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Extended Audio Sample The Heather Blazing: A Novel, 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:
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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 by 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 by 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 by 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 by Lisa | 1/24/2014

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

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