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Black Out: A Novel | [Lisa Unger]

Black Out: A Novel

On the surface, Annie Powers' life in a wealthy Floridian suburb is happy and idyllic. Her husband, Gray, loves her fiercely; together, they dote on their beautiful young daughter, Victory. But the bubble surrounding Annie is pricked when she senses that the demons of her past have resurfaced and, to her horror, are now creeping up on her.
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Publisher's Summary

"When my mother named me Ophelia, she thought she was being literary. She didn't realize she was being tragic."

On the surface, Annie Powers' life in a wealthy Floridian suburb is happy and idyllic. Her husband, Gray, loves her fiercely; together, they dote on their beautiful young daughter, Victory. But the bubble surrounding Annie is pricked when she senses that the demons of her past have resurfaced and, to her horror, are now creeping up on her.

These are demons she can't fully recall because of a highly dissociative state that allowed her to forget the tragic and violent episodes of her earlier life as Ophelia March and to start over, under the loving and protective eye of Gray, as Annie Powers.

Disturbing events - the appearance of a familiar dark figure on the beach, the mysterious murder of her psychologist - trigger strange and confusing memories for Annie, who realizes she has to quickly piece them together before her past comes to claim her future and her daughter.

©2008 Lisa Unger; (P)2008 Books on Tape

What the Critics Say

"Twisty, riveting, and enormously exciting. Lisa Unger is a powerful and elegant writer, and Black Outis her best novel yet." (Joseph Finder)
"Black Out is riveting psychological suspense of the first order. If you haven't yet experienced Lisa Unger, what are you waiting for?" (Harlan Coben)
"I read Black Out in one hungry gulp, and spent the rest of the night trying to calm my jangled nerves. This is a stunning, mind-bending shocker with moments of sheer terror - one of the best thrillers I've read this year!" (Tess Gerritsen)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (94 )
5 star
 (26)
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 (36)
3 star
 (19)
2 star
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3.7 (33 )
5 star
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3 star
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Story
4.0 (32 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    12-03-08
    12-03-08 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    252
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1121
    23
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    11
    1
    Overall
    "A different kind of thriller"

    On the surface, BLACK OUT sounds like a typical thriller. A serial killer, thought to be dead, seemingly returns to threaten a woman out of his past. But in Lisa Unger's hands, what could have been a by-the-numbers story becomes much, much more.

    First, she turns what could be a predictable plot on its head. Not only isn't the potential victim, Annie, not who she seems - but as the story unfolds, neither is virtually anyone around her - her husband, her in-laws, her friends, even her young daughter. Then, as Unger drops clue after clue, the revelations aren't just surprising - they're unsettling.

    But what really sets BLACK OUT apart is the characters' psychological depth - Annie, first and foremost. The story is not just a trip from Point A to Point B. It is a journey through Annie's psyche. And Unger's prose is more than up to the task - at times purely expository, at times entirely dream-like. In the best thrillers, you eagerly await the resolution of the plot, which is certainly the case here. But in BLACK OUT, the real nail-biting surrounds Annie's personal journey - and the resolution there is anything but simple.

    I know it's a cliche, but I sat in my driveway listening to the end of BLACK OUT. And then, as the last word faded, I had to keep sitting to think about what I just heard. Even as I'm writing this the story, in all its complexities, has stayed with me.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lysa Tempe, AZ, USA 02-27-09
    Lysa Tempe, AZ, USA 02-27-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    255
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Oustanding!"

    If you are into psychological thrillers you will really dig your heals into this one! There are not a lot of books that come by with such great and unpredictable story lines!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathryn Baxter, MN, United States 11-14-12
    Kathryn Baxter, MN, United States 11-14-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    72
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    47
    46
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    8
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Surprisingly Good"

