The Darling

  • by Russell Banks
  • Narrated by Mary Beth Hurt
  • 13 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The Darling is Hannah Musgrave's story, told emotionally and convincingly years later by Hannah herself. A political radical and member of the Weather Underground, Hannah has fled America to West Africa, where she and her Liberian husband become friends and colleagues of Charles Taylor, the notorious warlord and now ex-president of Liberia. When Taylor leaves for the United States in an effort to escape embezzlement charges, he's immediately placed in prison. Hannah's encounter with Taylor in America ultimately triggers a series of events whose momentum catches Hannah's family in its grip and forces her to make a heartrending choice. Set in Liberia and the United States from 1975 through 1991, The Darling is a political/historical thriller, reminiscent of Graham Greene and Joseph Conrad, that explodes the genre, raising serious philosophical questions about terrorism, political violence, and the clash of races and cultures.

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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential: Mary Beth Hurt's performance of this novel is simply marvelous. As an aging revolutionary she recounts her sins and her fate with controlled intensity. So perfectly attuned is she to the rhythm of Russell Bank's fine prose that I often lingered in my driveway with the rest of my carpool, just to finish whatever chapter we were on. –Corey Thrasher

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What the Critics Say



Audie Award Winner, Fiction (Unabridged), 2005
"A rich and complex look at the searing connections between the personal and the political, this is one of Banks's most powerful novels yet." (Publishers Weekly)
"Banks brings the full weight of his storytelling genius and psychological perceptiveness to a novel as compulsively readable as it is eviscerating in its dramatization of cultural divides, political mayhem, psychotic violence, and profound alienation." (Booklist)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Complex and compelling

I have been listening to Audiobooks for years and this has been one of my favorite books. First of all, even though I know better, I could not believe that the author was not a woman. The constant shifting of focus from social behavior - both human and animal - to the individual conscience, was stunning. This book will appeal to readers who love politics, stories about different cultures, mysteries and wonderful character development. I am going to buy the book and read it again, something I seldom do. This book is really a masterpiece.
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- Ellen

extraordinary and beautiful

Russell Banks is one of our greatest novelists in the English Language. His body of work shows an artistry with the language that few others meet.

This novel ranks with Cloudsplitter. Banks' characters are flawed people, but the reader is enriched and enlighted by listening or reading them come to terms with their lives.

In Darling Banks explores what it means to be moral by exploring complicated lives led fully. He brings a deep mediation on lyalty, empathy, language, social change, and loveas his main character explores her life.

The narration is nearly perfect. This is an excedllent audio experience.
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- Lee

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-22-2004
  • Publisher: HarperAudio