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Publisher's Summary

After bringing Earth to ruin, the age of humans is over. It is a blessing for some in this tender and tragic cautionary fable from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Thousand Acres.

Now the Congress of Animals is in control, unforgiving, and debating the fate of the planet’s most reviled species. The popular ruling: exterminate humankind without exception. But a curious mare, coming of age, is making a case for a seemingly gentle person she longs to save - a wish for mercy that could once again unbalance the new and righteous nature of the world.

Jane Smiley’s The Hillside is part of Warmer, a collection of seven visions of a conceivable tomorrow by today’s most thought-provoking authors. Alarming, inventive, intimate, and frightening, each story can be read, or listened to, in a single breathtaking sitting.

©2018 Jane Smiley (P)2018 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

What listeners say about The Hillside

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Profile Image for Charlie Calvert
  • Charlie Calvert
  • 18-10-2020

too pessimistic for me

We have done a terrible job of managing the Earth. Nevertheless, I remain an optimist. We will and to some degree already are, suffering for our failures. But ultimately, perhaps not in my lifetime, we will find a way to survive. The author is less sanguine. Of course, she writes beautifully and her story is well told. it is simply too pessimistic for me.

this story feels to me like a fable. it is a powerful fable; one that I am unlikely to forget. as a result, I bow down to the author's skill and the power of the story. I personally am more optimistic, and I believe in the efficacy of optimism and prefer it to pessimism. still, I rate the story highly. it is a dream like fable with the power to persist in one's imagination.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Ruth Ann Orlansky
  • 27-07-2020

Well Done, Great Narration

SPOILERS - YOU MAY NOT WANT TO READ

I can understand the sentiment of humanity being executed for its crimes against wildlife and nature in general. The premises are laid out in a matter-of-fact manner, and the story proceeds accordingly. The humans do not come off well, but all the same I felt a little sad at the end. The narration was excellent.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for FJC
  • FJC
  • 22-08-2019

Showing is better than telling

Probably the only interesting setup and plot line in this series. Thankfully devoid of an enumeration of the fallout of climate change and the modern human life style.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amy
  • 13-11-2018

Intriguing concept but very depressing,

Had potential, so it’s a shame. The story concept could have gone in so many other directions

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Barbara S
  • Barbara S
  • 13-01-2022

Interesting short story

“The Hillside” is a 40 minute audio narrated by the wonderful Bahni Turpin. I’m a huge fan of both Smiley and Turpin.

Smiley’s “The Hillside” is part of “Warmer” which is a collection of seven visions of a conceivable tomorrow if our world continues in the current fashion. Of course, anyone who is familiar with Smiley knows she is a huge fan of horses. No other author can get inside the brain of a horse like Ms. Smiley. For those who love horses, you MUST read Smiley’s “Horse Heaven”.

Smiley’s idea of the future world is that animals become in control. There is a Congress of Animals who debate whether humans are worthy animals. This is a thought-provoking short story. Are humans worthy of existence?

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 31-08-2021

The Hillside

Odd story. Odd point of view. Short but complete with a perfect closer for an odd little
tale.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Wil
  • Wil
  • 27-08-2021

what a thought

Enjoy this! Short story good for the short ride. Perhaps alittle too much death for younger ones Goid for the teen and adult mind. Thank you for this storytelling

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for WendyDVB
  • WendyDVB
  • 08-05-2021

Not very entertaining.

I only made it about halfway through this one. It was not entertaining, did not excite or draw me (the reader) in at all. The performer (speaker) did a good job, just boring material. Sorry.

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Profile Image for Tyson Escoto
  • Tyson Escoto
  • 02-03-2021

Meh

Interesting attempt to reframe our perception of how we treat ourselves and our fellow living creatures, but it’s a bit juvenile.

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Profile Image for Moxie
  • Moxie
  • 20-12-2020

Well-told, could have done more

I like Smiley's writing, so I enjoyed this story. But at time I felt like something was missing, like maybe it was too simplistic. I get simplicity as a choice for what is essentially a fable, but then, the internal dialog of the protagonist was more sophisticated. So it is a pretty good story, but not a *great* story. I did like the setting and direction, and Bahni Turpin is an amazing narrator.

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