The smash-hit best seller that inspired the acclaimed 1972 film starring Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty, and Ronny Cox is now available in unabridged audio for the very first time.
The setting is the Georgia wilderness, where the state's most remote white-water river awaits. In the thundering froth of that river, in its echoing stone canyons, four men on a canoe trip discover a freedom and exhilaration beyond compare. And then, in a moment of horror, the adventure turns into a struggle for survival as one man becomes a human hunter who is offered his own harrowing deliverance.
This classic tale is vividly read by movie and TV star and Audie Award-winning narrator Will Patton.
©1970 James Dickey (P)2011 Audible, Inc.
100 Best Novels (The Modern Library)
All-Time 100 Novels (Time)
I'm a web developer based out of Sacramento, I listen to books while I work, and love audible.
I must say this was one of the better thrillers I've read and very different than the norm.
Amy Life long avid reader, especially of poetry, literary and popular fiction, historical fiction, mystery/suspense, and some non-fiction.
I might listen to this story again, simply to relive the poetic images described by a superb narrator.
From the point in the story where two men step from the woods intent on violation, I was hooked until the end.
This book is descriptive and written in first person narrative. Unlike books that are mostly dialogue, this story is introspective as the narrator looks back on a fateful experience in his past and the lessons learned from it. Will Patton's voice delivering James Dickey's poetic and haunting prose kept my interest all the way through.
I think the denouement where Ed, the main character, comes into a deeper understanding of himself and the frailty of human nature is what will stick with me.
This is a story about four men chafing at the bonds of mid-life who decide to add some excitement to their lives by taking a canoe trip into unfamiliar territory. A quote from the book is: "...another life--deliverance." That is what they are seeking at mid-life. Their deliverance comes differently than they had expected and in different ways for all of them.
This is not the movie, so for anyone who might be put off by the very famous rape scene in the film, don't worry........of course it's here, but it takes up a very small amount of time and the details are neither spelled out nor important. The incident is important in that it starts a fatal cat-and-mouse hunt between some river country natives and the quartet of city buddies out on a canoe trip, but that conflict and collision is only one part of what they go through when they travel down river.
This isn't the first and wasn't the last book to use a river voyage as a metaphor for an internal voyage to the depths of one's soul, but it's effective nonetheless. The characters and their fates are a little cliched, and the language is occasionally overwrought, but still it's a good reminder of the effect that nature has upon us, and of and the strengths and weaknesses that we discover lay in us hidden in the course of our daily lives.
Love my family....along with guitars, cameras, and a good book!
I had seen the movie, but had never read the book. This story is a master class in abject horror. I can't imagine the things these men went through. To be thrust so completely, and so immediately into such a foreign world ... so steeped in complete loss of control and reason. Dealing with unknown elements, both of the natural world, as well as the human terror they encounter. Such a great story! Very disturbing, but very good. Will Patton is a master narrator as well, really brought the story to life.
I have vivid memories of watching Deliverance and the impact of the sheer brutality of the encounter with the mountain men is etched in my mind. The book is a slow boiling burner that builds tension from the very beginning of the story. The dissatisfaction with their city lives is felt from the first page. Lewis convinces them to undertake this adventure to reclaim a bit of the adventure that has left them. The rest is history...
Will Patton's narration was excellent for this book - his deep voice and the deliberate cadence of the story helped keep the tension building throughout the story. An excellent book brought to life by Will Patton
What an incredible listening experience that Deliverance delivers! To begin with, having seen and enjoyed the action aspect of the film, I found myself far more moved by the strikingly poetic narrative than by any of the action that I had hoped for when making my purchase . Listening to the lead character describe his thoughts and emotions throughout his daily life was so satisfying that I almost hated to hear events unfold so quickly. The action is disturbingly nerve rattling and very exciting but this book is sooo much more. Add Will Patton's flawless performance and you have yourself a top notch audio experience. I wish I had a quarter of the writing talent that Dickey displays here, I'd write a much better review. But, to sum things up, I'll say, this book didn't leave this listener with a rape scene in mind as much as it's beauty of carefully carved out words and it's imagery so skillfully wrought by the author that remains in my mind.
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.
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