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Blackwater: The Complete Saga

Auteur(s): Michael McDowell
Narrateur(s): Matt Godfrey
Durée: 30 h et 9 min
Catégories: Littérature, Horreur
4.5 out of 5 stars (19 évaluations)

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Description

Blackwater is the saga of a small town, Perdido, Alabama, and Elinor Dammert, the stranger who arrives there under mysterious circumstances on Easter Sunday, 1919. On the surface, Elinor is gracious, charming, anxious to belong in Perdido, and eager to marry Oscar Caskey, the eldest son of Perdido's first family. But her beautiful exterior hides a shocking secret. Beneath the waters of the Perdido River, she turns into something terrifying, a creature whispered about in stories that have chilled the residents of Perdido for generations. Some of those who observe her rituals in the river will never be seen again....

Originally published as a series of six volumes in 1983, Blackwater is the crowning achievement of Michael McDowell, author of the Southern Gothic classics Cold Moon Over Babylon and The Elementals and screenwriter of Beetlejuice and The Nightmare Before Christmas. This first-ever one-volume edition will allow a new generation of listeners to discover this modern horror classic.

©1983, 2017 Michael McDowell (P)2017 Valancourt Books LLC

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Moyenne des évaluations de clients

Au global

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    15
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    3
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Histoire

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 étoiles
    13
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  • Au global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars

Took a bit but worth it

It started out slowly for me but it didn’t take long to get to a comfortable pace. I started to identify with the characters, and there were many, relatively quickly and got to where I had a hard time stopping. I love the area where it took place and the era. You live their lives with them. A favorite for me.

1 personnes sur 1 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars

Wow

This one took me by surprise. It's not horror, more like a period piece with a pinch of supernatural. Very skilled writing and a great multi-generational story that just sucks you in. I really enjoyed it. It is a bit slower moving and not as action packed as others in the genre, so if that's what excites you this might not be the best fit for you. But I'd recommend giving it a chance regardless.

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars

An amazing book

For a book that doesn’t really have much of a plot other then following the generations of the Caskey family over the course of almost a century, the story is truly captivating. If you enjoy historical fiction with a bit of horror thrown in here and there, this is the book for you. As someone who lives way up north, I found the commentary on every day life in southern Alabama in the 1920s onward to be very pleasing. Micheal McDowell also is an amazing character writer- they all are different, nuanced and multi-dimensional and we see how their experiences and choices shape them over the course of their lives. There is quite a bit of unexpected wisdom that made me contemplate my own life and what I have been through, and why I am they way I am. Very good book, I wish I had them in print as well to go back and reference some great quotes. Highly recommend!

  • Au global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    3 out of 5 stars

Not what you might think...

While this is both well written, and well performed, it is little more than a turn of the century soap opera. Incidences of the macabre or even the uncanny are precious few and far between, which is NOT what i expected from the synopsis of this book.

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  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • jksullycats
  • 2017-10-29

A 6 Star Worthy Epic!

Just wow. This story encompasses so much I would completely fail at an adequate synopsis of any kind. First though, narration. Matt Godfrey has made my list of top 5 best narrators. I would happily purchase anything read by him as I believe he could make even the most intolerable writing sound amazing. His characters are so distinct. I just loved hearing the way he read James and Queenie in particular. Yes. This is 30 hours long. But it isn’t a grueling day to day account. The story spans decades and sometimes years pass in chunks. I was never bored or felt like the story was tedious in any way. I loved every minute. Each character is incredibly unique and I enjoyed getting to know them. I am typically a fan of horror/creepy type novels. This one satisfies some part of that but not to a great extent. There are some somewhat gruesome descriptions but they are few. Mostly I was happily drawn into the Caskey family and was sorry when it all came to an end. If I could give this more than 5 stars, I would.

277 personnes sur 287 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mel
  • 2018-05-22

It's *One of Those*

Hopefully, all of us are familiar with those great surprise novels that we stumble upon, work into slowly, then wish it would never end. Even with a favorite author, there are works we might not love as much as the one that put that author on our top shelf. McDowell was one of those authors that I stumbled upon while searching deeply into reviews here on Audible. Before Blackwater, I'd read a couple of this author's books and thought they were comfortably entertaining -- nothing spectacular on the level of hardcore horror that scars you for life, but solidly above the middle-grounders in a genre that I either love or hate, depending on the novel. Before researching the author a bit, I was convinced he was a Writer, a man that knew how to create atmosphere and lay down a good ghosty story that leaves you looking at the world a little differently, maybe even a little suspiciously--over your shoulder.

