Hold the Dark by William Giraldi audiobook

Hold the Dark: A Novel

By William Giraldi
Read by Richard Ferrone

Blackstone Publishing 9780871406675
6.68 Hours Unabridged
Format: Digital Download (In Stock)
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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.

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Summary

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.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“A taut, muscular, and often unforgettable journey into the heart of darkness. Epic, relentless, and beautifully realized.” Dennis Lehane, New York Times bestselling author
“Hold the Dark is a chilling, mysterious, and completely engaging novel that will keep readers turning pages late into the night. The cold and unforgiving Alaskan wild becomes much more than a backdrop for this spellbinding story. It becomes a character—a living creature with its own hungers, its own secrets, its own icy motives, its own implacable will. I was entranced.” Tim O’Brien, National Book Award-winning author of Going after Cacciato
“Girald’s unrelenting, perfectly paced prose whips the book along to an unnerving conclusion. By the end, we feel, as Core does ‘that man belongs neither in civilization nor nature—because we are aberrations between two states of being.’” New Yorker
“Fierce, extraordinary…Hold the Dark is an unnerving and intimate portrayal of nature gone awry. It’s all but bereft of levity, spectacularly violent, and exquisitely written.” New York Times Book Review
“Maybe it all began with Graham Greene’s Brighton Rock in 1938, but there is a variety of modern thriller, created these days by Robert Stone and Denis Johnson at their best, that delivers narrative thrust and beautifully composed sentences by the pageful even as it peels away the thin membrane that separates entertainment from art, and nature from civilization. Here’s Boston writer William Giraldi adding to the slender ranks of such masterly fiction…[Hold the Dark] certainly stands out as one of the decade’s best books of its kind, and one that deserves, because of its stylish flaunting of some of our darkest fears, a future readership.” Boston Globe
“There’s an oddness and otherness to this place, and Giraldi speaks its taut, original language. To appreciate its power fully, Hold the Dark should be read closely—not so much for clues to the mystery but rather for an appreciation of how language bridges worlds.” Chicago Tribune
Hold the Dark is a mystery novel with all the right ingredients: tough characters, beautifully dangerous landscapes, revenge, a detective on the chase, a husband going after his wife, and enough bullet casings to rattle in the mind long after the story is finished.” Washington Review of Books
“Utterly brilliant…Hold the Dark is that rarest of literary beasts: a novel whose sentences gleam like gemstones but whose pages carry you along like a bullet train.” Los Angeles Review of Books
“Hold the Dark is a powerful meditation on nature, violence, and responsibility with the concentration of a fable or fever dream—a book hard to get out of your mind long after you’ve put it down.” Thomas McGuane, National Book Award–nominated author of Ninety-Two in the Shade
“Giraldi’s back-country Alaska is a savagely amoral place where the constant struggle for survival brings out the most elemental aspects of humanity. This work travels deep into the most ancient and primitive realms of being, offering an unflinching—and more than a little frightening—exploration of the domains of the unconscious that are more commonly the province of myth and fairy tale.” Library Journal (starred review)
“Some novels seem ready-made for Hollywood to gobble up and spin into a film script. Giraldi’s second novel comes close to fitting this easy mold. However, despite how well he can write an action scene, his carefully developed themes and characters transcend the Hollywood model…Written in a galloping prose embedded with a hard poetry, Hold the Dark will not disappoint disciples of action fiction.” Booklist
“Snow, ice, wolves, murder, and dark love are encountered in Hold the Dark, William Giraldi’s hard, unflinching, and powerful novel. This story and the telling of it have the clout and rigor of a Norse Saga.” Daniel Woodrell, author of Winter’s Bone
“Richard Ferrone’s gravelly voice suits this story of human and animal violence…Ferrone’s narration is easy to follow and well paced. He does a good job with the dialogue among the tough guys who make up the bulk of the characters. This is not just a story about wolves or Alaska. It’s about the human condition.” AudioFile

Reviews

Reviews

by Lori 9/13/2017
Overall Performance
Narration
Story

Violent acts rendered almost beautiful

Listened 9/23/14 - 9/27/14
4 Stars: Recommended to fans of the kind of literature that's cold and dark and gets into your bones
Audio 6.7 hours
Publisher: Liveright Publishing / Blackstone Audio
Released: September 2014


I am not ashamed to admit that I was trolling downpour.com looking for something to fill my ears during the commute to work when I stumbled across Hold the Dark. I hadn't heard a peep about it (which is usually a sign that I am onto something), but the cover and title caught my attention right away, and the blurb sold me seconds later.

Hold the Dark is an extremely dark and violent, slow moving, tension-filled tale that's meant to mess with your mind. In it, we witness the lengths to which an isolated village will go to stand together and protect its own. A place where law is not necessarily recognized and strange, murdery deeds typically go unquestioned. A place where a man will put himself through hell to get back the one thing he wants most and death will befall those who are dumb enough to get in his way.

William Giraldi's careful prose and simplistic world-building go a long way to pulling the reader in, despite it's slow place. His willful withholding is actually part of the book's charm. And the near-tender descriptions of his characters' violent acts render them almost beautiful. Kudos also to Blackstone Audio, for finding a reader capable of conveying the quiet fierceness of Giraldi's words.

My only real critique is the final chapter. Despite the fact that had a different feel to it, as if it was written by a different hand, it felt like a sad surrender to a story that could have, and should have, gone off in another direction. Perhaps by eliminating that last chapter, the book would have been stronger. Perhaps if Giraldi had a little more faith in his readers, he wouldn't have needed to take it that far? Look, if you're an attentive reader, you'll pick up on some of what Giraldi's laying out as he goes along; you'll already have a sense of what's coming, of where he's heading. Trust me. That final chapter just cleans up what should, in my opinion, remain a messier tale.

Also, can we get off the whole "comparing every new author to a super-famous author that they kind of sort of write similarly to" now? Can we, please? I've seen Giraldi compared to both Cormac McCarthy and Ernest Hemingway. Why? Because he writes sparse, bleak landscapes? Stop. Just stop. Let's not pollute the waters around a fresh and emerging writer. Let him be who he is without the pressures of having to stand as tall as our literary heroes. And let's just agree to enjoy the cold Alaskan landscape he sets his words in, as it freezes our skin solid and sends icy cold chills up and down our spines.

Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Fiction
Runtime: 6.68
Audience: Adult
Language: English