instead Stegner stayed with the west.  The first book I had read by him was Angle of Repose.  See that review HERE.  I was disappointed in the way that one had ended, but had otherwise loved the book.  I was ready for more, and was NOT disappointed.  Wallace Stegner is a master!  This time, instead of mainly California for a setting, the family he is writing about move from Minnesota into Canada and then to Utah, Nevada, and back to Utah.  The book chronicled the life of a single family and covers a lot of years, mainly over the Depression era.  It is a beautifully crafted book.  Below is my Goodreads review....

Wallace Stegner is an award-winning writer, and there is in his writing that special quality of knowing human beings, of telling their stories and digging deep into their inner beings in the process. He also has an amazing gift for detail and a wonderful way with words. This was a long book, but I have to say, I enjoyed every minute of The Big Rock Candy Mountain because each character became someone I knew intimately, and often grew to love deeply. The book is an American tragedy....but more than that, it is the tragedy of family relationships. No one can tell such a story better than Stegner. As Elsa and Bo fall in love and set their paths together despite problems that are evident from the beginning, their road in quest of that big rock candy mountain of song is filled with struggle and disappointment. Elsa asks for little, and Bo desires much...trying to fill a hole left in his heart from his childhood. And no one understands him better or loves him more than Elsa, even while their lives are all being torn apart, and filled with pain. What a meaningful tribute to human frailty! Great book!


  1. It sounds like good read. With great characters. Thanks for the review!

  2. well, now I have read your review... and it grabbed me from the get-go. I am finding disappointment in the latest books I've read. Not sure if I am just tiring of reading or the books I choose aren't top quality. At any rate I think this may be something I would enjoy.

  3. Thank you both! Hope you do give it a chance at some point!


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