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Hold the Dark

A Novel
Narrated by: Richard Ferrone
Length: 6 hrs and 41 mins
Categories: Fiction, Contemporary
4 out of 5 stars (114 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A terrifying literary thriller set on the Alaskan tundra, about the mystery of evil and mankind’s losing battle with nature.

At the start of another pitiless winter, the wolves have come for the children of Keelut. Three children have been taken from this isolated Alaskan village, including the six-year-old son of Medora and Vernon Slone.

Shaken with grief and seeking consolation, Medora contacts nature writer and wolf expert Russell Core. Sixty years old, ailing in both body and spirit, and estranged from his daughter and wife, Core arrives in Keelut to investigate the killings. Immersing himself in this settlement at the end of the world, he discovers the horrifying darkness at the heart of Medora Slone and learns of an unholy truth harbored by this village.

When Vernon Slone returns from a desert war to discover his son dead and his wife missing, he begins a methodical pursuit across this frozen landscape. Aided by his boyhood companion, the taciturn and deadly Cheeon, and pursued by the stalwart detective Donald Marium, Slone is without mercy, cutting a bloody swath through the wilderness of his homeland. As Russell Core attempts to rescue Medora from her husband's vengeance, he comes face-to-face with an unspeakable secret at the furthermost reaches of American soil - a secret about the unkillable bonds of family and the untamed animal in the soul of every human being.

An Alaskan Oresteia, an epic woven of both blood and myth, Hold the Dark recalls the hyperborean climate and tribalism of Daniel Woodrell's Winter’s Bone and the primeval violence of James Dickey's Deliverance.

©2014 William Giraldi (P)2014 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Short but compelling.

After seeing the trailer on Netflix I decided to give the book a try before I saw the film. Man I was not expecting such twists from this novel. There was one point where the entire story flipped around and I was shocked at such a development. The lines are blurred when it comes to the main characters goals and the ending is not what you would expect. Time to watch the movie and see how it does!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Alaska is the star of this book

This book is set in Alaska, and the author does a terrific job in bringing the land to life. I'm not always able to see the surroundings in other books as well as I did in this one. The characters and the story did not pull me in quite as much, although the book did start out strong. It's about primal, animal natures (in humans and wolves), and the author takes this very interesting underside of the human condition in a direction that may not please everybody. What is primal to some may seem senseless to others. I wished some of the characters had their beliefs challenged more - not to change them, but just to make it more interesting. At the end, there could be more resolution, so if that bothers you, you might not like this one.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Well Done

Good story, great writing and character development. And you'll learn something. Not sure you'll ever use what you learned but it's still interesting and good to know.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Excellent, atmospheric, and beautifully performed

Compelling story with a descriptive yet forceful prose. The narrator's gravelly voice was the embodiment of Alaskan bleakness and the darkness inherent in each of us.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

disappointing ending

started out fantastic. but disappointing In the end. er er er er er er er er

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great Book!

I saw the movie and had to hear the book, much better than movie, obviously!

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

WTF

I don't even know what to say, except spoiler.... this book has little to do with wolf lore and more about incest. Reading the reviews I feel like I'm one of a handful of people that find the ending of this book weird. Wouldn't recommend it whatsoever unless you like strange and disappointing endings.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Melissa
  • Corona, CA, United States
  • 10-25-18

Great Story

wonderful dialogue between characters. amazing scenic imagery. Alaska, cold. wolves. Predators vs humans. Nature against humanity

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Bleak for bleakness sake

Picked up this book because I Looked up the movie on IMDb before watching it on Netflix. Multiple users complained of plot holes, but the visuals in the preview captivated me so I decided to pick up the book.

Unfortunately, I have to complain of the same issue with the source material. So many bleak scenes that barely add up to the unifying theme. Several characters that are used to build suspense end up having no meaning impact on the story including the first lead character introduced in the book. The setting and premise were promising but I think the plot failed to convey any kind of meaning theme or focus.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Should be better

Really cool premise and I got a “no country for old men” vibe from summary and several parts of the book.

I found myself several times wonder WTF is going on though, and then a twist or cool scene would bring me back in.

I am looking forward to the movie to see what I missed. But to be honest I was looking forward to finding a gem and was a little disappointed.