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The Violence  By  cover art

The Violence

By: Delilah S. Dawson
Narrated by: Hillary Huber
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Publisher's Summary

How far would you go to be free? Three generations of women forge a new path through an America torn by a mysterious wave of violence in this “chilling [and] dizzyingly effective” (The New York Times Book Review) novel of revenge, liberation, and triumph.

“A compulsively readable fusion of domestic thriller and modern horror.”—Kameron Hurley, author of The Light Brigade

“A novel that defines this era.”—Stephen Graham Jones, New York Times bestselling author of The Only Good Indians

They call it The Violence: a strange epidemic that causes the infected to experience sudden bursts of animalistic rage, with no provocation and no memory of their crimes. While it tears the nation apart, one woman sees something unlikely in the chaos—an opportunity.  

Chelsea Martin has been a prisoner in her own home for too long. Her controlling husband has manipulated her for years, cutting her off from all support. Her narcissistic mother is no help, and her teen daughter is realizing she might be falling into the same trap when her once adoring boyfriend shows a dark side. 

But when the Violence erupts, Chelsea creates a plan to liberate herself and her daughters once and for all. 

What follows is a shocking and thrilling journey as three generations of women navigate a world in which they are finally empowered to fight back. Somewhere along the journey from her magazine-ready Tampa home to the professional wrestling ring, Chelsea becomes her own liberator, an avatar of revenge and hope, and a new heroine for a new world.

©2022 Delilah S. Dawson (P)2022 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Dawson’s thriller is a surprising, exhilarating journey of three generations of women navigating a changing world.”The Washington Post

“Every summer needs a superb thriller, and this is it. A story of three generations of women making their way through an America ravaged by violence, this is also a wonderful narrative about liberation and perseverance.”The Boston Globe

“Dawson’s prose is a kind of knife work: short, sharp stabs after agonies of teeth-clenching tension. . . . Dizzyingly effective . . . It’s impossible not to read.”The New York Times Book Review

What listeners say about The Violence

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interesting story

i thought the writing was pretty good. the only negative criticism is the constant insinuation that the President was Trump- always a negative comment, or a jab. i don’t think authors owe a political commentary, nor should they alienate 50-% of their audience…

13 people found this helpful

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Loved e every minute of this book!

Book was Awesome great story on the of the COVID-19 pandemic. I really enjoyed the shots taken at you know who!

8 people found this helpful

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Political narrative in fiction

The constant liberal and left wing commentary ruined the story. Keep your political opinions out of fiction stories. Completely disappointed! Could have been a great book.

8 people found this helpful

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Don't read if you lean right

Was a good story. Would have been great if it wasn't so one sided political

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Loved

Loved this book. From top to bottom. So fun, unexpected, and original. It’s a tv show waiting to happen.

5 people found this helpful

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Good story & worth the cost of a credit

At first I almost put this in my 'just couldn't get into it' category. Glad I stuck with it because it really did fit in all of the tag words' to describe it; i.e., thriller, suspense, etc. So it actually got downloaded & filed in my 'favorites"

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Content warning: abuse

The Violence is the latest book by New York Times bestselling author Delilah S. Dawson, and it is an emotional rollercoaster. It’s captivating and brutal, and the subject matter can be – as stated in her Author’s Note – “distressing for some readers.” I was one of those readers. “The Violence deals with themes of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse,” she explains, and I was definitely forced to relive past traumas. My heart raced and my emotions raged while reading, but the characters were sympathetic and engaging, and I needed to know what happened to them.

Dawson crafted a three generations of damaged women, all suffering in silence, each struggling with their own private demons. She placed them in the wealthy suburbs in a post-Covid version of Florida, showed us their worst character flaws, and then set a new pandemic free to rage among them. This new pandemic causes sudden, violent rages, and in the beginning of the outbreak, the government collects these infected individuals so they can’t harm others. Abusive men caught attacking women they love could be theoretically be considered infected with the Violence…

The Violence is expertly written, skipping street names and details such as house colors, subdivision titles, and store names, but focusing on a tiny corner shop at one intersection that all three main characters stop at throughout the book. It starts out as a little yellow shack with a scrolling digital sign implying men should buy new floors to make their wives happy. By the end of the book, a character sees the shack under new management and thinks about thunderstorms bringing rainbows. It’s one of my favorite lines of the book, actually.

Dawson manages to convey that very real fear of strange men who may or may not hit on you while you’re out in public alone, and how powerful a simple hug can be after being isolated and alone for too long. The Violence is a powerful book and it is a memorable one. Dawson carefully balanced the tension of the book so that there are beautiful moments amid the darkness.

There’s no way to predict how it will make you feel if you are sensitive to the subject material and/or have been in an abusive relationship. I needed several Xanax and the love and support of my wonderful husband to make it through the book, and writing this review, because of my previous marriage. Counseling and therapy helps, but so do prescription medications and support systems. I am fortunate to have all of the above.

To quote the Author’s Note once more: “If you’re experiencing abuse, please seek support. You are not alone.”

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I liked it a lot!

I didn't expect much going into this book but it was really good. More suspenseful than you might expect the narrator was fantastic as always.

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Great Book

All I can say is I love Patty!!! Great story and perfect for the time that we are living in.

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Very good

Very good story and performed very well. I couldn't put it down and wanted it to keep going.

1 person found this helpful