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Nightwoods: A Novel | [Charles Frazier]

Nightwoods: A Novel

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....
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Publisher's Summary

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

What the Critics Say

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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (483 )
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4.3 (419 )
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3 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Molly Charleston, SC, United States 10-20-11
    Molly Charleston, SC, United States 10-20-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    74
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    "Beautiful writing and powerful narration"

    I absolutely love Fraizer's style of writing and Patton's narration. I found myself rewinding to hear passages over again because I was totally charmed. Listening to this book, I recall long gone relatives, who had a winking way of saying things that bespoke an intelligence that might not have been immediately apparent to outsiders, until they let go with a quip that summed up a person or situation perfectly. Fraizer deftly captures that dry humor and eloquence in the characters that populate this story, and Patton's delivery is flawless. Yes, It's a little dark but never gratuitously gruesome or especially difficult. In fact, I like the way that certain unpleasant things were implied and not dished out in detail. Also, part of why I love this book (and Fraizer's other books), is that the NC mountains are dear to me, and I can't get enough of his descriptions of the the mystery and beauty of the place, and the ways of the people, that have all but vanished.

    13 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kaye Napa, California, United States 10-08-11
    Kaye Napa, California, United States 10-08-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Nightwoods"

    A quiet, unassuming story beautifully told in typical Frazier style. Details are so clear one can almost feel the moss crunch underfoot. I found the characters to be real and true for the time period and location.

    The setting is the quiet Appalachian landscape in the 1950s. The author offers his readers a most captivating, often poignant portrayal of Luce, the young woman who unexpectedly inherits her sister's troublesome, emotionally scarred twins. Hers is a battle of wits with her sister's husband whom she suspects is her sister’s killer - as she seeks to protect the children from him. Her only friends are the unassuming Stubblefield who becomes protector to her and the children and Mattie the mountain woman of indeterminate age.

    15 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tee Bellflower Atlanta, GA 05-09-12
    Tee Bellflower Atlanta, GA 05-09-12 Member Since 2009

    Tee Bee

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Will Patton Can Make a Dark Story Sound Cozy"

    I love the narration of Will Patton, and I enjoyed this story. The cast was an interesting/mixed lot, yet I wished for more insight into the kid's minds....of course, this was what Luce wanted, too, so I get it. This was a good audio listen, and I could see the "film" in my head. Imperfect characters, a rambling old lodge in the woods and canned good dinners - this is a perfect slice of Southern Fried Goth.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    11-05-11
    11-05-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great story, great performance"

    I loved this as much as I loved Cold Mountain. Charles Frazier is a wonderful storyteller, and Will Patton's performance fits nicely with the style of Frazier's writing. Got lost in the story many times with this one. On the hunt for more Frazier and Patton now. Highly recommend both.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deborah Durham, NC, United States 10-23-11
    Deborah Durham, NC, United States 10-23-11 Member Since 2008
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    "Another Classic for Fraizier"

    Frazier’s use of language and ability to tell a story makes for the perfect audiobook in Nightwoods. His sense of place and time captures the listener’s attention and thoughts. As with his other books, you can see that he has researched the time period and the subject matter. His description of children suffering from post traumatic shock is both accurate and sympathetic. By the end of the book, the listener is actively engaged in the plot and understanding of the well-developed characters, those we love and hate. As a person from North Carolina, his use of words and the wonderful narration of Will Patton rings with authenticity. Perhaps if Randy Boyagoda who reviewed Nightwoods for the NY Times had listened to the book he would have better appreciated Frazier’s use of language. I highly recommend this book.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lyn LADY LAKE, FL, United States 12-02-11
    Lyn LADY LAKE, FL, United States 12-02-11 Member Since 2007

    Tell us about yourself!

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    "Best yet"

    I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this author writing in a different time period. He is an expeet at evoking the feeling of an area and people. Add to this an intriguing story a delightful narrator and its a five star listen

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Caroline Hollywood, SC, United States 09-29-11
    Caroline Hollywood, SC, United States 09-29-11 Member Since 2007
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    "Everything you want in a book"

    Great writing, great story, great narration. Maybe a bit 'simpler' than his other books, but more was not needed. Just perfect and a pleasure to listen to.

    15 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Terry Bethel Park, PA, United States 10-20-11
    Terry Bethel Park, PA, United States 10-20-11 Member Since 2011

    Tmat

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    "I love the Narrator"

    Maybe I just love Will Patton, but I could listen to him tell me a story forever. I really liked this audiobook. Good story.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bryan Salt lake city, UT, United States 12-08-11
    Bryan Salt lake city, UT, United States 12-08-11 Member Since 2008
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    "Dark and Riveting"

    Detailed and vivid descriptions of a small Appalachian town and surrounding mountains. The characters are arguably stereotypical, but feel real and tangible. The story is deeply satisfying and riveting. Well narrated, particularly Bud and the other male characters.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peter Middleton, WI, United States 12-04-11
    Peter Middleton, WI, United States 12-04-11 Member Since 2008

    Tell us about yourself!I am an avid reader but enjoy listening while waking to work, ironing, doing dishes, etc. Listening to novels is an entirely different experience than reading; a well narrated story is a cross between drama and written fiction. Listening to books on Audible has been a wonderful experience.

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    "authentic and compelling"
    Would you listen to Nightwoods again? Why?

    no, because the story is gripping and tight, and once known would not be as suspenseful on a second listen


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Nightwoods?

    the children lost on Sally (the horse) in the mountains


    Which character – as performed by Will Patton – was your favorite?

    Litt--great characterization of a good ole boy


    Any additional comments?

    The whole experience of listening to a graceful, intense, and poetic story read by a superb and nuanced reader is one of the great joys of the

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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