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Download The Falls: A Novel Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Falls: A Novel, by Joyce Carol Oates Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (4,914 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Joyce Carol Oates Narrator: Anna Fields Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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A man climbs over the railings and plunges into Niagara Falls. A newlywed, he has left behind his wife, Ariah Erskine, in the honeymoon suite the morning after their wedding. "The Widow Bride of The Falls," as Ariah comes to be known, begins a relentless, seven-day vigil in the mist, waiting for his body to be found. At her side throughout, confirmed bachelor and pillar of the community Dirk Burnaby is unexpectedly transfixed by the strange, otherworldly gaze of this plain, strange woman, falling in love with her though they barely exchange a word. What follows is their passionate love affair, marriage, and children -- a seemingly perfect existence.

But the tragedy by which their life together began shadows them, damaging their idyll with distrust, greed, and even murder. What unfurls is a drama of parents and their children; of secrets and sins; of lawsuits, murder and eventually redemption.

Set against the mythic historic backdrop of Niagara Falls, Joyce Carol Oates explores the American family in crisis, but also America itself in the mid-twentieth century. The Falls is a love story gone wrong and righted and it alone places Joyce Carol Oates definitively in the company of the great American novelists.

Performed by Anna Fields

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Hypnotic…Oates juxtaposes a majestic and dangerous natural phenomenon—the Falls at Niagara—with a man-made monstrosity, the deadly witches’ brew of nuclear and toxic waste known as Love Canal—as the threatening elements underlying a family saga of self-destruction and redemption.”

    Washington Post

  • “With prose as light and eerie as the flutter of piano keys, Joyce Carol Oates’ new novel is a dazzlingly ambitious tale…Bumpy, dense, topical, and deeply affecting, The Falls is that rare family saga with both a kind heart and an ugly gut. Credit the fascinating woman at its core. Oates, a writer who has conceived some of the most intriguing, disturbing female characters of the past half century, has forged in Ariah a creature of steel—nicked, twisted, but somehow lovely.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “Engaging…the Gothic meets Erin Brockovich.”

    Guardian (London)

  • “Geography, history, and human psychology are refracted through the author’s fevered, romantic, and sublime imagination…The ironies are rich, delicious, and disturbing.”

    Star Tribune

  • One of the 2004 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Susan | 2/12/2014

    " I wanted to like this book much more than I did. Ariah seemed like three completely different people in three vaguely related books, and none of her characterizations were very likeable. The history around and setting of Niagara Falls made it worth finishing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Ishanie | 2/9/2014

    " It was pretty good yet at times monotonous. Ariah's relationship with her kids is sometimes disturbing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Daniela | 2/5/2014

    " could make a great movie (or a class B-weepie?) "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Imen Stitches | 2/4/2014

    " Thought I was going to enjoy this A LOT more. A bit rambly at times. "

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