Download The Surfacing Audiobook

The Surfacing Audiobook, by Cormac James Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Cormac James Narrator: Chris MacDonnell Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2015 ISBN: 9781504612463
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Far from civilization, on the hunt for Sir John Franklin’s recently lost Northwest Passage expedition, Lieutenant Morgan and his crew find themselves trapped in ever-hardening Arctic ice that threatens to break apart their ship. When Morgan realizes that a stowaway will give birth to his child in the frozen wilderness, he finds new clarity and courage to lead his men across a bleak expanse as shifting, stubborn, and treacherous as human nature itself.

A harrowing tale of psychological fortitude against impossible odds, The Surfacing is also a beautifully told story of one man’s transformative journey toward fatherhood.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The great topic of Cormac James’ The Surfacing is the reach of human possibility. The prose is calm, vivid, hypnotic, and acutely piercing…It’s a remarkable achievement.”

    Colum McCann, New York Times bestselling author

  • “At its center is a love story—not a romance between adults but between a father and the son he learns to love…A moving reminder that some of the biggest journeys in life don’t involve going anywhere at all.”

    Financial Times (London)

  • “Essentially a frontier novel…the book gratifyingly defies expectations by refusing all romance: the hero and heroine are largely indifferent to each other, if not outright hostile.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “James’ haunting novel memorably captures the desolate landscape and the triumph of the human spirit in adversity.”

    Mail on Sunday (London)

  • “James uses the sublime appeal of the Arctic and the extreme situation of his characters as the stage for an essentially domestic psychological novel…The prose matches the landscape, rigorously unadorned.”

    Guardian (London)

  • “The cool precision of James’ writing draws you on as surely as if you’re there, trapped in that claustrophobic interior with the vast northern landscape stretching forever outside.”

    Irish Times 

  • “James’ sharp prose and attention to detail…leave a lasting impression of this momentous journey.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Meditative and spare, this is not a fast read but one worth the effort: underneath all the ice, there is real emotional depth.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Chris MacDonnell’s narration is perfectly understated and unhurried, capturing the austere and isolated setting and the crew’s masculinity and stoicism in the face of death…It’s a lyrical and poetic performance by both author and narrator.”


  • “An extraordinary novel, combining a powerful narrative with a considered and poetic use of language…Reading the book, I recalled the dramatic natural landscape of Jack London and the wild untamed seas of William Golding.”

    John Boyne, author of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

  • “Cormac James’ writing is very assured, with a harsh poetic edge. His evocations of barren landscape, sea weather, pack ice, and frozen skies are powerful and compelling.”

    Rose Tremain, author of Restoration

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About the Author

Cormac James was born in Cork, Ireland. He has published short fiction in Columbia, Guernica, AGNI, Phoenix Irish Short Stories, and the Dublin Review. The Surfacing is his North American debut novel. He lives in Montpellier, France, with his wife and son.

About the Narrator

Chris MacDonnell is an Earphones Award–winning narrator and a classically trained actor and voice artist whose theater credits include London’s West End and the Royal National Theatre, British TV shows, BBC Radio drama, commercials, and films. He is also a published poet and has written comedy and drama for television shows.