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THE ALL-TRUE TRAVELS AND ADVENTURES OF LIDIE NEWTON.

Smiley, Jane.

ISBN 10: 0002257432 / ISBN 13: 9780002257435
Published by KNOPF. NY 1998, 1998
Condition: Fine Hardcover
From WAVERLEY BOOKS ABAA (Santa Monica, CA, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

SIGNED by Jane Smiley on the title page. Fine in a fine dj.; Signed by Author(s). Bookseller Inventory # 3580

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Bibliographic Details

Title: THE ALL-TRUE TRAVELS AND ADVENTURES OF LIDIE...

Publisher: KNOPF. NY 1998

Publication Date: 1998

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: First Edition.

About this title

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Review:

All too often, this abridged version of the cassette edition of The All-True Travels and Adventures of Lidie Newton leaves the listener breathless. Jane Smiley's 450-page action-packed story of pioneers in the 1850s has been reduced, here, to four compact tapes, each one galloping across the prairie landscape of abolitionist politics and homesteading hardships with the abandon of the Pony Express. Read by actress Mare Winningham (Georgia, St. Elmo's Fire), the tale belongs entirely to its resilient heroine, Lidie Newton, whose whirlwind adventures begin with her marriage to abolitionist Thomas Newton and their departure for the Kansas Territory. There, the uneasy co-existence between emigrant abolitionists and pro-slavery Missourians is forever erupting, spewing forth disreputable characters and spirited subplots that tax even Lidie's tenacious optimism. Winningham has fun adding vocal nuance to this colorful cast, though Lidie emerges a little more refined on tape than she appears in print. In the interest of economy, the tapes also eliminate context-such as the overheated political backdrop for so many events or the private voices of the Newton marriage. Here is Lidie a few months into her marriage, in a passage omitted from this cassette: "Thus, I sat across from my husband. . .wondering whether he was the closed, dull, stiffly upright, and self-righteous person part of me seemed to see, or the pained, lonely, and worried person another part of me seemed to see." By losing these rare glimpses at an introspective Lidie, the tapes sacrifice the deeper dimensions of the book. Stripped of the more writerly Smiley, they leave, instead, a fast-paced, entertaining story, narrowly saved from melodrama by Lidie's clear-eyed view of matters and Smiley's fluid handling of the narrative. If you're not a purist, this abridged version offers a worthwhile diversion for a day's outing-with or without the kids.(5 Hours; 4 cassettes)

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