The extraordinary author of Cold Mountain and Thirteen Moons returns with a dazzling new novel of suspense and love set in small-town North Carolina in the early 1960s.
Charles Frazier puts his remarkable gifts in the service of a lean, taut narrative while losing none of the transcendent prose, virtuosic storytelling, and insight into human nature that have made him one of the most beloved and celebrated authors in the world. Now, with his brilliant portrait of Luce, a young woman who inherits her murdered sister’s troubled twins, Frazier has created his most memorable heroine.
Before the children, Luce was content with the reimbursements of the rich Appalachian landscape, choosing to live apart from the small community around her. But the coming of the children changes everything, cracking open her solitary life in difficult, hopeful, dangerous ways.
Charles Frazier is known for his historical literary odysseys, and for making figures in the past come vividly to life. Set in the twentieth century, Nightwoods resonates with the timelessness of a great work of art.
From the Hardcover edition.
©2011 Charles Frazier (P)2011 Random House Audio
PRAISE FOR CHARLES FRAZIER: “Natural-born storytellers come along only rarely. Charles Frazier joins the ranks of that elite cadre on the first page of his astonishing debut.” (Newsweek on Cold Mountain)
“Prose filled with grace notes and trenchant asides ... a Whitmanesque foray into America: into its hugeness, its freshness, its scope and its soul ... such a memorable book.” (The New York Times Book Review on Cold Mountain)
“Frazier works on an epic scale, but his genius is in the details - he has a scholar’s command of the physical realities of early America and a novelist’s gift for bringing them to life.” (Time on Thirteen Moon)
This book was just a bit too raw for me. The characters weren't relatable, the mood was very Southern and the energy very masculine. The connections with nature and wilderness, which were part of what made "Cold Mountain" so beautiful to listen to, only served in this novel to underscore the angry, hostile and generally negative aspects of human emotion.
There wasn't anything particularly interesting about the historical period - this story could have staged at any time, and actually I felt while reading this book that I was way back "when" - at some other time before the events were said to take place. Perhaps that has more to do with the way things were in the South in the 60's, than with anything about Frazier's narrative style or the characters themselves.
I found the narrator's tones to be very coarse and rough-sounding - nothing like the elegant Southern rhythm and harmonies in Frazier's reading of "Cold Mountain".
But I'll end this review on a positive note - Frazier's writing is flawless, with a very sensitive ear for phrasing, and his mastery of detail is unequalled amongst most current writers. It's always a treat to listen to anything written by Charles Frazier; this story line however, just happened to fall a little to far on the dark side.
Great characters, plot and setting. Wouldn't be surprised if this novel makes it to the "silver screen" very soon.
Mother of teenaged bear, Wife to chaos, Warrior
I loved this story it was believable and sweet. The ending was enough and it all work out
Will Patton does an excellent job of transporting you to the Ozarks. The narrator frequently makes, or breaks, the book. You won't be disappointed with the time you spend listening.
Don't want to do any spoilers, so I'll just say some relationships and many actions come as a big surprise.
Inside the mind is like jumping into heaven or hell, whenever the wayfarer sees fit.
More dialogue for a performer in the caliber of Will Patton. Very slow and way overboard on the descriptive narrative of the the story. I'm sure Will must have wanted to doze off during that reading.
Add some dialogue and points that the reader can sustain the interest.
Will Patton is outstanding, and made the book bearable.
The author describes the natural beauty of the world the characters inhabit with uncanny accuracy.
Pulls you right in. Yes, a bit raw at times but so real. Loved the character of Luce. Her ability to overcome a hard life and offer nurturing to her sister's children show the best of human nature.
I've listened to this twice because Will Patton's softly Southern voice is so perfect for this odd mystery. Frazier's writing is poetic and haunting, and the audiobook is the perfect medium for this work.
I think I enjoyed this more in audible format than I would have reading it. The writing is stellar--the descriptions vivid and rich, the characters well drawn and the plot interesting. The narrator was topnotch with appropriate accents to keep the changing narrative point of view at the forefront. He did an excellent job. I was sorry to see this book end.
Because of the narration performance.
When the children are riding Sally into the woods.
Bud's death monologue.
The twins, because of the haunting way they were characterized by Frazier.
Awesome book, fantastic performance by Will Patton.
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