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.
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!
James Dickey has an amazing way with words. Several times I re-listened to passages just to enjoy the dialog and descriptions again. Many times I would think "yes, that feels true" whether he was talking about things I've done (gaining confidence in a canoe) or things I hope I never do (tracking someone through the woods). And I can't imagine anyone doing a better job reading this than Will Patton! He made the book come alive for me.
A classic story that holds up well over time and is expertly told. You could set this in current times, make the guys lose cell coverage and nothing else would really change.
It felt like I was sitting next to Will Patton while he told me a story of a trip he took. It never sounded like reading or even acting. He infused the whole book with life and character without overdoing it. We just re-watched the movie and found myself constantly disappointed by the lack of his voice (even though I knew he wasn't in it).
While Lewis is an interesting character, this is Ed's journey. I like seeing a character go through experiences that helps them learn more about themselves and push their limits.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves good storytelling.
It's in the top 5. Will Patton as the narrator definitely helps this ranking.
Yes, I just kept waiting for the next bad thing to happen. I was disappointed that the banjo scene didn't happen in the book.
Ed's scene where he waits for the shooter in the tree after climbing up the cliff.
Ed. I would have to ask him how he decided to trust Lewis to plan a canoe trip down an unknown river and how he managed to climb the cliff without any help and find the shooters location.
Hello, my name is Teresa and I'm an addict.
This book was on sale sooooo many times and after reading the reviews I had an inclination to read it. So finally I broke down and bought it. There was many references of James Dickey's writing to be poetic. Which should have been a clue to me since I don't like poetry. This isn't my typical type of book to listen to, but I always loved a good survival story. The first hour was really boring and I was defiantly ready for an adventure by the time it actual came, about the time they got on the river. Ed started out as a complete bore, not only to himself but to me too. This book is good, but for me it was a little wordy and descriptive. The narrator was good and authentic sounding. With all the description of the book and the low sound of the narrator I did have a tendency for my mind to wonder, mostly when Ed was in his own head mussing. On the plus side I was able to fully visualize the land. Once the action started happening I was right there in the wilderness fighting for our lives along with the rest of the gang. Overall I would give this book a rating of 3.5.
Retired CFO, Army wife, Mom of five, Grandma of six, two sons who served in combat, love to read books that reflect my values and faith, love mysteries, historical, military stories, and books that don't waste my time . . . if it doesn't have an ending that was worth the wait, I'm not a happy camper.
I've seen the movie a couple of times . . . it doesn't do the book justice. This audio version of Deliverance is absolutely one of the best books I've ever listened to. The narration is perfect. The story of four "city" men going into the untamed hills of Georgia to canoe down uncharted parts of a river is not too far fetched, and neither are the tales of country wildmen hunting down and abusing the "intruders". If you don't listen to the book, you will miss the relationship that forms between the man and the river and the hills that surround it. The things that cannot be taught to a person, but must be experienced . . .
Will Patton did a fantastic job
Everyone who has seen the movie or read the book knows the most memorable moment.
Highly recommend this audiobook!
Love to exercise while listening
Not sure. I thought this was more about adventure.
I'm glad this was over. A little too deep for me.
I couldn't separate myself away from Remember the Titans. I guess his voice was perfect for this. His slow southern drawl.
Don't think so.
Absolutely blown away by the narration. So would've thought will Patton was so good
Really enthralling book and great American novel.
All... He nails it. Riveting book you just want them to get away
Old book breathed new life by narration
Get this one
Having seen the movie years ago I was keen to read the book to see if it had the same haunting quality. It totally did, and more
Yes... The way the story unfolds is pretty horrific and sinister without being overly dramatic
His voice, intonation and characterisation was flawless
Listen to or read the book!