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!
Very Well Done. The words were a melody singing the complications of a man's primal instincts.
Yes. Gripping, exciting, and a setting all men can relate to.
When the decision was made not to go to the authorities about the murder
Yes. neither laughed or cried but rather SHOCKED, at the rape!
Explosive with antisipation, and keeps you somewhat guessing..... will they be found out or not, all the way to the end!
I saw the movie years ago and considered it kind of a cult classic but I never took it very seriously. I'm not sure how I fell upon the book - a sale maybe? But I just finished listening and I have to say it is an amazing story that puts the movie to shame.
There is so much more depth to the story than ever hinted at in the movie. Ed's thoughts and observations as he made decisions and faced challenges were compelling. A movie can never capture a story told in the first person.
I also have to say that Will Patton's narration was absolute perfection. I often felt he was telling the story from personal experience. Amazing work.
This book will be one of the few that I will have to listen to again and again.
This was a great reader. I loved that Ed in spite of his fears and doubts pushed ahead and encouraged Bobby to stay strong amid his excruciating experience on what was supposed to have been an adventure for the men. Mr. Dickey and Mr. Patton did a great job in writing and narrating. I loved the narration, the mellow voice of Ed and the country tone of Lewis who was crazy and daring, Bobby who always sounded afraid. Each man had to come to terms with his conscience and moral of what’s right and wrong and survival.
An avid reader, who also loves to listen.
Not sure if scary is the word to use but this book is definitely just as how I remembered it and I for one, will not be making a trip out to that area anytime soon in fear that something similar could happen to me.
The narrator does a great job too. He is very impressive and sounds awfully like Jon Voight, who was the main character from the movie.
I do have one regret though, too bad they couldn't somehow get the banjo music from the movie to be played somewhere within the audiobook. It's hard to think of Deliverance without hearing that tune in your head.
If I hadn't seen the movie I probably would have enjoyed this book more. That's not to say I didn't like it. I did like it. The movie, or at least my memory of the movie, seemed more exciting. There were parts that were nearly identical but the book had more of what was going through the characters minds - more big picture philosophical views. Naturally, that's hard to translate to the screen so the movie feels more gritty.
The writing is descriptive, the central narration is believable and the plot moved steadily. Deliverance is not a classic work of fiction by any means, but neither is it hack job.
My observations should you consider reading (possible spoilers):
- very 70'ish in tone and dialogue (slightly dated).
- homosexual rape scene/and other sexual references.
- survivalist mindset including murder