Bucking the Sun

by Ivan Doig

Hardcover, 1996

Call number




Simon & Schuster (1996), Edition: 1st, 416 pages


Bucking the Sun is the story of the Duff family, homesteaders driven from the Montana bottomland to work on one of the New Deal's most audacious projects--the damming of the Missouri River. Through the story of each family member--a wrathful father, a mettlesome mother, and three very different sons, and the memorable women they marry--Doig conveys a sense of time and place that is at once epic in scope and rich in detail.

User reviews

LibraryThing member Esta1923
It is unusual for me to read a book that begins with two dead -- and naked -- bodies in a truck. But I am an Ivan Doig fan and so I have "Bucking the Sun" on my shelf.
This is a complicated tale.Doig gives readers clues by putting a character's thoughts in italics: what they say is often different.
Show More
The book is set in 1938. The Duff family is involved in a major project: construction of the Fort Peck Dam, aiming to dam the Missouri River. There are flashbacks to earlier days (some exciting, some sad) and these, at least for me, made the book more worthwhile.
Show Less
LibraryThing member Michael_Lilly
This is an historical novel built around some of the events that took place during the Construction of the Fort Peck dam in Montana during the Great Depression. It is also a prequel to The Bartender's tale, one of Doig's more recent novels. Some characters carry over.

It's a good active story about
Show More
interesting characters who have flawed personalities. There is a fair balance of humor and contemplation about life. Don't expect a knight in shining armor to save the day, or you will be disappointed. Be forewarned that the book has some sex scenes that give you a rather explicit picture of what is going on, though without using many explicit words- an interesting writing skill.
Show Less
LibraryThing member labdaddy4
Doig is an excellent spinner of tales - very detailed & with beautiful language. This book is too convoluted and dense for my taste. Often I had no idea where the story was going or what the point of the story was. This is primarily a very intricate family drama with the “punchline” not
Show More
delivered until literally the last page !
Show Less
LibraryThing member carolfoisset
I've read many of Doig's books and he does have a way with words. I found this book interesting for the historical information (FDR, New Deal, etc), and enjoyed the characters, and the mystery, but parts of it drug on. The technical information on the dam were too hard for me to follow (I'm not an
Show More
engineer!), so it took me awhile to finish it. But I am glad I read it!
Show Less
LibraryThing member m.belljackson
Few authors would be brave enough to attempt a complete history of The Fort Peck Dam and impressive that Ivan Doig delivered it!

The smooth gentle cover is an entry into this exceptional tale enlivened by humor.

What is missing is the anticipated rousing, rip-roaring, roof lifting Duff finale
Show More
drama/reaction/fury scenario !!!!!

Sheriff Kinnick and Neil ("Bucking the Sun") were those I most cared about, with Owen until...
Show Less


Washington State Book Award (Winner — 1997)




0684811715 / 9780684811710
Page: 0.9386 seconds