- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 6 hours and 45 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Listening Library
- Audible.com Release Date: October 24, 2003
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0000W6SQS
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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Where the Red Fern Grows Audiobook – Unabridged
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"I knelt down and gathered them into my arms. I buried my face between their wiggling bodies and cried. The stationmaster, sensing something more than two dogs and a boy, waited in silence."
My Dad didn’t grow up in the Ozarks, but he trapped animals as a young boy to raise money for a dog. Selling skins to Sears Roebuck & Co. was enough then to fulfill that dream and then later to get him enough money to fly enough hours to be conscripted (after being declared 4F) to train pilots at Americus, Georgia. When he was able to return to being a civilian pilot, the first thing he did with the money he saved was to buy another dog. On multiple levels, I felt this story to be so close to my father’s, both coming from rural, impoverished areas.
“Men, said Mr. Kyle, “people have been trying to understand dogs ever since the beginning of time. One never knows what they’ll do. You can read every day where a dog saved the life of a drowning child, or lay down his life for his master. Some people call this loyalty. I don’t. I may be wrong, but I call it love – the deepest kind of love.”
This is such a wonderful story; I highly recommend you read it. Re-read it, if you read it as a child.
"Where the Red Fern Grows" gives a good lesson for young people on how to not leave projects unfinished. I knew when I was a kid that when I started some project I didn't always finish it. The character Billy in the book however always finishes something he started. At one point he loses a lot of his time cutting down a tree to capture a raccoon. Later on, when he is in a raccoon hunting competition, he refuses to end the hunt even when bad weather comes.
The book gives an interesting view of hillbillies. As the book shows, many of them are nice people. At one point the main character Billy goes into the city to get his dogs which he has ordered. He is bullied and attacked by the local city kids who don't like the look of him and he is called "wild" by a passing woman. The book teaches that being mean to those who are less civilized is wrong.
The book also shows a somewhat darker side to the hillbilly culture. Near where Billy lives, there is a family called the Pritchards. The father of that household is rumored to have once committed murder although this is not known for sure. When Billy meets two of his sons, they are kind of mean to him. I think every family has had some lowlife guttertrash family that lives near to them, and I sure did so I knew what the author was talking about when he talked about the Pritchards.
With its story of the Ozarks and details about the Ozarks and the hillbillies, Wilson Rawls novel "Where the Red Fern Grows" both informed me and gave me a new appreciation for the hillbillies and their culture.