Nightwoods

  • by Charles Frazier
  • Narrated by Will Patton
  • 8 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The extraordinary author of Cold Mountain and Thirteen Moons returns with a dazzling new novel of suspense and love set in small-town North Carolina in the early 1960s.
Charles Frazier puts his remarkable gifts in the service of a lean, taut narrative while losing none of the transcendent prose, virtuosic storytelling, and insight into human nature that have made him one of the most beloved and celebrated authors in the world. Now, with his brilliant portrait of Luce, a young woman who inherits her murdered sister’s troubled twins, Frazier has created his most memorable heroine.
Before the children, Luce was content with the reimbursements of the rich Appalachian landscape, choosing to live apart from the small community around her. But the coming of the children changes everything, cracking open her solitary life in difficult, hopeful, dangerous ways.
Charles Frazier is known for his historical literary odysseys, and for making figures in the past come vividly to life. Set in the twentieth century, Nightwoods resonates with the timelessness of a great work of art.
From the Hardcover edition.

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What the Critics Say

PRAISE FOR CHARLES FRAZIER: “Natural-born storytellers come along only rarely. Charles Frazier joins the ranks of that elite cadre on the first page of his astonishing debut.” (Newsweek on Cold Mountain)
“Prose filled with grace notes and trenchant asides ... a Whitmanesque foray into America: into its hugeness, its freshness, its scope and its soul ... such a memorable book.” (The New York Times Book Review on Cold Mountain)
“Frazier works on an epic scale, but his genius is in the details - he has a scholar’s command of the physical realities of early America and a novelist’s gift for bringing them to life.” (Time on Thirteen Moon)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Disappointing

This book was just a bit too raw for me. The characters weren't relatable, the mood was very Southern and the energy very masculine. The connections with nature and wilderness, which were part of what made "Cold Mountain" so beautiful to listen to, only served in this novel to underscore the angry, hostile and generally negative aspects of human emotion.

There wasn't anything particularly interesting about the historical period - this story could have staged at any time, and actually I felt while reading this book that I was way back "when" - at some other time before the events were said to take place. Perhaps that has more to do with the way things were in the South in the 60's, than with anything about Frazier's narrative style or the characters themselves.

I found the narrator's tones to be very coarse and rough-sounding - nothing like the elegant Southern rhythm and harmonies in Frazier's reading of "Cold Mountain".

But I'll end this review on a positive note - Frazier's writing is flawless, with a very sensitive ear for phrasing, and his mastery of detail is unequalled amongst most current writers. It's always a treat to listen to anything written by Charles Frazier; this story line however, just happened to fall a little to far on the dark side.
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- Pamela Harvey "glam"

Beautiful writing and powerful narration

I absolutely love Fraizer's style of writing and Patton's narration. I found myself rewinding to hear passages over again because I was totally charmed. Listening to this book, I recall long gone relatives, who had a winking way of saying things that bespoke an intelligence that might not have been immediately apparent to outsiders, until they let go with a quip that summed up a person or situation perfectly. Fraizer deftly captures that dry humor and eloquence in the characters that populate this story, and Patton's delivery is flawless. Yes, It's a little dark but never gratuitously gruesome or especially difficult. In fact, I like the way that certain unpleasant things were implied and not dished out in detail. Also, part of why I love this book (and Fraizer's other books), is that the NC mountains are dear to me, and I can't get enough of his descriptions of the the mystery and beauty of the place, and the ways of the people, that have all but vanished.
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- Molly

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-27-2011
  • Publisher: Random House Audio