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The Weight of An Infinite Sky

3.19  ·  Rating details ·  318 ratings  ·  63 reviews
The critically acclaimed author of The Home Place explores the heart and mystery of Big Sky Country in this evocative and atmospheric novel of family, home, love, and responsibility inspired by William Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

The only son of a cattle rancher, Anthony Fry chafed against the expectation that he would take over the business that had belonged to his family for ge
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Published January 16th 2018 by HarperAudio
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Laura Pritchett
Jan 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'm delighted whenever I come across books that tackle the real issues of the West (and not the nostalgic trite cowboy detective stuff, for example). This is one such book and I adore its frank honesty---this novel captures the real and complex topics of our times: land-use issues, family dynamics, alcoholism, art, and the beauty and sorrows of small-town life. But it's not a book "only" about the West--it's a book about humanity and how messy (and lovely) we can be. ...more
DNF @ 40%. Not a bad book but not interesting me much. I don't really see it getting better for me so just going to put this one down now. ...more
Jul 09, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: firstreads, westerns
I won this book in a goodreads drawing.

A guy comes home to Montana after his father's death...and Hamlet ensues, only Ophelia doesn't drown.

Definitely not for me, but others might like it.
Phyllis Krall
Nov 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Set beneath a beautiful Montana sky, Billings has been the home of generations of ranchers who are strongly devoted to their land. Anthony Fry feels differently than most of the ranchers he knows and wants to escape to New York City, hoping to become an actor and find a more exciting life after he graduates from college. When his father unexpectedly dies, Anthony comes back home and takes a job running a theatre camp for children for the summer. His Uncle Neal is helping his mother run the ranch ...more
ARC received courtesy of First Reads Giveaways

This novel is inspired by Shakespeare's "Hamlet" and it's main character, Anthony Fry is a failed actor/alcoholic/woebegone son who returns to the family's Montana ranch after his father's death. He secures a job in Billings teaching a kids' summer theater camp. As he finally makes his way back to the ranch after running out of excuses to stay away, he finds that his father's brother, Neal, has moved in and is helping his mother run the
Jenny Maloney
I'm trying something new for my "reviews" this year. Rather than critique, I'm going to create my own micro-fiction piece (100 words or less) in response to something in the novel. My hope is to create art from art.

This is my first "Little Review."

It was inspired by the following line: "It only reflected him in unflattering angles."


Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Love of the Land
A worthy follow-up to THE HOME PLACE, this is a beautifully written novel of family hurts leading to reconciliation. Throughout the story love of the land shines brightly. Anthony’s descent into alcoholism is painful, but the book ends with a message of hope.

I received an ARC through a Goodreads giveaway. There was no expectation of a favorable review.
Chris Conley
Feb 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
In many ways, this book resolved some things from The Home Place. I confess that I did not like this book as much as 8mdid the first. In fairness, because I did not care for Anthony very much. I was satisfied with the conclusion.
Nov 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another Thank You to Goodreads for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book!
Anthony Fry has left his family ranch to find happiness and success in the NYC world of theater. But he returns with his dreams shattered after his father's death. When a mining company arrives and fights for the land his father and neighbors loved, he becomes involved in saving his heritage and driving the intruders out. Driven by questions and troublesome misconceptions surrounding his father's death and t
Apr 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-club-book
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 24, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was pretty skeptical going into this one, but I actually found the story really relatable even though I’ve never been anywhere close to Montana. Sure, I would have loved to see more secondary characters get developed, and I still have an outstanding question about the title, but I really did enjoy this book.
Bill Alliston
Dec 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The story line is compared to Hamlet. Not sure about that, but the setting in big sky country (infinite sky) gives it a well-earned place as a high value read. Very very good reading.
Marty Pellum
Feb 24, 2018 rated it liked it
It took me about half-way through to get into the rhythm of this novel and to begin to appreciate the characters, culture and landscape painted by the author's words. I found the central figure, Anthony Fry, a bit narcissistic and his overly dramatic reaction to normal life situations more than a little frustrating. On the other hand, I appreciated how the author used Anthony and his character flaws to reveal the depth and nature of the people of Montana. She interwove some great lyrical passage ...more
Sep 26, 2018 rated it liked it
The author does a great job of describing the Montana ranching country, both the physical environment and the ranchers who live there. That came through very vividly for me. Also, the author really made the various minor characters' personalities come alive for me. But I had trouble sympathizing with the main character and the ending fell flat for me. Without revealing too much, I felt like the 'ghost' and the main character's questions about his father's death were raised and then never really ...more
Rachel Carr
I received this book from a goodreads giveaway.

It took me a long time to get into the story/characters and the main character was difficult to like at first. I would have enjoyed more description of the setting, ranch life and overall more character development. The story wasn't bad (it's basically a re-telling of Hamlet, so clearly a story with good bones) but it just didn't connect well with me. The writing style is good, no grammatical/spelling issues (I had an ARC).
Dec 17, 2017 rated it liked it
This book was just okay - while well-written I felt it was very slow moving. I also felt like I needed more of a background story for Anthony and his family. I won an ARC of this book from Goodreads.
May 09, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I’m really glad I read my other Bookcase Club book first (my 5 star read) because if I’d read this first I don’t know how long it would’ve taken me to get to start it and I’d have seriously been missing out.

My issue with this book is it was a story that had a lot of potential, but it fell incredibly flat. The book was only 250 pages and it was more than 100 pages in that the book (and the main character Anthony) seemed to gain any direction.

