The Night Swimmer Audiobook, by Matt Bondurant Play Audiobook Sample

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Author: Matt Bondurant Narrator: Hillary Huber Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Audio Length: Release Date: January 2012 Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download ISBN: 9781609987473

Publisher Description

The Night Swimmer, Matt Bondurant’s utterly riveting modern gothic novel of marriage and belonging, confirms his gift for storytelling that transports and enthralls. 

In a small town on the southern coast of Ireland, an isolated place only frequented by fishermen and the occasional group of bird-watchers, Fred and Elly Bulkington, newly arrived from Vermont having won a pub in a contest, encounter a wild, strange land shaped by the pounding storms of the North Atlantic, as well as the native resistance to strangers. As Fred revels in the life of a new pub owner, Elly takes the ferry out to a nearby island where anyone not born there is called a “blow-in.” To the disbelief of the locals, Elly devotes herself to open-water swimming, pushing herself to the limit and crossing unseen boundaries that drive her into the heart of the island’s troubles—the mysterious tragedy that shrouds its inhabitants and the dangerous feud between an enigmatic farmer and a powerful clan that has no use for outsiders. 

The poignant unraveling of a marriage, the fierce beauty of the natural world, the mysterious power of Irish lore, and the gripping story of strangers in a strange land rife with intrigue and violence makes The Night Swimmer a novel of myriad enchantments by a writer of extraordinary talent.

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  • “Mesmerizing…Bondurant has constructed a melancholy ode to Ireland itself.”

    - Minneapolis Star Tribune

Customer Reviews

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  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " As you navigate the pages of Bondurant's work, you become enchanted with both the nostalgic beauty of Ireland and horrified by the ruggedness of a culture lost in time. Bondurant does a fantastic job at balancing the idealistic quintessiential Irish pub and folk, but then takes the reader through twists and turns introducting you to the underbelly of an Irish culture not welcoming to newcomers, or as he refers in the novel "blow-ins". The authors ability to capture the peaceful monotony known to any distance swimmer is exquisite, and his description of Irish gales literally teleports you into the storm in your mind. I agree with some of the reviews in which some of the characterization could be more in depth and I found myself struggling to get a "real grasp" of characters beyond Elly (the heroine. I found myself extremely disappointed at the ending, not becuase I was unsatisfied with the book, but more I wanted to hear more of the story behind all of the characters and felt the end came a little to bluntly! And example of this is I'm still left hanging about Miranda's role, a mysterious creature developed by Bondurant who seems to serve the role of island "watchdog". However, the integration of John Cheever's work and the backstory of O'boyle's schizophrenic mother and her last etchings is wonderful foreshadowing to "what is to come". Overall, this was a fantastic read, and wonderful prose written in only a way a true storyteller can. If you want to crawl and bed at night and be transported to a foreign land, where your imagination will build beauty and angst - this is the novel for you! By far Bondurant's best work to date! "

    - Amber, 1/8/2014
  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " Some beautiful writing especially about the land, Ireland is a main character in the book. Hightowers character's inconsistencies detract a lot from the book. He is blind but then does things impossible for a blind man to do like making observations about Miranda the goat another main character. As this is pivotal to the book, the story wasn't smoothly told. "

    - Debbie, 12/1/2013
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " Re: The Night Swimmer. My only thought is 'how very sad' "

    - Rosemary, 11/14/2013
  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " I put myself on the library waiting list for this book b/c I loved Wettest County so much. This is a very different book and a very uneven one. Bondurant weaves a phenomenal mystery rich with historical, natural, and geographic detail but the pacing of the books feels stilted and after long patches of wondering what's going on the final set piece feels crammed with action. That being said, I did finish this book at my desk b/c I couldn't wait til the end of the day to find out how it ended. "

    - Denali, 10/25/2013
  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " a fairy tale for adults, not the disney kind but the old brothers grimm kind-- ominous and random and bloody and beautiful, with unexplained mysteries and improbabilities. a little uneven at times, could have been better with more editing, but still compelling. "

    - Caitlin, 10/8/2013
  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

    " Sadly - it did not pass my 50 page rule. It may have, but there were NO QUOTATION MARKS around the dialogue. That seems to be a growing trend, and I just cannot get into a book that doesn't have them. "

    - Vzfamily, 9/12/2013
  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5

    " Average disjointed novel about a ginger swimmer and her fat failure of a husband. Some parts were interesting but in the end I was disappointed that I read it all the way to the end. Promises but doesn't deliver. "

    - Grant, 6/12/2013
  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " I thought the beginning of the book was very good, but midway it was not something I could not put down. "

    - Beachbum7805, 4/5/2013
  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " I really liked parts of this book. The author sets a mood and his prose is beautiful. I'm not sure I got the end of it - maybe because I stayed up late to finish it. I'm really looking forward to discussing it at our next meeting. "

    - Larissa, 1/24/2013
  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " Set in Ireland....A little mystical....Interesting relationship "

    - MJ, 11/15/2012
  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " Elly and Fred win an Irish pub in a brewer's contest. They move to the southernmost tip of Ireland to run the pub, and find themselves in a village that's been controlled by the same family for over 300 years. The village and its neighboring island do not take kindly to strangers. "

    - Linnet, 10/28/2012
  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5

    " Meh. I finished it but I can't say I enjoyed it. "

    - Cian, 9/13/2012
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " An unusual story with a disappointing ending.... "

    - Lisa, 3/29/2012

About the Author

Matt Bondurant’s novel The Wettest County in the World was a New York Times Editor’s Pick and a San Francisco Chronicle Best 50 Books of the Year. His books have been translated into fourteen languages worldwide, and he is a former John Gardner Fellow in Fiction at Bread Loaf, Kingsbury Fellow at Florida State, and Walter E. Dakin Fellow at Sewanee. He currently lives in Texas.

About the Narrator

Hillary Huber, a Los Angeles–based voice talent with hundreds of commercials and promos under her belt, was bitten by the audiobook bug in 2005. She now records books on a regular basis and has been nominated for several Audie Awards and won numerous Earphones Awards.