Extended Audio Sample

Download Hold the Dark: A Novel Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Hold the Dark: A Novel Audiobook, by William Giraldi 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: William Giraldi Narrator: Richard Ferrone Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2014 ISBN: 9781483049021
Regular Price: $16.95 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $12.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

A terrifying literary thriller set on the Alaskan tundra, about the mystery of evil and mankind’s losing battle with nature

At the start of another pitiless winter, the wolves have come for the children of Keelut. Three children have been taken from this isolated Alaskan village, including the six-year-old son of Medora and Vernon Slone.

Shaken with grief and seeking consolation, Medora contacts nature writer and wolf expert Russell Core. Sixty years old, ailing in both body and spirit, and estranged from his daughter and wife, Core arrives in Keelut to investigate the killings. Immersing himself in this settlement at the end of the world, he discovers the horrifying darkness at the heart of Medora Slone and learns of an unholy truth harbored by this village.

When Vernon Slone returns from a desert war to discover his son dead and his wife missing, he begins a methodical pursuit across this frozen landscape. Aided by his boyhood companion, the taciturn and deadly Cheeon, and pursued by the stalwart detective Donald Marium, Slone is without mercy, cutting a bloody swath through the wilderness of his homeland. As Russell Core attempts to rescue Medora from her husband’s vengeance, he comes face-to-face with an unspeakable secret at the furthermost reaches of American soil—a secret about the unkillable bonds of family and the untamed animal in the soul of every human being.

An Alaskan Oresteia, an epic woven of both blood and myth, Hold the Dark recalls the hyperborean climate and tribalism of Daniel Woodrell’s Winter’s Bone and the primeval violence of James Dickey’s Deliverance.

Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “A taut, muscular, and often unforgettable journey into the heart of darkness. Epic, relentless, and beautifully realized.”

    Dennis Lehane, New York Times bestselling author

  • Hold the Dark is a chilling, mysterious, and completely engaging novel that will keep readers turning pages late into the night. The cold and unforgiving Alaskan wild becomes much more than a backdrop for this spellbinding story. It becomes a character—a living creature with its own hungers, its own secrets, its own icy motives, its own implacable will. I was entranced.”

    Tim O’Brien, National Book Award-winning author of Going after Cacciato

  • “Girald’s unrelenting, perfectly paced prose whips the book along to an unnerving conclusion. By the end, we feel, as Core does ‘that man belongs neither in civilization nor nature—because we are aberrations between two states of being.’”

    New Yorker

  • “Fierce, extraordinary…Hold the Dark is an unnerving and intimate portrayal of nature gone awry. It’s all but bereft of levity, spectacularly violent, and exquisitely written.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Maybe it all began with Graham Greene’s Brighton Rock in 1938, but there is a variety of modern thriller, created these days by Robert Stone and Denis Johnson at their best, that delivers narrative thrust and beautifully composed sentences by the pageful even as it peels away the thin membrane that separates entertainment from art, and nature from civilization. Here’s Boston writer William Giraldi adding to the slender ranks of such masterly fiction…[Hold the Dark] certainly stands out as one of the decade’s best books of its kind, and one that deserves, because of its stylish flaunting of some of our darkest fears, a future readership.”

    Boston Globe

  • “There’s an oddness and otherness to this place, and Giraldi speaks its taut, original language. To appreciate its power fully, Hold the Dark should be read closely—not so much for clues to the mystery but rather for an appreciation of how language bridges worlds.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • Hold the Dark is a mystery novel with all the right ingredients: tough characters, beautifully dangerous landscapes, revenge, a detective on the chase, a husband going after his wife, and enough bullet casings to rattle in the mind long after the story is finished.”

    Washington Review of Books

  • “Utterly brilliant…Hold the Dark is that rarest of literary beasts: a novel whose sentences gleam like gemstones but whose pages carry you along like a bullet train.”

    Los Angeles Review of Books

  • Hold the Dark is a powerful meditation on nature, violence, and responsibility with the concentration of a fable or fever dream—a book hard to get out of your mind long after you’ve put it down.”

    Thomas McGuane, National Book Award–nominated author of Ninety-Two in the Shade

  • “Giraldi’s back-country Alaska is a savagely amoral place where the constant struggle for survival brings out the most elemental aspects of humanity. This work travels deep into the most ancient and primitive realms of being, offering an unflinching—and more than a little frightening—exploration of the domains of the unconscious that are more commonly the province of myth and fairy tale.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “Some novels seem ready-made for Hollywood to gobble up and spin into a film script. Giraldi’s second novel comes close to fitting this easy mold. However, despite how well he can write an action scene, his carefully developed themes and characters transcend the Hollywood model…Written in a galloping prose embedded with a hard poetry, Hold the Dark will not disappoint disciples of action fiction.”


  • “Snow, ice, wolves, murder, and dark love are encountered in Hold the Dark, William Giraldi’s hard, unflinching, and powerful novel. This story and the telling of it have the clout and rigor of a Norse Saga.”

    Daniel Woodrell, author of Winter’s Bone

  • “Richard Ferrone’s gravelly voice suits this story of human and animal violence…Ferrone’s narration is easy to follow and well paced. He does a good job with the dialogue among the tough guys who make up the bulk of the characters. This is not just a story about wolves or Alaska. It’s about the human condition.”


Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations
About the Author

William Giraldi is the author of the critically acclaimed novel Busy Monsters and is fiction editor for the journal AGNI at Boston University. He lives in Boston with his wife and sons.

About the Narrator

Richard Ferrone has recorded over 150 audiobooks including thrillers, romances, science fiction, and inspirational novels. He has earned an Audie Award and four Audie nominations, including for Best Solo Male Narrator of 2003. He was also recognized as an AudioFile “Voice of the Last Century” and a “Rising and Shining Star.” He has earned many AudioFile Earphones Awards and was named the 2011 Best Voice in Mystery and Suspense as well as the 2009 Best Voice in Science Fiction and Fantasy. A science fiction fan, he narrated Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars trilogy. He has also narrated works by James Patterson, Dashiell Hammett, Walter Mosley, John Sandford, Eric Van Lustbader, and Stuart Woods.