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Extended Audio Sample Cloudsplitter: A Novel, by Russell Banks Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Russell Banks Narrator: Pete Larkin Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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A triumph of the imagination and a masterpiece of modern storytelling, Cloudsplitter is narrated by the enigmatic Owen Brown, last surviving son of America’s most famous and still controversial political terrorist and martyr, John Brown.

Deeply researched, brilliantly plotted, and peopled with a cast of unforgettable characters both historical and wholly invented, Cloudsplitter is dazzling in its re-creation of the political and social landscape of our history during the years before the Civil War, when slavery was tearing the country apart. But within this broader scope, Russell Banks has given us a riveting, suspenseful, heartbreaking narrative filled with intimate scenes of domestic life, of violence and action in battle, of romance and familial life and death that make the reader feel in astonishing ways what it was like to be alive in that time.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “It is surely the best novel, a furious, sprawling drama that commands attention like thunder heard from just over the horizon.”


  • “Highly entertaining…and deeply affecting…Like the best novels of Nadine Gordimer, it makes us appreciate the dynamic between the personal and the political, the public and the private, and the costs and causes of radical belief.”

    New York Times

  • “Russell Banks’ remarkable Cloudsplitter brings Brown back to life, not to teach history but as the narrator of a morally questioning novel about fathers and sons and fanaticism and how madness is measured when the sane have fled.”

    USA Today

  • “A huge and thunderously good book.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “This book has all the stark beauty of the Adirondacks setting and of Brown’s religion…Like the works of Thomas Mallon and Thomas Gifford, this is not just a fine novel (and a wonderfully structured one at that) but a way to participate in history. Recommended, without hyperbole, for all collections.”

    Library Journal

  • “[One of the] overlooked classics of American literature.”

    Guardian (London)

  • A 1999 PEN/Faulkner Award Finalist
  • Winner of the 1999 Anisfield-Wolf Book Prize
  • A 1999 Pulitzer Prize Finalist for Fiction
  • A New York Times Editor’s Choice
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