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Nathan Coulter

Narrated by: Paul Michael
Length: 4 hrs and 16 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)
Non-member price: $26.29
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Publisher's Summary

This, the first title in the Port William series, introduces the rural section of Kentucky with which novelist Wendell Berry has had a lifelong fascination.

When young Nathan loses his grandfather, Berry guides listeners through the process of Nathan's grief, endearing the listener to the simple humanity through which Nathan views the world. Echoing Berry's own strongly held beliefs, Nathan tells us that his grandfather's life "couldn't be divided from the days he'd spent at work in his fields".

Berry has long been compared to Faulkner for his ability to erect entire communities in his fiction, and his heart and soul have always lived in Port William, Kentucky. In this eloquent novel about duty, community, and a sweeping love of the land, Berry gives listeners a classic book that takes them to that storied place.

©2009 Wendell Berry (P)2009 christianaudio.com

Critic Reviews

"The Coulter family, like the rest of the people who dwell in this tiny farming community...are caught on the wheel of nature, which is at once blindingly beautiful and unwittingly cruel....The narrative is stunning, the natural scene is beautifully evoked." ( Los Angeles Times)

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jenna Moon
  • 16-08-2010

Beautifully written, well read

Wendell Berry has been on my reading "to do" list for a long time and Nathan Coulter was my first opportunity. It was everything I had hoped for: honest, real, deep character development; fantastic imagery; and a solid story. I enjoy mysteries, adventures and other story-driven books that I can't put down. But, I like to have audiobooks available on my ipod to make good use of driving time and so I want something that I can "put down" until my next long drive. Nathan Coulter filled that perfectly. I thoroughly enjoyed listening, but could stop and start as time allowed. The narrator has a pleasant, deep voice that fit the book well.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • mike holt
  • 08-05-2016

Never loses your interest

Short and sweet, love the way the story flows. It has dips and valleys you wouldn't see coming.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Debbie
  • 07-03-2019

Kentucky Men Tougher than Pine Knots

I met the men of my grandpa’s era in this book, the men who rubbed every nickel until the buffalo ‘bout wore off it. Men who split wood, stacked it along the fence, and ricked it before breakfast. Men to whom hard work was a religion, a means to an end, and the land they worked was their treasure, their inheritance, and their bequest to their children. And I was the oldest of many grandchildren, just so happened to be a girl, who grew up next to grandma and grandpa, on a limestone filled, farm on the Nolin River in Kentucky. Tobacco raisin’, garden growin’, huntin’, fishin’ and hard work, dusk to dawn . . . that’s what rural life in Kentucky was all about. And there was a glue, a love that goes beyond description, a fierceness that burned in grandpa, that held it all together. I saw him madder than a wet hen . . . too mad . . . and as a kid, I didn’t understand how it could flare up so fast and hot . . . listening to Nathan Coulter made a light go off in my head, and made me see clearly why grandma never challenged grandpa, how she kept loving him, accepting him, and how their complete opposite natures meant harmony. People, country people, without PhDs and big degrees, learned a lot more than we do now; accepted what they couldn’t change; and were better for it. I loved hearing all the old sayings that I heard growing up. It was an adventure, sometimes sad, sometimes funny, sometimes full of insight. An absolutely glorious listen.

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  • Justin J Bradbury
  • 19-10-2018

These are the people that keep America great-

I picked this up after Nick Offerman expressed so mich praise for Mr. Berry. The characters are steong willed and exemplify the heart and soul of real working folks. Unfortunately, the story never really goes anywhere - I kept waiting for some sort of climax but all I got was someone's life story. It was almost like listening to my grandfather read is diary.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Eddie Kramer II
  • 03-09-2018

Second rate to Hannah Coulter

I’m disappointed with this book after having read Hannah Coulter. I expected too much from Nathan Coulter, the husband of Hannah for so many years. This book helps the reader know more about Nathan’s early years and his troubled relationship with his father and brother. We learn nothing about his time at war, courtship and marriage to Hannah, or their child rearing.

“We weren't allowing our hopes to become expectations. Expectations are tempting, pleasant, maybe necessary. They are scary too, once you have had some experience. They are not necessarily and not always a bucket of smoke, but they can be and are even likely to be.”

Wendell Berry, Hannah Coulter

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  • Emily Whitaker
  • 07-09-2017

Lovely nostalgic read

In addition to being informative about life in those times (not certain what year), he captured how the families handled emotions that matches how my family approached life. Sweet book and I plan to read the whole set!

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  • tj rosson
  • 07-06-2017

an okay start.

I enjoyed the book. it was a little slow for me but maybe that's the point.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Michael
  • 16-10-2016

Another beautiful work...

Wonderful slice of life by Mr. Wendell Berry. He's a master at telling the slow story and keeping you hooked the entire time.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • GrandmaG
  • 22-11-2011

Just didn't hold my interest

Listened to the first hour or so. Just not for me. Found the story to be trite.

1 of 4 people found this review helpful