Monday, January 28, 2013

Listening to NIGHTWOODS


I read really fast. Sometime I say that I read a book fast so I know if I'll want to read it again -- slower.  When I encounter a novel as rich in description and poetic imagery as Frazier's are, I try really hard to slow down and savor the prose. But if, as in Nightwoods, there's a compelling plot -- two young children traumatized by witnessing the murder of their mother are hunted by the murderer -- I'm likely to skim over the description and imagery in pursuit of WHAT HAPPENS NEXT.

Fortunately, there's a fix for my sort of reader -- audiobooks.  And Nightwoods is beautifully read -- really, performed is a better word -- by Will Patton whose pleasant Southern voice suits the material perfectly.  I listened to the book over several days in manageable bits -- like pacing myself at a seven course meal. The prose is so rich, the descriptions so true -- and the villain so truly awful that, although I was eager as ever to find out what happened, I used the breaks to imagine where Frazier would take the story. 

At that memorable lunch, I mentioned to Charles that he had upset some folks with the death of one of his main character at the end of Cold Mountain and he just smiled and said it was what had to happen. So I spent some time in wondering what had to happen in this book,  knowing that no one was safe -- not the children, nor Luce, the aunt who is trying to bring the children out of their silent world, nor Stubblefield, the quiet suitor who is trying to win Luce's confidence.

I guessed right about a few things and was pleasantly surprised by being wrong about some others. I loved this book and will, I'm sure, re-read and re-listen to it soon. This man's writing is amazing. It's a good thing I hadn't read this before he came to lunch -- I would have been an even more babbling fan-girl.

Highly recommended -- especially the audio book!
 
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11 comments:

Ms. A said...

I didn't read it, but I SURE enjoyed Cold Mountain, so if it's as good as that, IT'S GOOD!

Martin said...

I haven't really got into audio-books, but this might be a good place to start.

Jon Lee said...

Hi Vickie.I have been reading your blocs but not posting for a while. Wow! This book sounds amazing. I have not gotten into audio books for myself even though I play some short stories and poems from audio cs's for my students, I think this is one I will try. Nothing better than hearing it read by a nice Southern voice.

Brian Miller said...

very cool....i will put it on the list right away...that is high praise..i also like the fact no one is safe...there is so much freedom in that attitude as a writer..

JJ Roa Rodriguez said...

ill consider this when I am back to my normal life... been to busy shaping life. :-) a lot of good things happening here. and I want to take the chance.

Thanks for sharing Miss Vicki!..

JJRod'z

Mel said...

I'm so glad you are enjoying this book - the prose was outstanding and the story swept me away. I haven't listened to an audiobook in decades, and I've heard so much good about Will Patton's readings that I think I'll have to start here.

I read the same way you do, greedy the first time and slowly the second time on a book I love.

Have you read anything by Jeffrey Lent? His style breaks my heart like Mr. Frazier's too.

Happy reading and healing.

B. Rogers, Living in Black Mountain said...

Thanks for adding another great read to my list.

Inger said...

I read this book last month and loved it. Mr. Frazier paints the landscape surrounding the story with his words. I could smell the forest, see the big cat along the fence, feel the earth under my bare feet, and hear the wings of the hawk above. And then he creates such a special woman, who gives up her solitude and becomes so open to helping and defending those children. A great book!

Deanna said...

Now I want to go back and read Cold Mountain again. Will check it out sooner, rather than later. Thanks for the heads up.

Vicki Lane said...

Good to hear from you, Jon!

Mel - I haven't read Jeffrey Lent -- will add him to the list..

Ah, yes -- Inger understands!

NCmountainwoman said...

I really love audiobooks but some of them are frightfully expensive. I definitely liked Nightwoods but think Cold Mountain was far better. (Although I HATED the movie!)