Blackwater: TCS is a multigenerational family saga, the kind you work your way into and feel like you know the clan; you watch them grow up, stumble, succeed, you care about them or dispise them. This was a slow start for me, but I have never spent 30 hours with a book that I enjoyed so much once I was hooked. It begins ominously, at the turn of the 20th century after the Perdido River has flooded the entire Alabama town named for the muddy red river. Were you to read the book, an *Introduction* provided would tell you: [quote]*it is the story of how a river monster disguised herself as a woman and married into that family (the wealthy Caskey family), eventually becoming its matriarch, and guiding its varied members to their fates, for good and for ill.*
About the *horror* element -- this is horror like Toni Morrison's *Beloved* was horror. A better genre to squeeze this into would be Southern Gothic, Magical Realism, or Speculative Fiction. McDowell has been praised by authors such as Peter Straub, Anne Rice, and Stephen King, the latter stating that McDowell was one of the "finest writers of paperback originals in America today” and one of the most underrated authors of horror. It was this compilation of McDowell's six Caskey Family novellas that inspired King to write books in the serialized format (The Green Mile, The Tower). King's wife Tabitha completed McDowell's novel Candles Burning (2006) after McDowell's death in 1999. If you decide to look into this Alabama-born author's very original work and writings, you'll find he wrote the screenplay for some popular movies (Beetlejuice, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Thinner, Tales From the Darkside, etc.) and that he collaborated with Hitchcock, Stephen King, among others, before his death at the age of 49.

In my opinion, Blackwater is McDowell's crowning achievement. It is rich with the feel of a small southern town situated along the banks of a dark and moody river. Like a vein pumping life or death into the people that rely on its waters, the old river is alive and knows what lies in the hearts and souls of the citizens of Perdido. I'm glad I had not read the *Introduction* provided in the print copy of this book, and that I found out about the *river monster* as I listened. SHE is first sighted sitting primly in a flooded and abandoned hotel lobby, mysteriously composed and ambiguous. Her red hair is the color of the Perdido mud still stirred into the water around her knees. Like a cross between Disney's Ariel and one of the mythological mermaids froms old sailor's stories, you will sense that Elinor is immediately a beautiful but dangerous siren with the Perdido water coursing through her veins. She is a force of nature herself, a creature of logic instead of conscience, that straddles how we define good and evil. Had McDowell lived longer, I believe he would have returned to the eternal Perdido river, that he had more stories to dredge up from that muddy swift water that flowed into bottomless whirlpools and never gave up its dead.

193 personnes sur 202 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Charlie Williams
  • 2018-02-09

not what I expected

Any additional comments?

narrator was great (the first thing that should be mentioned in any review of an audiobook).

I really, really, really wanted to love this book and in many ways I did but I have a few issues that still nag me on rereading it.

there is more horror in the plot summary blurb than in the actual book. this is not a horror novel. it pokes at the swamp monster subplot but rarely and not in any meaningful way. the story is about a swamp monster who decides to stop being a swamp monster and live as a person among people and is basically about a person moving to Alabama (it could have as easily been a yankee as a swamp monster). it is a great Southern Gothic novel. I actually think the book would be better if the swamp monster subplot were removed, honestly.

it is a very well written Southern Gothic novel with great characters but the overarching plot just didn't resolve for me well at all. there were hints at the supernatural with little to no payoff and it ended with a bit of a thud since I was expecting something, anything, to happen on that front . it didn't. I don't want to go into spoilers but everything about the things in the closet is left completely unanswered and bewildering.

173 personnes sur 183 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Eileen
  • 2018-06-29

Not what the front cover suggests

This book is not a horror or even scary, as the book cover would suggest. More about a family over a few generations with a little more than just a smidge of weirdness. I didn’t hate it, some parts were very good but overall when it ended I was glad it was over. The book tries too hard to get everything in, politics, sexuality, race, money, and a swamp thing for haha’s, but it felt dragged out. I do know the area that the author describes and I felt he did a good job with that. Really I wouldn’t waste a credit on it but if you got on sale there are parts that make it worthwhile.

51 personnes sur 54 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jason Balentine
  • 2018-07-09

Great book! But, NOT horror

A great story of the Caskey family over 50yrs. I grew to love the characters as I did the Joads (Grapes of Wrath).
The underlying supernatural aspect of this “novel” (seems like a better word than “horror story” in this case) is fleeting & almost silly but it is a small part of this family history.
I feel like this is a terrible description because this really is worth the listen

73 personnes sur 78 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • r.
  • 2017-12-20

Excellent

If Steven King had written Fried Green Tomatoes, it might have gone something like this. Loved it!

133 personnes sur 144 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • SareHG
  • 2018-01-26

Just finished Blackwater...

