This House of Sky: Landscapes of a Western Mind (MP3 Book) - Ivan Doig, Tom Stechschulte Have your read the novels of Ivan Doig – those, such as The Whistling Season and/or Dancing at the Rascal Fair? If you have and enjoyed his writing, then I believe you will enjoy this too. I would recommend reading the novels first. These novels are really not novels! One comes to understand as one reads about Doig’s and his father’s and his maternal grandmother’s life, as they are presented in this biography, that his fiction talks of his own true life experiences. In his novels you get a tightly woven plot line with the extraneous information removed. You get a good story. Here in the biography you get all the details that lie behind the scenes that you remember from the stories. Many of the places and events and prime forces (weather, park authorities and ranchers) are common to both. The setting of the novels feels so genuine since it is anchored to real life events.

This book goes one step deeper. It is primarily about three people and their relationships with each other: the author, his father and his maternal grandmother. His mother died when he was very young; the role his maternal grandmother played is unusual. The feelings these three people harbored is perceptively and honestly portrayed. Again, real life is often more strange than fiction. I found the relationship between his father and his maternal grandmother ….well, you have to read the book to understand it!

Warning: if you do not enjoy Ivan Doig’s novels, you will not enjoy this book. For me, Doig’s portrayal of teachers is the high point of his writing skills, probably because he himself is no rancher, no homesteader, no sheep herder. He was a man of books.

I listened to the audio book. The narration was fine. Not exceptional, not bad, just fine. The vocabulary used is that of Montana ranchers. I didn’t understand every word, but certainly got the gist of it just fine.