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Extended Audio Sample The Wilding, by Benjamin Percy Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (470 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Benjamin Percy Narrator: Anthony Heald Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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This is a powerful debut novel set in a threatened western landscape, from the award-winning author of Refresh, Refresh.

Echo Canyon is a disappearing pocket of wilderness outside Bend, Oregon, and the site of conflicting memories for Justin Caves and his father, Paul. It’s now slated for redevelopment as a golfing resort. When Paul suggests one last hunting trip, Justin accepts, hoping to get things right with his father, and agrees to bring along his son, Graham.

As the weekend unfolds, Justin is pushed to the limit by the reckless taunting of his father, the physical demands of the terrain, and the menacing evidence of the hovering presence of bear. All the while, he remembers the promise he made to his skeptical wife: to keep their son safe.

Benjamin Percy, a writer whose work Dan Chaon called “bighearted and drunk and dangerous,” shows his mastery of narrative suspense as the novel builds to its surprising climax. The Wilding shines unexpected light on our shifting relationship with nature and family in contemporary society.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Percy’s novel unabashedly invites comparison to James Dickey’s Deliverance (including an epigraph from that novel), but it stands on its own with its glittering prose.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • The Wilding is a compelling action narrative, universal in its dimensions while utterly grounded in specific particulars. Ben Percy is a stunning storyteller. His fearful wildernesses, both physical and psychic, kept me up through the night.”

    William Kittredge, author of Hole in the Sky

  • “Not your father’s eco-novel. In compelling, image-driven prose, Ben Percy confounds the old polarities about wilderness and development by sending three generations of men into a doomed canyon, and letting so much hell break loose we can’t tell the heroes from the villains—which feels exactly right. This is a dark, sly, honest, pleasing, slip-under-your-skin-and-stay-there kind of a book.”

    Pam Houston, bestselling author

  • “Benjamin Percy’s descriptive powers are so potent and evocative in this impressive debut that they sweep the reader out of his or her figurative armchair and into the Oregon wilderness, ready to fight to the death to preserve it.”

    Helen Schulman, author of A Day at the Beach

  • “Benjamin Percy’s The Wilding is a tour de force meditation and treatise on the nature of violence, the violence of nature, man in the wild, and the wild in man—cleverly disguised as a page-turning adventure. Not just a ‘must’ read, but a need read, this book is timely, terrifying, terrific.”

    Antonya Nelson, author of In the Land of Men

  • The Wilding is a virtuoso blend of beauty and violence, hope and despair, tough and touching, lust and terror, literary craft and genre plotting. Like James Dickey, Benjamin Percy drags his characters into the wilderness—into a canyon as black as a gaping mouth, where they struggle to stay alive and in control of what makes them human—but for a new generation of readers concerned with the vanishing West.”

    Danielle Trussoni, author of Angelology

  • “Percy’s excellent debut novel digs into the ambiguous American attitude toward nature as it oscillates between Thoreau’s romantic appreciation and sheer gothic horror…A taut plot and cast of deeply flawed characters…will keep readers rapt as peril descends and split-second decisions come to have lifelong repercussions. It’s as close as you can get to a contemporary Deliverance.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Jennifer Munro | 2/15/2014

    " CREEPY! Justly compared to Deliverance (the book). "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Adam Kennedy | 2/9/2014

    " Perhaps the scariest book I have ever read. There is just this foreboding ominous presence. You are simply waiting for something bad to happen. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Heather | 2/8/2014

    " I don't think the Brian character had to be in the book at all. He is the 'bear' stealing from the golf carts at the end though, right? Do you thing Justin and Graham still go camping and hunting? Fav quote from this book: "beauty of development comes from the ruins of wilderness" "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Stanley Dankoski | 2/5/2014

    " I started this awhile ago. My wife and I started reading it to each other. I can recognize elements that first appeared in the story collection, "Refresh, Refresh" but here they comprise a much more interesting, deeper story. "

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