What a shock! As the movie was released almost two decades before wide access to the internet and before the ever escalating portrayals of sex and violence became common thus dulling our senses, I was deeply disturbed by the main event of the movie and tried unsuccessfully to bury how uncomfortable it made me feel. To this day, hearing the iconic "Dueling Banjoes" music engenders a duel between my love the of that music fighting the discomfort buried due to the movie. This together with my rule to never spend a credit for anything under 10 hours running time kept me from listening to this book. Yet, due to the reviews and surprise expressed by other Audible listeners, I took a chance and am so happy I did. This book really is fine, lyrical, brilliant literature and on Time magazine's list of the 100 best books written. The soft, poetical, southern nature of Dickey's prose so brilliantly narrated by Will Patton, softens the few sentences where the bad thing happens and the listener is more focused on the dilemmas, moral survival choices, and is softly brought into the situation as a participant pondering what you would do. Also, unlike "Lord of the Flies" and other similar "civilization to survival" stories which are so removed from what a listener might face today, the listener is softly, lyrically, yet plausably moved from facing safe, familiar suburban life issues one day to being forced after one short moment in time the next day to make life or death decisions involving excruciating moral quandaries related to survival in a wild, otherworldly place. Plus, for you fellow Audible listeners who often reject the shorter books, I've listened to this book three times so triple the hours. It's that good.
Will's narration puts you on the river with this quartet of city boys in over their heads in the Georgia back country. Even if you've seen the movie you'll want to listen to this one.
I'm a web developer based out of Sacramento, I listen to books while I work, and love audible.
I must say this was one of the better thrillers I've read and very different than the norm.
I might listen to this story again, simply to relive the poetic images described by a superb narrator.
From the point in the story where two men step from the woods intent on violation, I was hooked until the end.
This book is descriptive and written in first person narrative. Unlike books that are mostly dialogue, this story is introspective as the narrator looks back on a fateful experience in his past and the lessons learned from it. Will Patton's voice delivering James Dickey's poetic and haunting prose kept my interest all the way through.
I think the denouement where Ed, the main character, comes into a deeper understanding of himself and the frailty of human nature is what will stick with me.
This is a story about four men chafing at the bonds of mid-life who decide to add some excitement to their lives by taking a canoe trip into unfamiliar territory. A quote from the book is: "...another life--deliverance." That is what they are seeking at mid-life. Their deliverance comes differently than they had expected and in different ways for all of them.
This is not the movie, so for anyone who might be put off by the very famous rape scene in the film, don't worry........of course it's here, but it takes up a very small amount of time and the details are neither spelled out nor important. The incident is important in that it starts a fatal cat-and-mouse hunt between some river country natives and the quartet of city buddies out on a canoe trip, but that conflict and collision is only one part of what they go through when they travel down river.
This isn't the first and wasn't the last book to use a river voyage as a metaphor for an internal voyage to the depths of one's soul, but it's effective nonetheless. The characters and their fates are a little cliched, and the language is occasionally overwrought, but still it's a good reminder of the effect that nature has upon us, and of and the strengths and weaknesses that we discover lay in us hidden in the course of our daily lives.
Love my family....along with guitars, cameras, and a good book!
I had seen the movie, but had never read the book. This story is a master class in abject horror. I can't imagine the things these men went through. To be thrust so completely, and so immediately into such a foreign world ... so steeped in complete loss of control and reason. Dealing with unknown elements, both of the natural world, as well as the human terror they encounter. Such a great story! Very disturbing, but very good. Will Patton is a master narrator as well, really brought the story to life.
I have vivid memories of watching Deliverance and the impact of the sheer brutality of the encounter with the mountain men is etched in my mind. The book is a slow boiling burner that builds tension from the very beginning of the story. The dissatisfaction with their city lives is felt from the first page. Lewis convinces them to undertake this adventure to reclaim a bit of the adventure that has left them. The rest is history...
Will Patton's narration was excellent for this book - his deep voice and the deliberate cadence of the story helped keep the tension building throughout the story. An excellent book brought to life by Will Patton
What an incredible listening experience that Deliverance delivers! To begin with, having seen and enjoyed the action aspect of the film, I found myself far more moved by the strikingly poetic narrative than by any of the action that I had hoped for when making my purchase . Listening to the lead character describe his thoughts and emotions throughout his daily life was so satisfying that I almost hated to hear events unfold so quickly. The action is disturbingly nerve rattling and very exciting but this book is sooo much more. Add Will Patton's flawless performance and you have yourself a top notch audio experience. I wish I had a quarter of the writing talent that Dickey displays here, I'd write a much better review. But, to sum things up, I'll say, this book didn't leave this listener with a rape scene in mind as much as it's beauty of carefully carved out words and it's imagery so skillfully wrought by the author that remains in my mind.
I read this novel several years ago and admired James Dickey's writing talents even then. However, listening to it read by my favorite narrator, Will Patton, made me realize what a great work it really is. I found myself thinking of the river as a real character in the story - one who could push others to do things, both good and bad, they had never dreamed they could do. I thought about the reversal of the roles of Ed and Lewis as the story went on. Lewis almost forced the others to go on his trip and he seemed to rule the river in the beginning. Ed was content to be a follower until confronted by real evil. Then he becomes the true leader of the group and is forced to make decisions that will haunt all of them for the rest of their lives. I was moved near the end of the story when Ed went back down to the river and drank. I felt much meaning in this - that he had not been beaten by the river, but still respected it. This is a near perfect combination of author and narrator. I would give it more than fire stars if I could. Read it!