The Big Rock Candy Mountain

The Big Rock Candy Mountain

Book - 2010
Average Rating:
Rate this:
In this affecting semi-autobiographical novel, the author portrays over three decades in the life of the Mason family as they struggle to survive during the lean years of the early twentieth century. Bo Mason, his wife, Elsa, and their two boys live a transient life of poverty and despair. Drifting from town to town and from state to state, the violent, ruthless Bo seeks out his fortune in the hotel business, in new farmland, and, eventually, in illegal rum-running through the treacherous back roads of the American Northwest.--Adapted from publisher's promotional description.
Publisher: New York, New York : Penguin Books, 2010
Copyright Date: ©1943
ISBN: 9780143105787
Branch Call Number: FICTION STEGNER 2010
Characteristics: xiii, 639 pages ; 20 cm
Additional Contributors: Stone, Robert - Author of introduction


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Nov 27, 2018

A sprawling account of life in prairies early in the twentieth century, very well written.

Aug 02, 2016

This is a wonderful read. The dreams of the get rich schemer and his long suffering wife in times where there was no social safety nets is probably one the truest sagas ever written. The children lived with the memories good and bad.

Jun 02, 2015

“Give yourself a chance. Get away from all that history.”
Aside from his considerable contribution to American literature, both fiction and non-fiction, Wallace Stegner (1909-1993), also did a great deal to shape contemporary writing, as his creative writing students included Raymond Carver, Wendell Berry, Thomas McGuane, Edward Abbey, Larry McMurtry, and Robert Stone, who contributes the introduction to this edition. Though less well-known than his celebrated novels, "Angle of Repose" and "Crossing to Safety," his earlier novel "The Big Rock Candy Mountain," is nothing less than a masterpiece. A long (but never boring), nuanced, and heartbreaking family saga that is also a paean to the West he grew up in. Few books so lyrically capture the draw of the land and the complexities of family life and the book feels as if It could've been written yesterday. Truly excellent. The title comes from a hobo folk song.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at MCL

To Top