This book is nearly perfect. The language is beautiful and the subject is horrible and the balance between the two is really, really good. If you liked the movie (also excellent), the book is really worth a listen. Also, Will Patton is a great narrator.
I have never seen this movie, (I was aware of a few quotes and the reference to the banjo music) so I listened to this book blindly. The build-up was slow, but filled with foreboding. When things did turn, they turned sharply and violently. What sets out as an adventurous canoe trip for four friends turns into a monstrous act of survival against man and nature. I really can't exactly pinpoint why I didn't like this novel more. One of my favorite narrator's, Will Patton, did a wonderful job reading it, but I felt the pacing might have been my main issue. This book is heavy on details and the connection between man and nature. From a purely literary perspective it was impressive-full of emphasis on symbolism and foreshadowing and an amazing, descriptive transformation by the main character
This is probably a 3.5 for me. I enjoyed the story and the writing, but there were some parts that I found to be slow moving. From what I understand, the movie is action packed and may be the way to go if you are looking for something faster paced. However, there were many parts in this book that I found to be chilling and eerie. It also helped that I had the proper "atmosphere" for the story - I listened to it during my commute to and from work, and since it is winter, I was often in the dark as I listened to it. Very creepy!!!! The narration was excellent; I loved Will Patton's portrayal of the narrator, as it was very believable.
Okay, so that headline is a little patriarchal and hegemonic, but let's be honest: Deliverance could not be better. As both a Marine Corps veteran and a thirtysomething WASP male who is slowly watching his campfire-testosterone dreams of self-image diminish in converse proportion to his waistline, I can say this novel captures exquisitely both sides of the 20th century American male coin.
The story alone is worth hearing, and would be a satisfying use of time even without Dickey's carefully-applied literary flare or Will Patton's flawless narration. The three elements combined add up to a reading (or listening, as it were) experience the impact of which I place nearly on a level with that of Forster's A Passage to India or Evelyn Waugh's A Handful of Dust. Deliverance has all the chest-thumping man vs. nature and man vs. man tropes of classics like Robinson Crusoe, but the former comes with a suspense and a narrative punch that has to be heard to be appreciated.
Ladies, this novel contains everything your man desires and everything he fears. Often, the two are one and the same.
I downloaded this book to play in the car with a male friend. He's not into books on tape, but I thought he might get caught up in the action. Unfortunately, it didn't work for him and although I did listen to it through to the end, it was a bit grueling for me. I think it's more for people who like mystery, danger and adventure in a older style pen.
I think he did what he intended to do, and I think it's a great book for the right audience. Probably I should have passed on this one, since this isn't my typical genre.
Not sure. I think the narrator was fine.
I felt a little on edge throughout, which I think is intended.
Don't let my review stop you. If this is a genre you enjoy, it's not a bad book.
Avid audible listener!
I found this book to be unrealistic and boring.
As Ed states toward the end of the book, "we're a bunch of ## amateurs anyway", but somehow he is able to perform feats that I believe only a trained individual (hunter, police, or military) could perform. I think a person could do one, but not all, of what he did in his situation. He is then able to fit, apparently comfortably, back into his everyday life with little emotional change. The whole book was based on Ed's thoughts, but I really didn't see any indication that he was capable of what he did.
There was no character development. I felt no sympathy for any of the characters. The only character I thought was even remotely plausible was Bobby.
I found the narration boring. There were scenes that had potential to be exciting, but I didn't get that from this narrator.
I bought this as one of the "Daily Deals" and wish I hadn't wasted my money.
Even though this book was written in the 70's, I had not read it until now. I haven't seen the movie either. The perfomance is very good by Will Patton. You can tell that the story is a little old, but it is still a good story. Four friends decide to "get away from it all" and go on a hunting trip. But they are caught up in something they could not have imagined. They meet mountain folks who are sick and perturbed. I'm glad to say that it doesn't end too well for the mountain men.
What a masterpiece. I typically read/listen to non-fiction history or business books, but took a respite based on the outstanding reviews of Deliverance. Like many, I have seen the movie multiple times, but never read the book. It is FAR better than the movie. The descriptions of the trek down the river put you right in the canoe through every set of rapids and up the gorge wall. And to top it off, Will Patton's performance is possibly the best I've heard on an audio book. A homerun!
Time well-spent listening to this great piece of literature.
Listening while I run.
James Dickey takes you down the river. When you are done, you will be battered, bruised, broken and in awe. Will Patton was spot on. The movie is for the timid - listen to this book.
I downloaded James Dickey's Deliverance because I'd never seen the movie and was looking for a relatively short, entertaining listen to fill the space between detective thrillers from Sandford, Burke, and others. Deliverance filled the bill nicely in giving me something to listen to, but came up relatively short on entertainment. I found the story to be engaging and if I was looking to have deep thoughts about the implications of one man's struggle against the wild and other men I probably would have enjoyed it more. In other words this novel is justifiably considered part of the body of American literature rather than a "beach read".
The book really is all about the story and the implications of the protagonist's actions on his future and on the reader's thoughts. The characters themselves, other than the main character Ed, are at best very shallowly developed and at worst simply mute cardboard cutouts. The antogonists are hillbillies, not really the evil villain type; yes I get that it gives you something more to think about but I would prefer something more satisfying when they meet their fate. And for a novel set in a wild rapids river, there is very little action or suspense. Really as I was listening to it I just concluded, "This is really good writing and a decent story but it's not very exciting. Maybe it would do better if someone creative made it into a movie."
That said, Will Patton's performance is beyond compare and for me, and is the high point of the audiobook. Patton narrates the Dave Robicheaux novels from James Lee Burke and his laconic, accented reading style suit both Burke's and this novel really perfectly.
Bottom line, a decent listen especially if you like modern American literature in an adventure setting. For me, I can't wait to hit play on the latest novel from John Sandford, which just came out!