Downloadable Audiobook - 2011
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From the celebrated twenty-nine-year-old author of the everywhere-heralded short-story collection St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves ("How I wish these were my own words, instead of the breakneck demon writer Karen Russell's . . . Run for your life. This girl is on fire"-- Los Angeles Times Book Review ) comes a blazingly original debut novel that takes us back to the swamps of the Florida Everglades, and introduces us to Ava Bigtree, an unforgettable young heroine.

The Bigtree alligator-wrestling dynasty is in decline, and Swamplandia!, their island home and gator-wrestling theme park, formerly #1 in the region, is swiftly being encroached upon by a fearsome and sophisticated competitor called the World of Darkness. Ava's mother, the park's indomitable headliner, has just died; her sister, Ossie, has fallen in love with a spooky character known as the Dredgeman, who may or may not be an actual ghost; and her brilliant big brother, Kiwi, who dreams of becoming a scholar, has just defected to the World of Darkness in a last-ditch effort to keep their family business from going under. Ava's father, affectionately known as Chief Bigtree, is AWOL; and that leaves Ava, a resourceful but terrified thirteen, to manage ninety-eight gators and the vast, inscrutable landscape of her own grief.

Against a backdrop of hauntingly fecund plant life animated by ancient lizards and lawless hungers, Karen Russell has written an utterly singular novel about a family's struggle to stay afloat in a world that is inexorably sinking. An arrestingly beautiful and inventive work from a vibrant new voice in fiction.

From the Hardcover edition.
Publisher: New York : Books on Tape, 2011
Edition: Library ed
ISBN: 9780307748904
Branch Call Number: Online Audio Book
Characteristics: 1 sound file :,digital


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Jan 12, 2018

The teenage reader of this audiobook was woefully amateurish and lacking in reading or dramatic talent. I persevered with her flat and toneless reading for at least three-quarters of the book, but only because I found the narrative and characters compelling. Then I had to give up because I couldn't bring myself to listen to a reader who managed to make a good novel sound like a kid reading a Nancy Drew book at a sleepover. What a shame!

hershyd Feb 28, 2017

Just couldn't get into this as an audiobook.

librarylizzard Jul 31, 2015

This was.. okay. Given that it was nominated for the 2012 Pulitzer prize I was disappointed. I really enjoyed the portions that revolved around the protagonist's brother and his employment at the offbeat "World of Darkness" amusement park. The rest I could take or leave. It was, though, a fair portrayal of the struggles of making a living on the fringes of society in the offshore swamps.

Jul 08, 2012

The young reader could have used coaching on pronunciation, and the older one was pretty bad with accents. Not my favorite kind of story, but a good portrayal of a young woman dealing with traumatic experiences. I appreciated the deus ex machina ending.

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