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Crossing to Safety Audiobook – Unabridged

4.5 out of 5 stars 90 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio Download
  • Listening Length: 12 hours and 25 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Recorded Books
  • Audible.co.uk Release Date: 14 Aug. 2009
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002SQ5Y96
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank:

Customer reviews

Top customer reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Stegner, Wallace. Crossing to Safety

Wallace Stegner tells the story of four friends, Larry and Sally Morgan and Sid and Charity Lang, who meet as new faculty members at Madison, Wisconsin. Sid and Charity are rich, while Larry and Sally are poor, but this disparity is soon forgotten as the Langs throw a party for all new members, at which performances are obligatory. The Langs proceed to adopt their poor relations, finding them intellectually stimulating and congenial. After a year, however, Larry is terminated despite his having published articles and a book, while, owing to the financial squeeze of the Depression, Sid is retained for just one more year. Early on it is established that Charity Lang is the leader of social and cultural events, insisting on the Morgans occupying their house over the summer vacation. Charity has plans, for everyone including the Morgans their ‘adoptive’ family and their new-born daughter, Lang Morgan.
Mostly the tone is reminiscential, as Larry recalls the glorious summer in Arcady before he became an editor for Uncle Richard in Albuquerque, a post in which he more than doubled his university salary. He has even managed to repay the Langs after several years, during which time both women have physically deteriorated - Charity, now a mulltiple mum, being stricken with cancer, Sally crippled with polio. But the parties continue, now with swarms of kids attached, as does Charity’s determination to divert her husband’s efforts from writing poetry into recognised scholarship.

I was thankful to find no happy ending, no tacked on or hopeful last episode - except for the symbolic survival of a presumed drowned mouse. As Larry says, ‘You can’t be close to the mortality of friends without being brought to think of your own.’ I felt that I had understood Larry and rooted for him in his battles with the redoubtable Charity, a finely drawn character whom I’d go a mile to avoid.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have not finished the book yet but I am enjoying it very much as it is beautifully written.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Another book club read -and the first time I'd heard of this author let alone read one of his books. I found it well written and involving despite the focus on individuals rather than world events. I would certainly look to read more by Stegner and was surprised to hear that people found it difficult to finish. As with all such choices I read the book before looking at-or publishing - a review. Should be an interesting discussion in a week or two's time
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Format: Paperback
After a lyrical start with fine landscape descriptions, this novel became a hard read for me until I got to the middle. My problem was that I could not admire the hyperactive, controlling character Charity and her hectic hospitality. The narrator (and hence author) seemed to expect a complete acceptance of her, warts and all. Also, in parts of the novel (including the ill-judged Florentine episode) there was an almost offensive smugness about social mores and intellectual interests. From the middle onwards there was at long last overt acknowledgment of Charity's failings, but I did not find the analysis of what glued her marriage to Sid together convincing. His pliability and limited talent did not seem enough explanation of why he submitted to her unrealistic ambitions for him as an academic and to her domestic demands on him. Perhaps the answer is that when fate stepped in and he lost his teaching post, she spent two months in a mental hospital — a vulnerability which he perhaps foresaw.. However, the novel touches on various interesting themes such as the value or otherwise of writing or teaching poetry, the stress of caring for a disabled spouse or being disabled oneself, attitudes to terminal illness. All things considered, an interesting book.
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By hfffoman TOP 500 REVIEWER on 6 Feb. 2015
Format: Paperback
This novel is so beautifully written I actually copied out some passages just so I could come back and admire them.

Choose this book if you enjoy fine observation of realistic characters, reflection rather than events. You don't need to know what it's about, though you have probably seen a summary saying it's about the relationship between two couples. That doesn't matter. What matters is the way he writes about them. When the couples are about to meet for the first time, the narrator rings the doorbell and devotes half a page of discussion to the meaning of pressing the button. The meeting itself generates a longer essay. It is almost as reflective as Proust and indeed early in the book the narrator says he is going for a walk to do a little recherche du temps perdu. If you like the reflective style (of the two dramatic events in the book, one is described with more reflection than drama and the other he actually skips with the cheeky comment that this isn't an adventure novel) you will find it here in its finest style. To give a good feel for it would make this review overly long but here is a tiny bit from the meeting I mentioned above:

"We wandered into their orderly Newtonian universe a couple of asteroids and they captured us with their gravitational pull and made moons of us and fixed us in orbit around themselves... We felt their friendship as freezing travellers felt a dry room and a fire."

It's a fine novel. If you are deciding whether to get the audio or the text version, I recommend text. The audio isn't, in my view, well read.

Finally, my favourite passage, in case you happen to remember, is the internal debate about upward mobility (beginning of part 2 chapter 4).
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