The Cold Millions

Version: Unabridged
Author: Jess Walter
Narrator: [No Narrators Added]
Genres: Fiction & Literature, Western
Publisher: HarperCollins
Published In: October 2020
# of Units: 11 CDs
Length: 11 hours
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A Most Anticipated Book by: The New York Times Book Review * Wall Street Journal * Time * Esquire * The Millions * Vogue * People * New York Post * USA Today * Medium * The Philadelphia Inquirer * Newsday

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Beautiful Ruins comes another “literary miracle” (NPR)—a propulsive, richly entertaining novel about two brothers swept up in the turbulent class warfare of the early twentieth century.

An intimate story of brotherhood, love, sacrifice,  and betrayal set against the panoramic backdrop of an early twentieth-century America that eerily echoes our own time, The Cold Millions offers a  kaleidoscopic portrait of a nation grappling with the chasm between rich and poor, between harsh realities and simple dreams.

The Dolans live by their wits, jumping freight trains and lining up for day work at crooked job agencies. While sixteen-year-old Rye yearns for a steady job and a home, his older brother, Gig, dreams of a better world, fighting alongside other union men for fair pay and decent treatment. Enter Ursula the Great, a vaudeville singer who performs with a live cougar and introduces the brothers to a far more dangerous creature: a mining magnate determined to keep his wealth and his hold on Ursula.

Dubious of Gig’s idealism, Rye finds himself drawn to a fearless nineteen-year-old activist and feminist named Elizabeth Gurley Flynn. But a storm is coming, threatening to overwhelm them all, and Rye will be forced to decide where he stands. Is it enough to win the occasional battle, even if you cannot win the war?

Featuring an unforgettable cast of cops and tramps, suffragists and socialists, madams and murderers, The Cold Millions is a tour de force from a “writer who has planted himself firmly in the first rank of American authors” (Boston Globe).

Reviews (2)


Written by Theresa P. on January 18th, 2021

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Living in the PNW all my life, it was fascinating to be able to follow the story through the streets of Spokane and the surrounding landscape. The different narrators for the different personalities was another plus. And just a great story.

Written by Carol A. on December 15th, 2020

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Great personal story along with fascinating history.

Author Details

Author Details

Walter, Jess

Jess Walter is the author of "The Zero", a finalist for the National Book Award; "Citizen Vince", a winner of the Edgar Award for Best Novel; "Land of the Blind"; and "Over Tumbled Graves", a "New York Times" Notable Book of the Year. Also the author of the nonfiction book "Ruby Ridge", Walter lives in Spokane, Washington, with his family.