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Extended Audio Sample The Heather Blazing: A Novel Audiobook, by Colm Tóibín Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.004158004158 out of 53.004158004158 out of 53.004158004158 out of 53.004158004158 out of 53.004158004158 out of 5 3.00 (481 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Colm Tóibín Narrator: Tim Gerard Reynolds, Tim Reynolds Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: December 2012 ISBN: 9781442359963
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The sea is slowly eating into the land, and the hill with the old watchtower has completely disappeared. The nearest house has crumbled and fallen into the sea. It is Ireland in the late twentieth century.

Eamon Redmond is a judge in the Irish High Court. Obsessed all his life by the letter and spirit of the law, he is just beginning to discover how painfully unconnected he is from other human beings. With effortless fluency, Colm Tóibín reconstructs the history of Eamon’s relationships—with his father, his first “girl,” his wife, and the children who barely know him. He gives us a family as minutely realized as any of John McGahern’s, and he writes about Eamon’s affection for the landscape of his childhood on the east coast of Ireland with such skill that the land itself becomes a character. The result is a novel that ensnares us with its emotional intensity and dazzles with its crystalline prose.

In The Heather Blazing, Colm Tóibín displays once again the gifts that illuminated The South, a book described by Don DeLillo as “a grand achievement” and by John Banville as “a daring imaginative feat…A splendid first novel.”

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The novel is narrated dispassionately and with deceptive simplicity, moving between the public figure of the judge in his study and the terrible deaths of childhood…It is impossible to read Tóibín without being moved, touched, and finally changed.”

    Independent on Sunday (London)

  • “Tóibín’s acclaimed prose style—measured and restrained as a Victorian memoir yet poetic in precision—makes a character of the brooding, enigmatic Irish weather and gives voice to the darker side of the Irish character…generous, forgiving…profound.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “[A] writer of great subtlety and restraint…Maintains a strikingly compelling emotional rhythm and intensity as [Tóibín] presents the simple, albeit painful, particulars of Redmond’s life…Tóibín, who wastes not a word, has, naturally, chosen the perfect setting for this quiet but fierce battle between fear and love.”

    Booklist

  • “Tóibín has a subtle way of ensnaring the reader into Redmond’s life.”

    Library Journal

  • Winner of the 1993 Encore Award

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rosalind | 2/16/2014

    " A very easy, contemplative book about a man growing older. It is the first Colm Toibin I have read and encourages me to read more. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Neil | 2/10/2014

    " Written in a spare and simple style that at first seems low-key and unengaging, this perfectly reflects the withdrawn and uncommunicative nature of the central character and you find yourself drawn in to the poignant tragedy of his inability to truly connect with those closest to him. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 CynthiaS | 1/24/2014

    " Not sure how I missed this when it appeared in 1992...lovely Irish book that runs like a clear stream, without being falsely amped on the Troubles. It's no small talent to be able to slow fictional time down to its honest reality: families in rooms, talking, lunching in gardens worrying about getting the rugs wet. Toibin captures the simultaneous intimacy and utterly unbridgeable distances that constitute a family. For teaching purposes, this novel would be great for showing students how much deliberate and methodical pattern must be put down in layers first, before you can bring a reader to his weeping knees in the final paragraph, which is simply a grandfather walking out into the surf with his baby grandson, then walking him back in when he frets, afraid. That paragraph on its own is mere description; at the end of this novel it raises you from the dead. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa | 1/24/2014

    " Felt like I was in Ireland myself when I was reading this...another great novel by Colm Toibin. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Margo | 1/19/2014

    " Beautiful use of language, melancholic, poignant and evocative, 4.5 really "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kerrie ONeill | 1/2/2014

    " Really enjoyed reading this. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Amanda | 12/29/2013

    " I feel like if I knew anything at all about Ireland's political history, this would have been more enjoyable. It's very melancholy, and kind of boring. Reminded me of Cider With Rosie, except a little more happens. But just a little. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lemmington27 | 12/29/2013

    " A really wonderful little book. Told from such a detached perspective that it allows you to bring your own emotions to the piece, rather than simply be told what to feel. Sad to see it finished. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nancy Moffett | 12/9/2013

    " My first book by Colm Toibin. His descriptions of Ireland were accurate, no evocative. I loved his language, especially how he captures Irish expressions without overdoing the accent. Good story, good characters. I will read more by this author. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tango | 12/8/2013

    " I really enjoyed this one. It was quite melancholy and didn't really go anywhere, but I could relate to the character and I loved the setting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 A. Mary Murphy | 12/5/2013

    " This is the story of a whole life, pieced together beautifully, and a love story, love for place and people. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Janet Mcdonnell | 11/9/2013

    " Ireland. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Angela | 9/7/2013

    " Wonderfully, quietly written. I'm reading some more of his novels immediately. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laurie | 7/10/2013

    " Favorite Toibin. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maaike | 7/7/2013

    " A touching novel about a man who is unable to connect to the people around him. A beautifully written, but very sad book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jori | 4/8/2013

    " This is a beautiful, quiet book and I will definitely search out more novels by Toibin. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Flexnib | 3/18/2013

    " A quietly meditative story of a man's life: his childhood and his relationships with his wife and children. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sue | 2/19/2013

    " Hmmm. Well written, but I'm afraid that books about people having strokes are a bit tough to read. I love this author but not this book. Will save further comments for the book club! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Fifi | 2/16/2013

    " Deep social commentry on the troubled Irish identity-turbulent but beautiful. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Forrest | 12/19/2012

    " This a good study of Tone in a novel -- very well done. Even better is Gilead by Williamson. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linda | 12/7/2012

    " Colm Toibin writes a moving story about Ireland in the twentieth century told through the eyes of the character Eamon Redmond. The book moves from his early childhood, to his life as a High Court Judge to hints of terrible events in his family history. Another well written book by Colm Toibin. "

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About the Author

Colm Tóibín’s novel The Master won the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, Le prix du meilleur livre étranger, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction and was short-listed for the Man Booker Prize. His other books of fiction include The Story of theNight, The Blackwater Lightship, a finalist for the Man Booker Prize and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and the short-fiction collection Mothers and Sons. He was one of the 2008 Scotiabank Giller Prize judges in Toronto. He lives in Dublin, Ireland.

About the Narrators

Tim Gerard Reynolds is an established audiobook narrator who has won six AudioFile Earphones Awards and was a finalist for the prestigious Audie Award for Best Fantasy Narration. He trained for the stage at the Samuel Beckett Center at Trinity College in Dublin and the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center in New London, Connecticut.

Tim Reynolds trained for the stage at the Samuel Beckett Center at Trinity College in Dublin and the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center in New London, Connecticut. Tim has become an established audiobook narrator. Titles include The Legend of Broken by Caleb Carr, The Heather Blazing by Colm Tóibín, The Infernals by John Connolly, the latter half of Hugh Howey’s epic Sci-Fi series Wool, and Michael J. Sullivan’s bestselling Riyria Revelations. In 2010, he received an Audiofile Earphone award for the thriller Faithful Place by Tana French. In 2013, he was nominated for an Audie Award for work in the Fantasy genre.