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Publisher's Summary

Blackwater is the saga of a small town, Perdido, Alabama, and Elinor Dammert, the stranger who arrives there under mysterious circumstances on Easter Sunday, 1919. On the surface, Elinor is gracious, charming, anxious to belong in Perdido, and eager to marry Oscar Caskey, the eldest son of Perdido's first family. But her beautiful exterior hides a shocking secret. Beneath the waters of the Perdido River, she turns into something terrifying, a creature whispered about in stories that have chilled the residents of Perdido for generations. Some of those who observe her rituals in the river will never be seen again....

Originally published as a series of six volumes in 1983, Blackwater is the crowning achievement of Michael McDowell, author of the Southern Gothic classics Cold Moon Over Babylon and The Elementals and screenwriter of Beetlejuice and The Nightmare Before Christmas. This first-ever one-volume edition will allow a new generation of listeners to discover this modern horror classic.

©1983, 2017 Michael McDowell (P)2017 Valancourt Books LLC

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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A 6 Star Worthy Epic!

Just wow. This story encompasses so much I would completely fail at an adequate synopsis of any kind. First though, narration. Matt Godfrey has made my list of top 5 best narrators. I would happily purchase anything read by him as I believe he could make even the most intolerable writing sound amazing. His characters are so distinct. I just loved hearing the way he read James and Queenie in particular. Yes. This is 30 hours long. But it isn’t a grueling day to day account. The story spans decades and sometimes years pass in chunks. I was never bored or felt like the story was tedious in any way. I loved every minute. Each character is incredibly unique and I enjoyed getting to know them. I am typically a fan of horror/creepy type novels. This one satisfies some part of that but not to a great extent. There are some somewhat gruesome descriptions but they are few. Mostly I was happily drawn into the Caskey family and was sorry when it all came to an end. If I could give this more than 5 stars, I would.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • coreybeth
  • Cincinnati, OH, United States
  • 10-24-17

Best book I've read in a long while!

Wow! Awesome story....VERY character driven. The "monster" is subtle and you're on pins & needles wondering whether it will in deed finally gain control. It's a generational saga and EVERY character is well developed & believable! Spooky parts peppered throughout but the "family" is definitely the main character in this story! I don't want to spoil the fun but I'm confused with a few parts. The creatures are born looking like creatures & quickly change to humans yet one grand daughter creature was thrown into the river lovingly never to be spoken of again. why not keep her too? It starts in the early 1900's in Alabama.and follows the generations through the years. I like how the deceased family members are still spoken of. Alot of times it's as if they had never been in the story at all. Overall it is a GREAT story! I'm not even finished yet. Back to Eleanor and the Casky clan.............

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Fantastically horrifying!

Beautifully written. A wonderfully ghostly mystery. Poetic in its meticulously researched dialog of the era and absolutely terrifying.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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loved it

I began this review while I was still in the process of listening to this book. it was amazing.

I'm not even finished with this yet, but it's really satisfying to hear the names of places that I lived near: I went to high school in Mobile, and my mom and sister lived in Baldwin County for well over a decade, I with them from time to time. Just hearing "Atmore" and "Gulf Shores" and "Mobile", "Bay Minette" and "Bayou La Batre" is very satisfying, as if it reinforces their existence. Aside from that, the characters are very well developed. The intrigue is deeply touching, and the malice and manipulation is truly vexing.

edit: finished now, I absolutely loved it. I will probably listen to it again at some point, it was a multiple read kind of book. it was great.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

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Epic Family Saga

At first the narrator put me off this book. Because it was written by one of my top 2 authors, I pushed through. I'm so glad I did. I absolutely loved the character development. So in depth that I became completely invested in each individual's story. The story had me totally enraptured from front to back. There are SO many facets to this thing that I'd be remiss to TRY to begin to tell. USE YOUR CREDIT HERE!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Tawney
  • Dash Point, WA, United States
  • 12-04-17

narrator is a genius!

what a fun listen! I was glued from start to finish. where has this been?

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Unexpected

An interesting story. Quite different from what I expected. This is a rather sleepy story about the idiosyncrasies of a wealthy family in a tiny southern town with a little bit of the supernatural thrown in, rather than the opposite. Those looking for a supernstural thriller will likely be disappointed.

