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.
Call anytime(888) 283-5051
The Violent Bear It Away | [Flannery O’ Connor]

The Violent Bear It Away

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.
Regular Price:$20.97
  • 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 -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

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

4.1 (140 )
5 star
 (67)
4 star
 (38)
3 star
 (21)
2 star
 (8)
1 star
 (6)
Overall
4.0 (102 )
5 star
 (49)
4 star
 (23)
3 star
 (18)
2 star
 (6)
1 star
 (6)
Story
4.4 (102 )
5 star
 (59)
4 star
 (29)
3 star
 (10)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (1)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States 10-22-12
    Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States 10-22-12 Member Since 2011

    A part-time buffoon and ersatz scholar specializing in BS, pedantry, schmaltz and cultural coprophagia.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    7652
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    401
    397
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1282
    15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Biblical, American and Absolutely Brutal"

    O'Connor was ruthless in her vision. The struggle of Tarwater and his uncle Rayber against their joint destinies and the pull of fundamentalism and secularism is fully realized in this short novel. The Violent Bear it Away is biblical, American and absolutely brutal in both its imagery of destruction and language of redemption. I can only think of a handful of writers who seem to grab both my brain, my spine and my gut at the same time. O'Connor can't be over-appreciated; she was an absolute genius of passion and power. So brilliant and terrible was this novel, that I still exceedingly fear and quake.

    20 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jerrybednar Wickliffe, Ohio, United States 10-16-10
    jerrybednar Wickliffe, Ohio, United States 10-16-10

    playfan2

    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Excellent Narration"

    The narrator interprets this novel in a wonderful way. The novel itself is superb. The narrator has a way of clarifying who's speaking and hinting at significant images as they unfold. Very satisfying.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew MERRICK, NY, United States 09-09-12
    Andrew MERRICK, NY, United States 09-09-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    14
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Disturbing in Biblical Proportion"
    Where does The Violent Bear It Away rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is among the very best audiobooks I've listened to. The performance is haunting and captivating. The text is elevated and infused with meaning by the reader.


    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    andrew Bountiful, UT, United States 11-25-11
    andrew Bountiful, UT, United States 11-25-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    138
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    46
    44
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    8
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good, Strange"

    I loved this book early, then it bogged down. I did not care for the schoolteacher character, and I am probably not going to read any more O'Connor. This one had enough elements of unique, disturbing storytelling to be worth the time though. Picks back up at the end. Not sure what to say about it still- a bit of an exploration of the prophet "type" in modern society. And a story about manipulation. The characters are all trying to make the world like themselves, and especially the "hero". Never read a book like it, and that is really its best quality. The early chapters are much funnier than the book on the whole, and that tempered the subject in a way I liked. I laughed a lot at the old man, and I think one is supposed to.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    bookscdsdvdsandcoolstuff USA 05-25-13 Member Since 2013

    bookscdsdvdsandcoolstuff

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Expertly read edition"

    This book is easily one of the best I have ever listened to. It is Flanery O'Connor, so one must be prepared to read this text like someone who understands literature. Remember that O'Connor is deeply rooted in Catholicism, and scholasticism. Remember that she is first and foremost a committed Christian. Her characters will be grotesque, and there will be tremendous violence and disturbing images, but the book will stick with you forever. It will point to deeper transcendent truths that are timeless and eternal.

    Reading Flannery O'Connor will enrich your life, but please understand that you are not listening to surface level romance novels / John Grisham stuff here. This takes hard work and patience, but it is work that will be deeply enriching should you undertake it.

    The narration is perfect. The southern accent throughout is very important, and the individual voices of each character are pitch perfect. Simply outstanding.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katherine Philadelphia, PA, United States 04-27-13
    Katherine Philadelphia, PA, United States 04-27-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    39
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Holy wow."

    I am typically bored by literature that is too overtly influenced by the Christian faith/the Bible. Somehow, Flannery O'Connor has escaped such classification for me, and I am riveted by her, absolutely stunned: every time I read her, it feels like the first time I have encountered the idea of God. I liked Wise Blood, but The Violent Bear it Away is in a league of its own. This novel is so dark, and so unflinchingly intelligent and so surprising, and I wished it were 20 hours long instead of six. In fact, I listened to several chapters several times, not because they were difficult to follow, but because I was so amazed by her craft and its unfolding. It will be a difficult novel to follow-up.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Doug Glenwood, IA, United States 10-08-11
    Doug Glenwood, IA, United States 10-08-11 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    62
    24
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Superb!"

    A great classic with much wisdom regarding passion, religious fervor, prejudice, racism, and other issues. Well read, also.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Geri Monroe, WA, United States 05-02-11
    Geri Monroe, WA, United States 05-02-11 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    val Libertyville, IL, United States 07-12-13
    val Libertyville, IL, United States 07-12-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    85
    10
    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
  •  
    Daphne Stevens Macon, GA United States 03-13-13
    Daphne Stevens Macon, GA United States 03-13-13 Listener Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    27
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Southern Literature at its Best"
    If you could sum up The Violent Bear It Away in three words, what would they be?

    PiercingSardonicFierce


    What did you like best about this story?

    The depth and relationship among characters


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The many encounters between Tarwater and his uncle created a thread that was a scene in itself. The ambivalent relationship between the two characters-- actually shadows of one another--was both funny and poignant.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I wanted to listen, then digest and reflect before listening further.


    Any additional comments?

    Flannery O'Connor once said that the South is "Christ -haunted," and the religious motif is prevalent here. Her characters are both archetypal and personally compelling. This is classic Southern literature at its best--a book worth re-reading and discussing with others.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 16 results PREVIOUS12NEXT
Sort by:
  • Diana
    CAERSWS, United Kingdom
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "Resist destiny at your peril!"

    Francis Tarwater was raised by his preacher great-uncle – destined to be a prophet. He resists his destiny; he does not bury his great-uncle, he goes to live with his uncle, he does not want to baptise his cousin, he does much worse! He is in the thrall of his ancestors, his nature and his destiny. Powerful, sensitive and moving with fantastic Southern States voice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-1 of 1 results

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

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.