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Outer Dark

Written by: Cormac McCarthy
Narrated by: Ed Sala
Length: 7 hrs and 10 mins
5 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Publisher's Summary

Outer Dark is a novel at once fabular and starkly evocative, set is an unspecified place in Appalachia, sometime around the turn of the century. A woman bears her brother's child, a boy; he leaves the baby in the woods and tells her he died of natural causes. Discovering her brother's lie, she sets forth alone to find her son. Both brother and sister wander separately through a countryside being scourged by three terrifying and elusive strangers, headlong toward an eerie, apocalyptic resolution.

©1968 Cormac McCarthy (P)2013 Recorded Books

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Darwin8u
  • 2013-04-22

Throwing chert boulders at the dark center

I keep reading Cormac McCarthy to find a single crack of light in his dark, grotesque lyricism. 'Outer Dark' as a novel is unconventional and amazing. The story was allegorical without being stiff, it was regional without being provincial. Like most all of McCarthy's work, it is Biblical in its power and intensity.

In 'Outer Dark', McCarthy is throwing chert boulders at the dark center of the Universe. He isn't interested in little themes. Even in his small books he is taking on ideas as large and slippery as fate, guilt, agency, and God. Structurally, Outer Dark was drum-tight. The prose and the vernacular/archaic dialogue were both crisp and amazing. 'Outer Dark' is prose art at a high-level and it scared the literary Hell out of me.

45 people found this helpful

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  • John C Raiss MD
  • 2016-04-29

Amazing book, no happy ending

I couldn't stop listening : great dialogue , thrilling scenes. Loved it. Cormac really hit his stride with this, his second novel.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Aaron Zimmerman
  • 2018-09-14

Shit from Apple Butter

Finally catching up to Outer Dark (1968) by Cormac McCarthy. It contains my new favorite quote in the whole of the Great Southern literary tradition (that I have read): “He don’t know shit from apple butter!” Of course, it’s incredible for so many other reasons: Descriptive passages so beautiful and haunting they make you cry (particularly the descriptions of the settings and landscapes in which the characters dwell). Dialect so purely authentically southern you know practically which county that voice is coming from. Quirky, weird, funny, delicate, brutal characters that make you giggle with their peculiarity and profundity. Plots that lumber along then snap to and drive you to places of utter awe or terror or grandeur sometimes all at once. And it’s tied together with prose is so stripped down to the essentials its practically poetry. It’s all here in Outer Dark and it fucking rules.

3 people found this helpful

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  • tom
  • 2015-05-17

The ultimate southern gothic tale.

Fantastic storytelling. This mythical tale of lost wandering wayfarers, dark and darker leads the reader down paths intertwined and alone of lost souls to a dantean finale.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Eli Luoma
  • 2016-05-05

Excellent, but...

I felt like I needed to shower while listening to get the grime of the words off of me. It was as though I was face down in the decaying mud of a bog listening.

I say that as a good thing. This is a vivid story, excellently voiced.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Katie Hulett
  • 2019-09-16

Dark & beautiful

Dark and incredibly beautiful and there couldn’t have been a better reader for this work. It’s perfection

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mr. Bitz
  • 2019-05-06

Mysterious, eerie, and wonderful!

I bought this book during a sale and had no idea who Cormac McCarthy was but the story sounded interesting. Didn't realize he wrote so many American classics! The entire book takes you on a mysterious trip through turn-of-the-century Appalachia with some colorful characters and a story that doesn't try to make life better than it really is for these people. At first, the writing seems a little forced with overly complex descriptions but you quickly come to appreciate this quirk. Ed Sala is an AMAZING narrator and enhances the visual picture of already excellent writing. I also recommend any reader not to over-analyze the story. I'm sure there are some deep meanings involved but during the first read just sit back, listen, and enjoy a weird and wonderful trip.

1 person found this helpful

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  • W Perry Hall
  • 2019-04-18

Definitionally Southern Gothic

This novel should top the list in any Google search for, or be featured in any dictionary's definition of, "Southern gothic fiction." What we have here, friends, is two odysseys through a few circles like Dante's, full of nihilistic brutality, edentulous elderly, incest, cannibalism, grim reapers and angels of death, liquor, piety, grotesquery, apocalyptic ambiguities, and Biblical allegories.

You'd best wear boots when you start to readin' cuz yore fixin' to enter a world of sh*t.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Ira Rogers
  • 2019-01-14

bleak chilling and dreadful consequence

Cormac mccarthy delivers something truly ghastly and horrific. Southern gothic terror and constant suffering. Very fitting narration and is best to experience this by listening while reading along.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Talmadge
  • 2018-02-18

Phenomenal read.

The wizardry of Cormac McCarthy and his prose are beyond excellence. A master of his craft creating a reality that seems all to grim yet so human. Is the world as cold as it seems? According to outer dark it just might be.

1 person found this helpful