Butcher's Crossing

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: John Williams

Narrated By: Anthony Heald

Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks

Date: July 2010

Duration: 10 hours 24 minutes


In the 1870s, Will Andrews, fired up by Emerson to seek "an original relation to nature," drops out of Harvard and heads west. He washes up in Butcher's Crossing, a small Kansas town full of restless men looking for ways to make money and ways to waste it. One of these men regales Will with tales of the immense buffalo herds hidden away in the Colorado Rockies and convinces him to join an expedition to track them down. At the end of a grueling journey, the men reach a place of paradisiacal richness, where they abandon themselves to an orgy of slaughter. So caught up in killing buffalo that they lose all sense of time, the men are overtaken by winter and snowed in. In the spring, half-insane with cabin fever, cold, and hunger, they stagger back to Butcher's Crossing to find a world as irremediably changed as they have been.

'Harsh and relentless yet muted in tone, Butcher's Crossing paved the way for Cormac McCarthy. It was perhaps the first and best revisionist western.''New York Times Book Review


  • Simon K.

    I was asked to read this by my book club. I drive for 2 hours a day, so I listen to books rather than read them. Although I thought that this was a biography of Pam St Clements (east Enders actress), I became thoroughly engrossed. It has a very contemporary feel, so I was very surprised to hear at the end, that it was written in the 60s. I generally listen to non-fiction titles, but this book (possibly enhanced by the narrator) really captured something. So much so, that I have started listening to another title by the same author (Stoner). This too gives an insight into another time in another culture. There is a sense of post Victorian proprietary within this very detailed commentary about the period. (Stoner). There are few authors of fiction that have any relevance, connection, enjoyment for me. I cannot commend this audio edition highly enough. I was transported into a bygone age and could smell the characters. For someone who dislikes fiction, this must be a positive recommendation. It is more than fiction, however. It feels as though one has been transported to a bygone age. This is a significant and thought provoking piece of literature that is part story, part documentary, part self-realisation and part social/political/historical commentary. So many parts! I was very moved by this book and it has had a considerable impact upon my outlook in a variety of ways. I can't say whether others will like it, but how can anyone not be moved by it?

Butcher's Crossing

by John Williams

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Butcher's Crossing, John Williams
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This title is due for release on July 12, 2010
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