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  • The Adversary

  • Written by: Michael Crummey
  • Narrated by: Mary Lewis
  • Length: 11 hrs and 11 mins
  • 3.9 out of 5 stars (7 ratings)

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The Adversary

Written by: Michael Crummey
Narrated by: Mary Lewis
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Publisher's Summary

#1 NATIONAL BESTSELLER

SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2023 BMO WINTERSET AWARD

From the award-winning, bestselling author of The Innocents, a dark, enthralling novel about love and its limitations, the corruption of power and the power of corruption.

A FLAWLESSLY CRAFTED NARRATIVE”—Wall Street Journal

“CEASELESSLY ENTERTAINING”—Kirkus (Starred Review)

“A MASTERPIECE”—Publisher's Weekly (Starred Review)

”ONE OF OUR BEST WRITERS”—Booklist (Starred Review)

In an isolated outport on Newfoundland's northern coastline, Abe Strapp is about to marry the daughter of a rival merchant to cement his hold on the shore when the Widow Caines arrives to throw the wedding and Abe's plans into chaos.

That ruthless act of sabotage is the opening salvo in a battle between the man and woman who own Mockbeggar's largest mercantile firms, each fighting for the scarce resources of the north Atlantic fishery, each seeking a measure of revenge on the person they despise most in the world. As their unshakeable animosity spirals further each year into vendettas and violence, the community is increasingly divided and even the innocents in Mockbeggar find themselves forced to take sides, with devastating consequences.

Through merciless seasons of uncertainty and want, through predatory storms and pandemics and marauding privateers, it is the human heart that reveals itself to be the most formidable and unpredictable adversary for each person drawn, inevitably and helplessly, into that endless feud.

Compulsively readable and uncompromising, The Adversary is a pitch-perfect evocation of a lost time, and a shadowed mirror to our modern politics of grievance and retribution. It is Michael Crummey's finest novel to date.

©2023 Michael Crummey (P)2023 Knopf Canada

What the critics say

“Ingeniously constructed and wound tight as a mainspring. . . Flawlessly crafted. . . A sinuous narrative in constant, elegant motion.”The Wall Street Journal

“An all-consuming, mutually destructive sibling rivalry propels this vibrant historical novel. . . . By turns bawdy, violent, comic, and gruesome, [The Adversary] presents a bleak portrait of colonial life and a potent rendering of the ways in which the ‘vicious, hateful helplessness’ of a grudge can corrupt everything it touches.”The New Yorker

“One of North America’s finest novelists. . . . [Crummey’s] conjuring of the rawness, cruelty, and precariousness of life . . . is detailed and haunting. . . . The Adversary is beautifully written, immensely powerful, and subtly ingenious novel. Its greatest . . . revelations . . . . take your breath away. . . . When I turned the last page, I just sat there, utterly stunned by this novel’s terrible force.”The Washington Post

What listeners say about The Adversary

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Wonderful story poor reader.

Reader is much too stiff. No emotion at all in her voice.
Makes the book very dry.

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