Book Review

The Great Glorious Goddamn Of It All

The Great Glorious Goddamn of It All

  • Author: Josh Ritter
  • Genre: Historical Fiction
  • Publication Date: September 7, 2021
  • Publisher: Harlequin Audio

Thank you to for providing me with an ALC of this audiobook. I am offering my honest opinion voluntarily. 

CONTENT WARNING: profanity, death of a parent, violence, implied rape (off-page), self-mutilation, gun violence

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

From singer-songwriter Josh Ritter, a lyrical, sweeping novel about a young boy’s coming-of-age during the last days of the lumberjacks.

In the tiny timber town of Cordelia, Idaho, everyone has heard tales of the Applegates. Local legend says their family line boasts some of the greatest lumberjacks to ever roam the American West, and from the moment young Weldon stepped foot in the deep Cordelia woods as a child, he dreamed of joining the rowdy ranks of his ancestors in their epic axe-swinging adventures. But at the beginning of the twentieth century, times are changing fast, and the jacks are dying out.

On his deathbed nearly a century later, Weldon Applegate recounts his life in all its glory, filled with tall tales writ large with murder, mayhem, avalanches and bootlegging. It’s the story of dark pine forests brewing with ancient magic, and Weldon’s struggle as a boy to keep his father’s inherited timber claim, the Lost Lot, from the ravenous clutches of Linden Laughlin.

Braided with haunting saloon tunes and just the right dose of magic, The Great Glorious Goddamn of It All is a novel bursting with heart, humor and an utterly transporting adventure that is sure to sweep you away into the beauty of the tall snowy mountain timber.

This book is narrated by the author, who I feel did a great job with it. I loved that he incorporated his own music into the story, especially the catchy rendition of Some Somewhere. I’ll definitely be singing this song to myself for the next few days.

While I liked Weldon’s character from the start, I struggled to connect with him and the story in the beginning. Things moved a little slowly. The chapters would bounce between Weldon’s early teen years and him as a 99 year-old, but I often found it difficult to differentiate when they switched abruptly. 

However, at around halfway through the story, I became a lot more invested in what was going on. Things started happening more quickly and I was curious to see how everything played out. There was one character who was just a horrible human being, and I think a big part of me kept listening just to see them get what was coming to them. 

Once the action started, it kept me very interested. I didn’t know what was going to happen next, but I definitely wanted to keep listening. The writing itself was lyrical, and the author had a great voice that was well-suited for narrating. I enjoyed the author’s style, especially as I got further into the story. This story brought the last days of the lumberjacks to vivid life, painting a vivid picture of what this difficult, spare, physically demanding, and dangerous lifestyle was like. This is a story I won’t soon forget. 

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