• The Bright Lands

  • By: John Fram
  • Narrated by: Luis Selgas
  • Length: 12 hrs and 42 mins
  • 3.7 out of 5 stars (74 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A Library Journal Best Winter/Spring Debut 2020

“Marks the debut of an already accomplished novelist.” (John Banville)

The town of Bentley holds two things dear: its football and its secrets. But when star quarterback Dylan Whitley goes missing, an unremitting fear grips this remote corner of Texas.

Joel Whitley was shamed out of conservative Bentley 10 years ago, and while he’s finally made a life for himself as a gay man in New York, his younger brother’s disappearance soon brings him back to a place he thought he’d escaped for good. 

Meanwhile, Sheriff’s Deputy Starsha Clark stayed in Bentley; Joel’s return brings back painful memories - not to mention questions - about her own missing brother. And in the high school hallways, Dylan’s friends begin to suspect that their classmates know far more than they’re telling the police. 

Together, these unlikely allies will stir up secrets their town has long tried to ignore, drawing the attention of dangerous men who will stop at nothing to see that their crimes stay buried.

But no one is quite prepared to face the darkness that’s begun to haunt their nightmares, whispering about a place long thought to be nothing but an urban legend: an empty night, a flicker of light on the horizon - the Bright Lands. 

Shocking, twisty, and relentlessly suspenseful, John Fram’s debut is a heart-pounding story about old secrets, modern anxieties, and the price young men pay for glory. 

©2020 John Fram (P)2020 HarperCollins Publishers
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: LGBTQ+

What listeners say about The Bright Lands

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

Conflicted Opinion

So it took me a bit to figure out what to say about this book. Spoilers ahead by the way.

So the story itself was intriguing and enjoy a good LGBT horror BUT it just fell flat. They talk about this monster the whole book but the creature gets a short explanation for it's actions at the end and becomes one of the least interesting things about the story. Soooo much more could have been done with it.

Also, becomes too weird when the conclusion to a lot of the mystery is a ring of pedophiles with weird fetishes that run a town.

The main character is anticlimactic and the side characters have way more personality.

A lot of questions still remain and the narrators overdone southern accent is distracting.

Just felt there was great potential for the story but....just lacked overall.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Maybe better to read than listen

The story was alright; I think. I'm still not sure yet, to be honest. I certainly didn't know where it was going when it finally got there. But I enjoyed the build up of the first half more than the conclusion.

Part of my dislike for this book was the confusion in the second half. But maybe it'd be less confusing with a physical book to look at instead of listening to it. There are A LOT of characters and the narration jumps between them quickly towards the end.

Also, the narrator didn't help. For all the numerous characters there are pretty much only four different voices: regular (Joel), whiney twang (the girls), gruff and growly twang (the guys), and whatever the hell the evil whisper is. And the twang was horrible. Like, super-distracting, almost stopped listening in the first few chapters kind of horrible. I know the book is set in Texas but it was the most ridiculous, caricatured accent.

1 person found this helpful

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Compelling, spooky and unique

This book had me hooked from the beginning. Great narration and great story. Lots of layers being peeled back and exciting and shocking turns of events.

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Enjoyed it

What a really good book. Will definitely recommend to others. happy reading and will read mlre from this author.

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SO GOOD!

I loved this book so freaking much! So dark, so creepy, so worth reading again!

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I'm left completely befuddled.

I thought this was a great book, at the beginning. However, as I got closer to the end I began to really question if I were listening to the same story or not. It was a very bizarre ending to an otherwise good book.