    I have never listened to Lisa Unger before. Never even heard of her. I bought this book because it sounded interesting and I am a fan of the narrator. I'm one of those people that like to be reeled in with the first chapter. No playing around for me. So after the first chapters of this book I was kicking myself and feeling a great sense of loss over a credit. I shut it off, not once but three times. It was slow. It was boring. It was everything I didn't want. After a week I decided to give it another try because I hadn't time to download a new one. I stuck with it and I am glad I did.
    It isn't an obvious ..'Here it is' plot.. it is slowly being blended around the main character, Annie, and everyone else around her. Her background and the lives that have and still were shaping hers. I don't want to say alot. It is a story better off listened to because after awhile there are things being dropped as clues here and there. You feel sympathy for her and start getting frustrated for her. There were one or 2 places that I wish Lisa had made more elaborate but I did like the part where she found strength protecting her daughter .
    This book is a good experience, even if the first few chapters are not ( for me anyway). I will definately listen to another Unger book. I don't think you will be disappointed with this one. Ann Marie Lee gave good narration. I don't understand the reviews that have negative things to say about her because I have heard way worse in some very popular novels to where I didn't turn it back on. Was well worth giving it a 4th try.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dawn Laguna Beach, CA, United States 10-06-11
    Dawn Laguna Beach, CA, United States 10-06-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    6
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    "Black Out"

    Although the story line was a little difficult to follow because it kept bouncing between past and present, I enjoyed this book. The way the author explores the mind of her main character and the difference between reality and perception is enough to keep you guessing and contemplating the implications in real life

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sharon San Francisco Bay Area 11-08-10
    Sharon San Francisco Bay Area 11-08-10 Member Since 2010

    wintersky

    HELPFUL VOTES
    77
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    64
    17
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    FOLLOWING
    4
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    "Narrator's characters are awful"

    This book had a kind of a convoluted plot which held my interest, although I kept feeling as though I'd missed something somewhere. But what bothered me most is the narrator. Just reading the book, she was fine, but her characters were HORRIBLE. The men in particular were just awful caricatures, which really took a lot away from the book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Acadia93 Stonington, FL, USA 05-22-13
    Acadia93 Stonington, FL, USA 05-22-13 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    18
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Disappointing... dragged on..."

    I willed myself to finish the book, to the finish the listen. I was very disappointed in the story; I have read other books by Lisa Unger and have enjoy them. This was just not an enjoyable book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emily J. Mills Spofford, New Hampshire 12-12-12
    Emily J. Mills Spofford, New Hampshire 12-12-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    6
    6
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Story
    "Far fetched"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    This book was entertaining enough, but the story was so convoluted that it was hard to tell what was real and what wasn't.


    Would you recommend Black Out to your friends? Why or why not?

    I can't say that it is that good that I would recommend it.


    Have you listened to any of Ann Marie Lee’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I haven't listened to any other of Ann Marie Lee's other performances, but I thought she did a good job with this one.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    I would, so that maybe I could get more clarity about the story.


    Any additional comments?

    I found the writing to be ok, but the story was confusing, and while a far-fetched story can be really good, this one was so wierd that I was losing interest.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alex Mosman, Australia 10-18-12
    Alex Mosman, Australia 10-18-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
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    7
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Narrator annoying"

    Sure it's a story about a woman in hiding, but does the narrator have to make the whole book sound like a 10 hour, whiny prologue? When she's in the main character's voice she manages to make every sentence a breathless quiver. It makes the character much less like able - shakily explaining how awful her million dollar life is, dripping with self pity. Not sure I can bear to keep listening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ramona Fishers, IN, United States 10-09-12
    Ramona Fishers, IN, United States 10-09-12 Listener Since 2008
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    8
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Psychological warefare"
    What made the experience of listening to Black Out the most enjoyable?

    The narrator and the intricate story line


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Black Out?

    When Victory asks to not play those games anymore with her grandmother.


    Which character – as performed by Ann Marie Lee – was your favorite?

    Annie/Ophelia


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Not extreme, but it made me feel sorry for Annie/Ophelia because of the card life played her. I also felt sorry for Marlow. His path in life could have been different had he been parented by another set of adults.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cynthia Normal, IL, United States 08-16-12
    Cynthia Normal, IL, United States 08-16-12 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    120
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    96
    27
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    9
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Twists and Turns"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. Lisa Unger provides a novel full of unexpected twists and turns. I would rather that it not be in the first person because she writes about events she did not witness.


    Which character – as performed by Ann Marie Lee – was your favorite?

    Gray and Victory


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When she was emotionally shattered and no one believed in her.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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