We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
The Violent Bear It Away Audiobook

The Violent Bear It Away

Regular Price:$18.17
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

First published in 1960, The Violent Bear It Away is now a landmark in American literature. It is a dark and absorbing example of the gothic sensibility and bracing satirical voice that are united in Flannery O'Conner's work. In it, the orphaned Francis Marion Tarwater and his cousin, Rayber, defy the prophecy of their dead uncle - that Tarwater will become a prophet and will baptize Rayber's young son, Bishop. A series of struggles ensue, as Tarwater fights an internal battle against his innate faith and the voices calling him to be a prophet, while Rayber tries to draw Tarwater into a more “reasonable” modern world. Both wrestle with the legacy of their dead relatives and lay claim to Bishop's soul.

O'Connor observes all this with an astonishing combination of irony and compassion, humor and pathos. The result is a novel whose range and depth reveal a brilliant and innovative writer acutely alert to where the sacred lives and where it does not.

©1960 Flannery O'Connor (P)2010 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“There is very little contemporary fiction which touches the level of Flannery O’Connor at her best.” (New York Herald Tribune)

“I am sure her books will live on and on in American literature.” (Elizabeth Bishop, American poet laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (233 )
5 star
 (120)
4 star
 (64)
3 star
 (31)
2 star
 (10)
1 star
 (8)
Overall
4.2 (191 )
5 star
 (101)
4 star
 (45)
3 star
 (28)
2 star
 (9)
1 star
 (8)
Story
4.5 (189 )
5 star
 (127)
4 star
 (44)
3 star
 (12)
2 star
 (4)
1 star
 (2)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Seth H. Wilson Venice, CA USA 02-07-15
    Seth H. Wilson Venice, CA USA 02-07-15 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    199
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    103
    29
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    7
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The Title Says It All"

    A bleak book with sustained religious imagery, that's what you're in for. O'Connor is such a powerful writer, though, that you occasionally get lost in the poetic beauty of her phrasing and forget how depressing the story is. But the story always jerks you back to reality.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nathaniel United States 01-01-11
    Nathaniel United States 01-01-11

    Collector

    HELPFUL VOTES
    73
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    17
    12
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    "Flannery O' Connor "

    I enjoy the works of Flannery O' Connor though I do prefer her shorter stories. The Violent Bear It Away is a bit all over the map at the beginning - past to present to even further in the past, etc - and can make for a confusing listen, but when this novel hits it stride somewhere in the middle the story flares. The narrator does a decent job bringing the story to life. I would suggest using your credit on A Good Man is Hard To Find or Everything That Rises Must Converge first.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diane Louisville, KY, United States 02-01-16
    Diane Louisville, KY, United States 02-01-16 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    723
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    213
    116
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    98
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Toxic Religiosity"

    Perhaps it is only with the benefit of hindsight that one might begin to comprehend the horror of this novel, published in 1960, with the story taking place in the American South of 1952. Although I am not a scholar of O'Connor, the research I have done indicates that she was a devout Catholic and intended the novel to be a tribute to the power of religious passion in the face of a vapid secularism. But it is a very violent and horrific passion she writes of, full of the destructive forces of fire and water. When I read of the induction of the young Tarwater into the fanatical faith of his "crazy" great-uncle, a faith which eventually leads the 14-year-old to a place where he is capable of the murder of an innocent, I can't help but think of the scores of young Muslims currently being indoctrinated into a similarly twisted version of their faith. The same is true of religious zealots of any tradition who come to believe they are justified in committing the most barbaric atrocities in the service of their faith.

    O'Connor posits a stark dichotomy between the fire of religious passion and the emptiness of a secular life. It is a false dichotomy, in my opinion--religious passion can be perverted, and meaning and purpose can be found in a secular life. I firmly stand with the Buddha on this one: the Middle Way is the path of wisdom.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Geri Monroe, WA, United States 05-02-11
    Geri Monroe, WA, United States 05-02-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Fabulous Flannery!"

    Readers can always county on Flannery O'Connor delivering a good yarn. Her characters are one of a kind, interesting, eccentric, and compelling; her tales are the same. Mr. Bramhall was well chosen as the narrator. In my mind he became the main character. A book you won't forget like so many others.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cbulater 04-12-16
    Cbulater 04-12-16 Member Since 2010
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Flannery - a Master"

    Flannery's words can pierce your soul. Loneliness, hopelessness, ignorance, religious fanaticism, and, yes, I dare say mental illness converge in this classic. So why did I like it? First, the fact that it was written in the mid 50s and by a woman is incredible. The fact that she captures otherness and aloneness as no other author I've ever read. It is shocking, rich in prose, and uncovers fears that are as terrifying as any Stephen King novel. Flannery shocks and delivers a solid punch.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    An Average American 01-02-16 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent"

    O'Connor is an excellent writer. This audiobook had a good narrator who was able to capture the tone of the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Doris 02-27-15
    Doris 02-27-15

    An accomplished retiree ready for the entertainment I missed during all my years of hard work. Period mysteries or witty anything are a joy.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    99
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Coarse, gritty world I never want to know"

    Flannery Conner uncovers some of the ugly culture as a consequence of the unrooted, superstitious people of the American post-war era. The vulnerable bear the brunt of each man 's interpretation what he believes is being freed from perceived evils.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Valerie USA 02-24-15
    Valerie USA 02-24-15 Member Since 2016

    VP Phoenix

    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    243
    22
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Stunning prose exquisitely read"

    This is an extraordinary period and place work with vivid characters and descriptive narrative. The reading is authentic and a positive contribution to the experience of the book. High praise.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    val 07-12-13
    val 07-12-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    127
    20
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Classic Flannery"
    What made the experience of listening to The Violent Bear It Away the most enjoyable?

    the realism in the telling of the story


    What did you like best about this story?

    the almost expected outcome of this freight train coming at full throttle


    What does Mark Bramhall bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    excellent characterizations - outstanding performance


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    The Violent Bear It Away


    Any additional comments?

    A good reading adds great value to the story - it is truly a performance

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Br. Charles 01-28-13
    Br. Charles 01-28-13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Violently Born Away"
    What did you like best about The Violent Bear It Away? What did you like least?

    The story telling was quite good but the story itself was more complicated or more symbolic than my attention span allowed me to follow while listening.


    If you’ve listened to books by Flannery O’ Connor before, how does this one compare?

    This was the first book by Flannery O'Connor that I have listened to. I have not read any of Flannery O'Connor's work.


    Which character – as performed by Mark Bramhall – was your favorite?

    None of the characters qualified as "favorites." The description and performance of each made them equally problematic to like.


    Was The Violent Bear It Away worth the listening time?

    Undecided.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.