“Damn, that was awesome.”
Excellent narration,
excellent character development,
excellent undertones of supernatural entwined in the story. And above all, it’s an interesting description of a Southern family making its way through four generations in the early to mid 1900s. Enjoyed every moment.

49 personnes sur 54 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Char's Horror Corner
  • 2017-10-30

Absolutely PHENOMENAL!

Blackwater: The Complete Saga on audio is absolutely phenomenal! Phenomenal! That's right, it's so good, it deserves two PHENOMENALS.

First-about the book itself. Michael McDowell was a force to be reckoned with as far as writing about family dynamics. If you've read The Elementals, Gilded Needles, or Cold Moon over Babylon, (and if you haven't you SHOULD), you already know that McDowell writes about families like no one else. Now imagine those books expanded to cover several generations of one family, in this case The Caskeys, and you might have an inkling of how great a work of literature, (that's right, I'm calling it literature), Blackwater really is.

Starting with a huge flood in Perdido, Alabama and a mysterious woman found in a partially flooded hotel and ending with another flood in the same town, there is a symmetry here not often found in horror fiction. Perhaps it's because Blackwater isn't really a horror novel, (or series of novels, as it was originally released back in the 80's), at all. I would describe it more as a Southern Gothic soap opera or family saga, with supernatural and horrific elements.

One of the things I adore about McDowell, and there are many of them, (click http://charlene.booklikes.com/post/13... for my essay on McDowell's work), is how he treats horrifying supernatural events as if they were no big deal. Somehow, the way he does that makes the event even more horrifying, if that makes any sense.

Of course, as I mentioned above, McDowell writes family dynamics like no one else and this book proves it. Throughout generations even, McDowell is at the top of his game writing about this family with its rich men and domineering women. Being from Alabama himself, the authenticity of the family's bearing and standing in their community of Perdido is never in doubt. His insights into human behavior are unmatched and beautifully written-without fail. Here's a quote from the first book of this novel,The Flood, (which takes place in the early 1920's):

"That was the great misconception about men: because they dealt with money, because they could hire someone on and later fire him, because they alone filled state assemblies and were elected congressional representatives, everyone thought they had power. Yet all the hiring and firing, the land deals and the lumber contracts, the complicated process for putting through a constitutional amendment-these were only bluster. They were blinds to disguise the fact of men's real powerlessness in life. Men controlled the legislatures, but when it came down to it, they didn't control themselves. Men had failed to study their own minds sufficiently, and because of this failure they were at the mercy of fleeting passions; men, much more than women, were moved by petty jealousies and the desire for petty revenges. Because they enjoyed their enormous but superficial power, men had never been forced to know themselves the way that women, in their adversity and superficial subservience, had been forced to learn about the workings of their brains and their emotions."


I could go on and on about McDowell, as many of you already know, but now I'd like to address the narration of this story by Alabama native Matt Godfrey.

I just don't have the words to describe how McDowell's words, combined with Godfrey's narration, made me feel. Together, they made a great work even greater. Godfrey's voicing was so true to the source material it made the Caskey voices come alive. ALIVE, I say! I laughed out loud many times, and I cried a few times too.

I most especially adored his voicing of James and of Oscar. Don't get me wrong, I loved these characters back when I first read the books a few years ago; but with Matt's voice attached to them, they became larger than life. It was easy for me to recognize who was talking just by the inflections and changes of tone. I've never listened to an audio book where it was easier for me to identify who was who, just by how the narrator voiced them. I've listened to a lot of audios over the last few years, and that's never happened to me-at least not in a book with as many characters as Blackwater. That's why I say now, with no reservations, that this is the BEST audiobook I've ever read. PERIOD.

I hope that I've convinced you to give this audio a try by giving it my HIGHEST recommendation. I'd love to hear your thoughts on it if you do give it a go.

You can get your copy here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07...

*I received this audiobook free, from the narrator, in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.* **Further, I consider Matt Godfrey a friend, even thought we've never met, but this review IS my honest opinion.**

84 personnes sur 95 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • MissAmy72
  • 2017-11-05

Epic Family Saga

At first the narrator put me off this book. Because it was written by one of my top 2 authors, I pushed through. I'm so glad I did. I absolutely loved the character development. So in depth that I became completely invested in each individual's story. The story had me totally enraptured from front to back. There are SO many facets to this thing that I'd be remiss to TRY to begin to tell. USE YOUR CREDIT HERE!

39 personnes sur 44 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 2018-05-04

Didn't get it

Compelling story that didn't make a lick of sense to me. May be user error.

47 personnes sur 54 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente