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.
This is one of the best-written books I've read (listened to) and I can't believe I waited so long. I'm very familiar with the movie and knew what was coming at every turn, but was still so drawn in to the narration that I kept catching myself tensed up. I also have a new respect for how loyal the film was to the story (although far less detailed, of course), particularly the casting. The actors were so spot-on perfect for their book counterparts that it's hard to believe that the book wasn't based on the film rather than the other way around.
I bought the book yesterday evening and finished listening late into the night. This morning, it's still weighing on my mind.
Sixty years young. Surfer, Kayaker, Abalone diver, Backpacker. Rabid reader/listener. I love Sci-Fi and Fantasy.
So much better than the movie. Amazing use of descriptive language by the author, and superb narration by Will Patton.
An excellent performance of a great story. The narrator and author are both in their element with this book. Great!
No. Another book read by Will Patton would probably be good though.
The whole story did not quite go the way that I expected. There was a lot of anticipation built, but not very much action.
I had never seen the movie and wanted to know why Deliverance is so widely referenced. The book was not that great. I have since seen the movie and think it was much much worse than the book. I do not know why this work ever gained popularity.
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.
Amy Life long avid reader, especially of poetry, literary and popular fiction, historical fiction, mystery/suspense, and some non-fiction.
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.