Customer Reviews for

My Antonia (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

13 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

Top 10 American novel published during 20th century

Since contemporary novels seldom draw me in and retain my interest past the first 60 pages, I sometimes pursue the bookstore for quality classic literature that I have yet to read. Thanks B&N for including Willa Cather's My Antonia in your Classic Series. Although relat...
Since contemporary novels seldom draw me in and retain my interest past the first 60 pages, I sometimes pursue the bookstore for quality classic literature that I have yet to read. Thanks B&N for including Willa Cather's My Antonia in your Classic Series. Although relatively well-educated and well-read, I discovered this novel when browsing in-store. Cather's story-telling style and vivid descriptions transported me to a different time and place while her character development prompted me to continue reading. The quality of the story made it a page-turner and one of the two novels I have enjoyed reading most in the last 10 years.

posted by JSAlex000 on June 26, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

My Antonia

A young Jim Burden is sent west in the early 1900's to live with his grandparents. On the train to his new house meets a young girl a couple of years older than he is. Although he doesn't know it, this is the beginning of a long-lasting friendship. After settling int...
A young Jim Burden is sent west in the early 1900's to live with his grandparents. On the train to his new house meets a young girl a couple of years older than he is. Although he doesn't know it, this is the beginning of a long-lasting friendship. After settling into his house on the plains of Nebraska, he ventures out to greet his new neighbor. Antonia Shimerda is her name and her family had immigrated from Bohemia. As Jim grows up he has many experiences with Antonia. When Jim is twelve, he and his family move into the nearby town, Black Hawk. Antonia also goes into town to find work. Because they belong to separate 'classes' they start to separate. As Jim settles down and continues his education, Antonia goes wild and goes to every town dance possible. After a failed marriage and an unwanted baby, Antonia moves back into the country to help her family's farm. Jim, meanwhile, transfers from the Lincoln University to Harvard. Forty years later Jim revisits Antonia to find her happily married and living a farm life full of content. Even though Antonia isn't as successful as Jim she seems to get more out of life. My Antonia is a wonderful piece of literature that shows the true meaning of happiness and the life and times of the early 1900's.

posted by Anonymous on April 3, 2005

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2005

    My Antonia

    A young Jim Burden is sent west in the early 1900's to live with his grandparents. On the train to his new house meets a young girl a couple of years older than he is. Although he doesn't know it, this is the beginning of a long-lasting friendship. After settling into his house on the plains of Nebraska, he ventures out to greet his new neighbor. Antonia Shimerda is her name and her family had immigrated from Bohemia. As Jim grows up he has many experiences with Antonia. When Jim is twelve, he and his family move into the nearby town, Black Hawk. Antonia also goes into town to find work. Because they belong to separate 'classes' they start to separate. As Jim settles down and continues his education, Antonia goes wild and goes to every town dance possible. After a failed marriage and an unwanted baby, Antonia moves back into the country to help her family's farm. Jim, meanwhile, transfers from the Lincoln University to Harvard. Forty years later Jim revisits Antonia to find her happily married and living a farm life full of content. Even though Antonia isn't as successful as Jim she seems to get more out of life. My Antonia is a wonderful piece of literature that shows the true meaning of happiness and the life and times of the early 1900's.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2014

    A very readable classic

    This novel is well written. It contains much information about the settling of immigrants from Europe in Nebraska. The characters are well-drawn. I read it for a discussion group and recommend it.

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  • Posted June 17, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A So-not-that-depressing realist work

    My Antonia by Willa Cather is about the friendship between a boy, Jim, and an immigrant girl, Antonia. Willa Cather's novel deals with issues such as immigration, suicide, prejudice, and unrequited love. My Antonia is a charming coming-of-age story set in the late 19th c. The characters are realistically written. The story is narrated by Jim and is a compilation of memories from his childhood and young adult life.
    To be honest, I did not want to read this book-mostly because it is a realist work. I'm not a huge fan of realism-I find it quite depressing. I still wonder why I decided to take a class on American Literature that concentrated on Realist works. I had to read and write a paper on this novel. So, of course, I was dreading it. But it truly surprised me. I did not expect to like it at all. I recommend you read this if you like classic American Literature. Even if you don't, it's still a good read; and by far my favorite of all the books/short stories I had to read for that class.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2010

    Great introduction to pioneer women and their life...

    This is a great story to provide an introduction to strong women and their struggles in creating a life during the early days of the settlors. It is truly moving and a story every young lady should read...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2009

    um um, bad for book reports.

    OK, so ! read this book for a book report, and I was required to find 4 reviews about my book from reliable sources. NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. I could not find one other than the one already printed on the front cover of this book. It is a good read, don't get me wrong, but it's a bad book for reports.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    a little disappointed

    I picked My Antonia mainly because the back of the book called it a romantic novel. Although this book was not bad, it was certainly not a romantic novel. I was disappointed with the book because I felt like the author could have done more with the story and should have made the story a little more exciting. There are no parts that have you on the edge of your seat, that's for sure. The story was kind of touching and sentimental, but like I said there was no excitement. I like books that are 'page turners' that make you laugh out loud and cry. This book definitely did not fit that criteria. Its a classic, so therefore I do not regret reading it. It's a very short book, so I guess that it's worth it.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2008

    Heartfelt

    Jim, a prosperous New York Lawyer contructs a memoir of his childhood freind, Antonia, as he travels by train to the town where they were raised in Nebraska. When Jim's last parent passed away at the age of ten, he was left to move onto his grandparents farm in rural Nebraska. While growing up in the small populated country side he creates an unbreakable bond with his neighbors the most special being with a girl close to his age, Antonia. He teaches Antonia, an imigrant, the ways of life in America. As the years pass they grow closer as well as farther apart with time. Jim leaves for college as Antonia struggles with hardships back on the farm. When Jim gets a job in New York he seems farthest from Antonia. This wonderful memoir tells the story of an unbroken bond between life long freinds and how remembering the little things in life can be more important than anything. Reflecting on life and the relationships you have, make you think what the true meaning of life is really about.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2008

    A True Novel?

    Written in 1918, Cather reveals what it is like to spend one's childhood in a Nebraska town, buried in wheat and corn and extremes in climate. A friend, Jim Burden, a lawyer, writes the manuscript for the story and Cather edits and publishes it, according to the introduction, although it is classed as a novel. It is centered around a Behemian girl, Antonia, they both knew and admired, and to them represented the country, the conditions, the whole childhood adventure. Jim periodically renews his friendship with Antonia who married another Bohemian immigrant and together reared a dozen children. It is a story about the hardships of the era and an indomitable woman, triumphing over life. Trish New, author of The Thrill of Hope, South State Street Journal, and Memory Flatlined.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2005

    A good book

    This was one of my summer reading books, and although I did not entirely enjoy reading it, I still learned a lot from it and am grateful I did read this book. What Cather's writing lacks in plot, it makes up for in language and description. The book is not very exciting, and unless you are assigned to read it as I was, it will take all you have to keep reading it. The characters are very deep and the relationships between them are something any reader or writer can learn from. I think I do recommend it, but I also have to say, Good Luck.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2005

    All Right

    This was required reading for my English class. The story was OK, and I had a hard time staying with it because it isn't a plot based book. But I think that there are some important aspects of the book that everyone should understand and take to heart, like those of the immigrants and the struggle they went through. I enjoyed the book overall.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2005

    Yes, of course

    I had to read this book as an assignment, so naturally I did not enjoy it too terribly much. My fellow classmates and I decided that the most interesting part of this book is within the first 30 pages, where a snake is killed. But I do have to give this book credit for making me think, there is plenty of symbolism, foreshadowing and other literary elements. It seems that nothing is as it seems... After discussing this book within the class multiple times, my eyes were opened to the many symbolic events. This book ties the main focus of the book, Antonia, to the Earth itself many a time, and there are several references to the Garden of Eden and such, so be on the lookout!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2005

    Willa Cather Hits the Past

    My Antonia fell to a three-star rating as it failed to keep deep interest throughout the entire book. My Antonia is a story about Jim Burden¿s life experiences as he moves to live with his grandparents in Nebraska. He meets new people, including Antonia, as he encounters hardships and goes on to experience new ways of life. Many characters were thoroughly described but brought no meaning to the importance in the plot. It only drags the story out. Even though it had its drawbacks, it still painted a great picture of the pioneer times. Hardships were fought through, and stories were remembered reflecting each moment of the past. My Antonia had a considerably good ending as it tied together past memories that would never be forgotten.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2003

    My reasons why some should or should not read My Antonia

    While reading the novel, My Antonia I took in some very interesting thoughts about it. I believe that it's a great book for one to read if you like to see just how the immigrant lifestyle had its up's and down's. If you are a foreign person, never been to the United States, but know to expect something way different, at least make sure you come completely prepared. As for the Shimerdas from Bohemia, they came somewhat prepared, but ended up getting used and paying for it too. We all know that life has changed since the nineteenth century, but one still has to watch out when going through life. My Antonia will also teach you not to do something unless it is the truth and you know the real feelings. That is a big aspect throughout the book. I would recommed this book to anyone who wants to learn how to get on the right path from a young age. If you are ready for a compelling story, the Burden's and Shimerdas' will sweep you right off your feet in the book My Antonia!!

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    Posted September 27, 2010

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    Posted July 6, 2011

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    Posted May 17, 2011

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    Posted August 9, 2010

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    Posted May 31, 2011

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