The Big Rock Candy Mountain

The Big Rock Candy Mountain

by Wallace Stegner


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The Big Rock Candy Mountain by Wallace Stegner

Bo Mason, his wife, Elsa, and their two boys live a transient life of poverty and despair. Drifing from town to town and from state to state, the violent, ruthless Bo seeks outhis fortune—in the hotel business, on new farmland, and, eventually, in illegal rum-running through the threacherous back roads of the American Northwest. Bo chases after the promise of teh American dream through Minnesota, the Dakotas, Saskatchewan, Montana, Utah and Nevada, but ultimately there is no escaping the devastating reach of the Depression and his own ruinous fate.

In this affecting narrative, a defining masterpiece by the "dean of Western writers" (The New York Times), Wallace Stegner portrays more than three decades in the life of the Mason family as they struggle to survivle during the lean years of the early twentieth century.

With an introduction by Robert Stone.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780525435235
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 11/28/2017
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 656
Sales rank: 553,554
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Wallace Stegner (1909-1993) was the author of, among other novels, Remembering Laughter, 1937; The Big Rock Candy Mountain, 1943; Joe Hill, 1950; All the Little Live Things, 1967 (Commonwealth Club Gold Medal); A Shooting Star, 1961; Angle of Repose, 1971 (Pulitzer Prize); The Spectator Bird, 1976 (National Book Award, 1977); Recapitulation, 1979; and Crossing to Safety, 1987. His nonfiction includes Beyond the Hundredth Meridian, 1954; Wolf Willow, 1963; The Sound of Mountain Water (essays), 1969; The Uneasy Chair: A Biography of Bernard DeVoto, 1974; and Where the Bluebird Sings to the Lemonade Springs: Living and Writing in the West (1992). Three of his short stories have won O. Henry Prizes, and in 1980 he received the Robert Kirsch Award from the Los Angeles Times for his lifetime literary achievements. His Collected Stories was published in 1990.

Date of Birth:

February 18, 1909

Date of Death:

April 13, 1993

Place of Birth:

Lake Mills, Iowa

Place of Death:

Santa Fe, New Mexico


B.A., University of Utah, 1930; attended University of California, 1932-33; Ph. D., State University of Iowa, 1935

Table of Contents

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"An irreplaceable classic . . . One of the great books from which we may understand America and its rise . . . It has not aged, and it seems unlikely that, as long as memory and history preserve the bringing forth of modern life on this continent, it will ever lose relevance."
-Robert Stone, from the Introduction

"Stegner has felt the spell of mountain and prairie, of drought, flood, and blizzard. . . . A harrowing saga."
-The New York Times

"Stands out beautifully and unforgettably."
-The New Yorker

Customer Reviews

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The Big Rock Candy Mountain 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
An incredibly literate journey through the 20th century. We travel with Bo and Elsa through their meeting through marriage, children and ultimately old age and death. Their lives believably weave through the most important events of the century. Bo is always looking for his Big Rock Candy Mountain,while Elsa, like women everywhere works on keeping her family together. I first read this book 30 years ago as a 21 year old college student and just reread it as a Grandma. It still holds the honor of being my all time favorite novel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This semi-autobiographical novel is a wonderful look at life in the mid-west and west from 1900 to 1930. It is very well written. It presents the role of women as it was in those time.
PeggyBrooks More than 1 year ago
This book was the most outstanding book, and author I have read in a long time. This was truly an incredible journey experienced through the written word. It has been a number of years since I was in university, but I know I was not introduced to this remarkable author. It is my opinion that all students of American literature should be. It is my desire to read all that this man has written so as to experience his style to the fullest. I will long remember this tragedy.
Smiley on LibraryThing 13 days ago
One of my favorite of Stegner's fictions. His "Grapes of Wrath" novel of the transient modern west. Also a compelling saga of the toll of years on a family and what that family becomes.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read Angle of Repose twice - Crossing To Safety three times. (I'm old) others, once. This one and its sequel are too sad.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Snow~She padded in being followed by two other cats <br> Darkness-She followed her mother. <br> Ceder-He followed Darkness and Snow
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Come on! I didn't come all this way just to lose him again!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He is scared most likley. Forgot what it wa like to be free.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can be darkkit
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This place is kind of inactive. Im debating on leaving
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Pads in.