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Download The Wilderness Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample The Wilderness (Unabridged), by Samantha Harvey
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (326 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Samantha Harvey Narrator: Sean Barrett Publisher: Whole Story Audiobooks Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2009 ISBN:
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It's Jake's birthday. He is sitting in a small plane, being flown over the landscape that has been the backdrop to his life - his childhood, his marriage, his work, his passions. Now he is in his early 60s, and he isn't quite the man he used to be. He has lost his wife, his son is in prison, and he is about to lose his past, for Jake has Alzheimer's.

As the disease takes hold of him, Jake struggles to hold on to his personal story, to his memories and identity, but they are becoming increasingly elusive and unreliable. What happened to his daughter? Is she alive, or long dead? And why exactly is his son in prison? What went so wrong in his life? There was a cherry tree once, and a yellow dress, but what exactly do they mean?

As Jake, assisted by 'poor Eleanor', a childhood friend with whom for some unfathomable reason he seems to be sleeping, fights the inevitable dying of the light, the key events of his life keep changing as he tries to grasp them, and what until recently seemed solid fact is melting into surreal dreams or nightmarish imaginings.

Is there anything he'll be able to salvage from the wreckage? Beauty, perhaps? The memory of love? Or nothing at all? From the first sentence to the last, The Wilderness holds us in its grip. This is writing of extraordinary power and beauty. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Hannah | 2/14/2014

    " A story about the life and memories of Jacob, who "feels to be the supremely unconfident author of his own life." Don't we all, sometimes! Besides an interesting story about friendships, relationships, and our life paths, this novel has the added component of raising questions about memories, experiences, and how subjective they really are. Don't expect to finish the book and know EXACTLY what happened... well... because our narrator doesn't either. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marion O'sullivan | 2/12/2014

    " The narrative of a mind jumbled by Alzheimer's was really well explored. Vivid long-term memories aligned with confusion over whether the dog had been fed. Evoked much empathy and understanding of the chaos dementia causes. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alison | 2/5/2014

    " gentle, sad, intriguing take on dementia "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Eliza | 1/14/2014

    " Jacob, a widowed architect, is slowly losing his memory due to Alzheimer's, and this story manages to portray his struggle to keep hold of his life while also showing pictures of that life. The unreliability of the narrator is, in many ways, the point of the story: not only is he forgetting, but what he remembers is always, of course, subjective, so the whole question of "what really happened" is rendered moot by the realization that whatever actually happened is only in his head anyway--memory is all we have--and that someone else's version of "what really happened" may be quite different. While there are some truly painful passages, as Jake's frustration with his condition is shown in detail, overall the story is hard to put down. A lovely meditation on life, memory, family, and love. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah | 1/7/2014

    " Wow. Superb rendering of a man's mind slowly slipping away. Takes some patience -- Harvey unravels her protagonist slowly, which is more realistic, and so more painful to witness, but also means this isn't a page-turner. The one big flaw to me was that Helen, the man's wife, seemed completely insufferable. I had no idea what he saw in her, which sapped the power from the memories of their early marriage. But overall, highly recommended. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lisa | 1/2/2014

    " it should have been interesting...it almost was...but then it wasn't. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wendy Orr | 11/12/2013

    " Beautifully and perceptively written; thought provoking without being contrived - I was totally drawn into the thickly layered story, experiencing Jake's icreasingly vain attempts to order his memories and retain his sense of self against the ravages of Alzheimers. A remarkable book. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Sandra | 11/2/2013

    " I found this a weird book and didn't finish reading it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mew | 10/8/2013

    " Moving and confusing and unique "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rachel | 1/26/2013

    " Written from the point of view of someone with Alzheimers who is trying to cling on to his memories. A good book if a little disturbing for that reason! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Susy | 1/8/2012

    " Could not finish this book, much too sad if you have a family member going thru Alzheimer's. Admittedly, that's why I wanted to read it, but it became too personal. Also, writing very disjointed in time, which I guess is part of the point, but hard to follow. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Helen Tysseling | 2/23/2011

    " An amazingly enjoyable book considering it's subject matter , also very poignant. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lynn Kearney | 2/21/2011

    " 3.75 more like. Depressing study of man with Alzheimer's. Poignant and hard. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Seth | 2/19/2011

    " Wow. Super heavy and well crafted, dealing nicely with notions of the construction of identity and character through a shifting set of inconsistent memories of the main character who has Alzheimer's. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Nicole | 1/6/2011

    " I just couldn't get into this novel... I really tried. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karen | 12/16/2010

    " I wish I could give this 4 1/2 stars, and I might decide to upgrade it to 5. I loved it! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Helen | 8/30/2010

    " An amazingly enjoyable book considering it's subject matter , also very poignant. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lisa | 2/1/2010

    " it should have been interesting...it almost was...but then it wasn't. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shelley | 12/25/2009

    " clear language - confusing read. The main character Jake is suffering from Alzheimer's and the story is filled with flashes of memory from his past. The confusion was calculated and very effective, but difficult to wade through. "

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