Listen free for 30 days

Pick 1 audiobook a month from our unmatched collection.
Listen all you want to thousands of included audiobooks, Originals, and podcasts.
Access exclusive sales and deals.
Premium Plus auto-renews for $14.95/mo + applicable taxes after 30 days. Cancel anytime.
On the Ravine cover art

On the Ravine

Written by: Vincent Lam
Narrated by: Vincent Lam,Amy Matysio
Try for $0.00

$14.95 a month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Buy Now for $45.62

Buy Now for $45.62

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Tax where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

From the bestselling, Giller Prize-winning author of Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures comes an exquisitely crafted novel, piercing in its urgency and breathtaking in its intimacy, about the devastating experience of addiction.

In his downtown Toronto condo, Dr. Chen awakens to the sound of streetcars below, but it is not the early morning traffic that keeps him from sleep. News banners run across his phone: Fentanyl Crisis; Toxic Drug Supply; Record Number of Deaths. From behind the headlines, on the same screen, glow the faces of his patients, the faces of the what-ifs: What if he had done more, or less? Or something different? Would they still be alive?

Claire is a violinist; she feels at one with her music, taking flight in its melody, free in its movement. But now she rises and falls with the opioids in her system, becoming increasingly reckless. After two overdoses in twenty-four hours, she sits in the blue light of her computer, searching a notice board for recommendations: my doctor saved my life; my doctor is just another dealer. And then another message catches her attention, about Chen’s clinic: be a guinea pig—why not get paid to take it?

When Claire’s life intersects with Chen’s, the doctor is drawn ever more deeply into the complexities of the doctor-patient relationship, the implication and meaning of his intention to treat. Chen must confront just how far he would go to save a life.

Combining the depth of his experience as a physician with the brilliance of his literary talent, Vincent Lam creates a world electric in its precision, radiant in its detail. On the Ravine is a gripping novel of profound emotional force, a soaring achievement from a singular voice in Canadian fiction.

©2023 Vincent Lam (P)2023 Knopf Canada

What the critics say

Longlisted for the 2023 Toronto Book Award

“A small miracle. . . . With sharp precision . . . [On the Ravine] offers a compelling narrative on the purgatory of addiction.”The Globe and Mail

“[On the Ravine is] a thought-provoking, wise, and compassionate novel on a subject of philosophical, as well as medical, import.”—Western Australia Today

What listeners say about On the Ravine

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    6
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    2
  • 4 Stars
    5
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    6
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jim
  • 2023-04-26

Great story, but off-putting narration

Dr. Lam has written a fine story here. In particular, the narrative of Claire is very compelling and rings true for anyone who has ever been a serious classical musician. But Dr. Lam's narration is disappointing. I'm not the kind of person who is generally put off by less-than-stellar narrating. But in this audiobook, the VERY deliberate pacing of Dr. Lam's reading, combined with his maddening habit of articulating the final 'g' in words ending in 'ng' (i.e. cycling, caring, reaching, yelling), makes for a less-than-enjoyable audiobook. (I never realized how many English words end in 'ng' before.) I wish I had purchased the print version of this book. I'm pretty sure I would have enjoyed the book so much more.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

incredible medical accuracy but the most beautiful human storytelling at the same time

this writer has my heart. I'm an addictions medicine nurse and this story just got to me. it's so sensitive and so accurate to what's happening in the opioid poisoning epidemic and the fast manoeuvres we are trying to pull (too fast) in addictions med. this writer will always have my heart, I have met every single one of his patients in my own life I feel. please read this.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Slow burn but ultimately captivating

As others have commented, I didn’t like the narration at the beginning of the book, finding the tempo much too slow (so much so I actually increased the playback speed). However, as the story progressed, I started to like the point / counterpoint way of presentation. I found this story to be a slow burn that became quite captivating, and revealing of the opiate crisis. I also liked the Toronto setting. :)

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great work Dr Lam

Great work, Dr. Lam
Lots of fun to read something so closely intertwine with our city

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

THis is a first for me

This is the first time I have been sorry I listened to a book instead of reading it. Usually I'm happy that the author is reading the book as I hear their intention for the story. Vincent Lam is a wonderful author but unfortunately his pacing really drags the story down. Amy Matysio reads the female character well, which makes the contrast more obvious. This is a great book providing real insights into the tragedy of addiction and the helplessness of those who care. Please read it.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!