I found the narrator's voice very off putting initially, to the point that I stopped just a few minutes in and listened to something else. When I went back to it and continued listening, I quickly grew to embrace his narration as part of the story, and I think it was very wel done.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A great listen! Hits all the right notes.

Each night, I couldn't wait to return to the story. Consumes you, like a giant, swirling muddy river.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Absolutely PHENOMENAL!

Blackwater: The Complete Saga on audio is absolutely phenomenal! Phenomenal! That's right, it's so good, it deserves two PHENOMENALS.

First-about the book itself. Michael McDowell was a force to be reckoned with as far as writing about family dynamics. If you've read The Elementals, Gilded Needles, or Cold Moon over Babylon, (and if you haven't you SHOULD), you already know that McDowell writes about families like no one else. Now imagine those books expanded to cover several generations of one family, in this case The Caskeys, and you might have an inkling of how great a work of literature, (that's right, I'm calling it literature), Blackwater really is.

Starting with a huge flood in Perdido, Alabama and a mysterious woman found in a partially flooded hotel and ending with another flood in the same town, there is a symmetry here not often found in horror fiction. Perhaps it's because Blackwater isn't really a horror novel, (or series of novels, as it was originally released back in the 80's), at all. I would describe it more as a Southern Gothic soap opera or family saga, with supernatural and horrific elements.

One of the things I adore about McDowell, and there are many of them, (click http://charlene.booklikes.com/post/13... for my essay on McDowell's work), is how he treats horrifying supernatural events as if they were no big deal. Somehow, the way he does that makes the event even more horrifying, if that makes any sense.

Of course, as I mentioned above, McDowell writes family dynamics like no one else and this book proves it. Throughout generations even, McDowell is at the top of his game writing about this family with its rich men and domineering women. Being from Alabama himself, the authenticity of the family's bearing and standing in their community of Perdido is never in doubt. His insights into human behavior are unmatched and beautifully written-without fail. Here's a quote from the first book of this novel,The Flood, (which takes place in the early 1920's):

"That was the great misconception about men: because they dealt with money, because they could hire someone on and later fire him, because they alone filled state assemblies and were elected congressional representatives, everyone thought they had power. Yet all the hiring and firing, the land deals and the lumber contracts, the complicated process for putting through a constitutional amendment-these were only bluster. They were blinds to disguise the fact of men's real powerlessness in life. Men controlled the legislatures, but when it came down to it, they didn't control themselves. Men had failed to study their own minds sufficiently, and because of this failure they were at the mercy of fleeting passions; men, much more than women, were moved by petty jealousies and the desire for petty revenges. Because they enjoyed their enormous but superficial power, men had never been forced to know themselves the way that women, in their adversity and superficial subservience, had been forced to learn about the workings of their brains and their emotions."


I could go on and on about McDowell, as many of you already know, but now I'd like to address the narration of this story by Alabama native Matt Godfrey.

I just don't have the words to describe how McDowell's words, combined with Godfrey's narration, made me feel. Together, they made a great work even greater. Godfrey's voicing was so true to the source material it made the Caskey voices come alive. ALIVE, I say! I laughed out loud many times, and I cried a few times too.

I most especially adored his voicing of James and of Oscar. Don't get me wrong, I loved these characters back when I first read the books a few years ago; but with Matt's voice attached to them, they became larger than life. It was easy for me to recognize who was talking just by the inflections and changes of tone. I've never listened to an audio book where it was easier for me to identify who was who, just by how the narrator voiced them. I've listened to a lot of audios over the last few years, and that's never happened to me-at least not in a book with as many characters as Blackwater. That's why I say now, with no reservations, that this is the BEST audiobook I've ever read. PERIOD.

I hope that I've convinced you to give this audio a try by giving it my HIGHEST recommendation. I'd love to hear your thoughts on it if you do give it a go.

You can get your copy here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07...

*I received this audiobook free, from the narrator, in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.* **Further, I consider Matt Godfrey a friend, even thought we've never met, but this review IS my honest opinion.**

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Excellent

Great story, one of the best narrators I’ve heard, and I’ve heard a lot. Recommended.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 11-20-17

Loved loved loved it.

So sad that it's over...made me laugh, cry and afraid. what a rollercoaster of a story.