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O Pioneers! (Dover Thrift Editions) Paperback – Unabridged, November 4, 1993


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 11 and up
  • Grade Level: 6 and up
  • Series: Dover Thrift Editions
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications; Dover Thrift Editions edition (November 4, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486277852
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486277851
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.2 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,769 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Set on the Nebraska prairie where Willa Cather (1873–1947) grew up, this powerful early novel tells the story of the young Alexandra Bergson, whose dying father leaves her in charge of the family and of the lands they have struggled to farm. In Alexandra's long flight to survive and succeed, O Pioneers! relates an important chapter in the history of the American frontier.
Evoking the harsh grandeur of the prairie, this landmark of American fiction unfurls a saga of love, greed, murder, failed dreams, and hard-won triumph. In the fateful interaction of her characters, Willa Cather compares with keen insight the experiences of Swedish, French, and Bohemian immigrants in the United States. And in her absorbing narrative, she displays the virtuoso storytelling skills that have made her one of the most admired masters of the American novel.

About the Author

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Willa Cather (1873–1947) spent her formative years in Nebraska, which was at that time frontier territory. Her exposure to the region's dramatic environment and intrinsic hardships — along with its diverse population of European-Americans, Native Americans, and immigrants — shaped and informed much of her fiction.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 96 customer reviews
It reads quickly and keeps your attention!
Susan J Macy
I thought she gave her characters believable traits and the story was developed and led to a very fine ending.
montjon@hotmail.com
Great story, along with good character development.
Karen pautz

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 45 people found the following review helpful By "b_l_v_d" on January 28, 2001
Format: Paperback
I think that Cather could not have crafted a more beautiful book. The writing and the story are so wholey lovely, without pomp or ceremony. An immigrant father bequeaths his land to the care of his daughter on his deathbed, rather than to his sons, because he sees that her love of the land and her family runs deep and that she has the heart and spirit necessary to survive the harsh reality of the plains. So begins one of the greatest love stories of all time. I don't use the term love story loosely; this book contains love in its many intricate, shifting, and enduring forms: the love of the land, the love of a dream, love within families, love of the past, love of tradition, love of new opportunities, love between friends, the love between men and women, and the love of living. This book gets deep under your fingernails, like the very earth that it celebrates. And though, many of the events recounted are sad, it is the kind of sadness that is rich in hope
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jill Kirwan on May 5, 2001
Format: Paperback
Growing up in Red Cloud, Nebraska, Willa Cather's individuality and great intellect flourised rapidly. Her childhood experiences and surroundings aided her transformation into an independent and determined woman who was both willing and capable of meeting a challenge. Many of these characteristics are prevalent in her novel, O Pioneers!. Cather explores both the intimidating and rewarding aspects of the wild land as her main heroine, Alexandra Bergson, battles difficulty after difficulty, eventually triumphing over her struggles. Through the utilization of powerful, intense diction, personification, and references to the heroic woman theme, Willa Cather is clearly trying to move the reader toward her belief that human beings are closely connected to the land, and must come to the realization that nothing valuable in life comes easy. From the very beginning of her story, to the very end, Cather delivers a message that captures the true essence of the pioneer experience, and depicts the myriad of moods and emotions that accompany struggle and success. The color gray is woven throughout chapter one of section one. This technique creates a feeling of gloom and associates the land with depression and despair. Carl, a close friend of Alexandra's, is a "thin, frail boy," which hints at the scarcity of food and the presence of hard times. Feelings of isolation and loneliness fill the pages as Alexandra claims "Carl is the only friend I have ever had." However, the "three years of drought and failure" cannot keep the heroine from eventually overcoming her struggles, and finally reaching the point where she is able to enjoy the reward of "rich soil" and "heavy harvests" bestowed upon her by the land.Read more ›
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By "avemariatherese" on October 22, 2001
Format: Paperback
....but I can't deny that this was a good book! I usually like stories that spend time describing someONE rather than someTHING. Yet I loved to read this story despite Cather's description of the land. She wrote it so beautifully that I elt like those parts were poetry. Highly recommended!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By George Lynch on August 31, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
After a lifetime of avoiding Willa Cather works, I finally decided to give one of her books a shot. I chose O Pioneers because it's one of her best-known and it's about pioneer life on the Midwest prairies, a topic I've grown interested in. The book is about a strong woman who needs to help her family survive; she not only does that but she becomes quite successful over the years. Cather's writing is top notch. The story drew me in from the opening page, and I was really surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. Do yourself a favor and try it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By bsms585 on March 15, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Another one for the Pioneers collection. Can't get enough of these Kindles. I read them every day on the 'tube' as we say for the subway in London, England. And what better way to broaden my horizons than Willa Cather's fine tome.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jak on March 15, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Who'd have thought it? A novel (the first of Willa Cather's "Great Plains" trilogy) with feminist themes around the start of the 20th Century in -- of all places -- Nebraska !

This edition of O PIONEERS! does have all the features the ad claims -- it has great photos of pioneer life and is indeed well formatted for Kindle.

Her work has long been out of fashion, but editions like this may help a new generation appreciate a remarkable and very readable novelist.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jim.. on March 15, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
a beautiful book with beautiful pictures. lovely presentation and formatting for kindle with the introductory poem that other editions lack. A moving and inpsiring story
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 12, 1998
Format: Paperback
It's difficult for me to give this book four stars, as opposed to three. I've just finished it, and thinking back on how deeply moving it was, especially in the scenes between the two sets of lovers (the point when Carl leaves Alexandra for Alaska, the moment in the fortune telling tent between Marie and Emil, and others). I won't give away the ending of the novel, or at least I'll do my best not to, but I was struck more swiftly than I've ever been in a novel, at the end by the mixture of sorrow and blame in Alexandra. How in hell could this character, though perhaps not quite as in tune with her emotional center as others in the book - how could she place the blame where she does? Her blaming of the two came closer to breaking my heart than the event itself. Carl does what he can to bring her around, letting her know what he had seen and that what was between the two was as pure as can be, and as beautiful as love should be. One even gets the sense that Carl believes the two young lovers would have been wrong to not love each other. But, by the final line of the book, I, as a reader, was not convinced that Alexandra was swayed by Carl's words as she should have been. I kept wondering whether or not Cather had read Hardy's 'Jude the Obscure' before writing this. Though love may end in tragedy, that love cannot be blamed for the tragedy. In the Hardy novel, it was not the love between Jude and Sue that brought them to ruination, but rather societal mores and Sue's lack of resiliency. She didn't realize that it was only her love for Jude that could save her. Love doesn't lead to tragedy - it is the responses to love that oftentimes lead to tragedy. A simple idea. I think Cather would have been well to illustrate this more completely in the end.Read more ›
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