Anthony grew up on a ranch, surrounded by other famili
David Valentino
Aug 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Hamlet Saddles Up

As Carrie La Seur references in her Acknowledgements, Hogarth Press is, over time, issuing well known authors’ modern takes on various plays of Shakespeare, among them Jeanette Winterson’s The Gap of Time (The Winter’s Tale), pretty good, and Margaret Atwood’s Hag-Seed (The Tempest), a bit disappointing, considering it’s Atwood.

La Seur has undertaken the task in The Weight of an Infinite Sky, loosely patterning the novel along the lines of Hamlet. The setting here is modern Mon
Jan 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
The critically acclaimed author of The Home Place explores the heart and mystery of Big Sky Country in this evocative and atmospheric novel of family, home, love, and responsibility inspired by William Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

The only son of a cattle rancher, Anthony Fry chafed against the expectation that he would take over the business that had belonged to his family for generations. While his ancestors planted deep roots in the unforgiving Montana soil, Anthony wanted nothing more than to leave
Dawn Hogue
Jul 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
La Seur's title is as brilliant as her prose, which, at times, gave me what I seek in novels--a moment of arrest, where I must stop to ponder truth.

Almost as another character, the western landscape is painted vividly in this novel. It was easy to picture where I was at any time.

Dividing the book into five acts further links this novel to Shakespeare's Hamlet, a story that underlies the tense situation La Seur presents readers with in The Weight of An Infinite Sky. La Seur's Hamlet is a deeply
Cat Jenkins
Jul 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
A retelling of 'Hamlet.'

The book got off to a slow start, but by the middle I was caught up in the drama of it all. I have to admit that I'm a theatre person, so the references to plays and the MC's experiences in New York and with a summer theatre camp pulled me in more than most and kept me going when things were plodding.

It's very well written and there are a few really excellent bits of poetry, particularly the one from which this novel's title was taken.

My only complaints are that there w
Ramona Mead
Jan 24, 2020 rated it it was ok
Two and a half stars. I didn't have strong feelings about this one. A friend who read it at the same time had the best question: What's worse, a neutral book or a bad book? I'm not sure. The best thing about this book is that it takes place near where I live, and I'm familiar with the towns referenced, plus a family friend is mentioned! Otherwise it's a bland novel. The story is interesting at times, but I couldn't figure out what it's truly about. That made it hard for me to root for any of the ...more
Kathleen Gray
Jan 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'm torn about this. The beautiful language (notably the poem by Brittany) and some of the smaller characters (including Brittany) kept me reading when I began to tire of Anthony and his attitude. At the same time, the language is occasionally awkward. La Seur has created a miserable character on Anthony who is mired in alcohol and unhappy with his life. There's no virtually no back story on how he became involved some people (his roommate Gretchen) and on others, the tale is gorgeous (Paula and ...more
I enjoyed the first title, by La Seur, The Home Place, which was also set in Montana. This particular title I really didn't enjoy at all and it took me a long time to read it. A young man in his twenties, Anthony Fry, cannot make up his mind if he wants to continue his life in the theater where he has not been successful during his stay in New York City. Now he has returned to Montana and will he take over his late father's ranch and stay tied to the land. In recent years we have heard that youn ...more
Jul 03, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Received this book in a book case subscription box- I can’t quite make up my mind if it deserves 2 or 3 stars. The story is slow to develop and the characters fall a bit flat. The overall story line centers around Anthony running a children’s theater and a mining company taking over land by trickery. The theater aspect assumes that you are familiar with all of the plays mentioned and seems like a grasp at making a stage for a scene that accuses a man of murder- the ending was lackluster and left ...more
Ellen Notbohm
Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Inventive retelling of Hamlet very believably transposed to modern day rural Montana, right down to the protagonist you have to work to like because he's so ... so ... Hamlet-like, earnest but stymied and indecisive. La Seur is a master at creating sense of place; seldom have I read a book where the setting felt so three-dimensional coming off a page. Small spoiler: the ending of the story does depart from Hamlet, i.e. no pile of bodies. This too was believable (and welcome). A very atmospheric, ...more
I really wanted to check this out because the description noted that it was inspired by Shakespeare - particularly Hamlet.

I found the story to be a bit dense, there was never any clear since of beginning, middle, and end, and although there were moments of clarity, honestly I found tedious.

There was a particular scene toward the end (view spoiler)
May 30, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Real people are messy. Smart people can make poor decisions, and have complicated relationships that aren’t always guided by logic or good sense. Family dynamics and untold histories can cast shadows across generations. The characters in this novel felt so real to me, and I’m in awe of the author’s ability to evoke the feeling of the land and the people who live there. We often say of books we loved that we didn’t want them to end. In this case, I was glad to see how the characters resolved a va ...more
Jen Visser
Feb 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Titles are hard

I struggled with a review title since I was still musing over how quickly Carrie could make me feel deep compassion for a character she had inclined me to dislike. The characters in this book are rough, and challenging, like the landscape she describes until you stumble on the inherent beauty in the land and in the people. The story is a compelling one throughout.
Aug 11, 2018 rated it did not like it
I did not like this book. It took me a long time to read it. I kept putting it down. I didn't like the characters. I felt they were poorly developed and unlikable with no redeeming qualities, especially Anthony. The writing didn't invoke any emotions from me except boredom and indifference. The story didn't flow and the awful dialogue didn't help. In my opinion, a forgettable novel with a contrived storyline. ...more
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