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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (683 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: William Gay Narrator: T. Ryder Smith Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2016 ISBN: 9781436112918
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Suspecting that something is amiss with their father s burial, teenager Kenneth Tyler and his sister Corrie venture to his gravesite and make a horrific discovery: their father, a whiskey bootlegger, was not actually buried in the casket they bought for him. Worse, they learn that the undertaker, Fenton Breece, has been grotesquely manipulating the dead.
Armed with incriminating photographs, Tyler becomes obsessed with bringing the perverse undertaker to justice. But first he must outrun Granville Sutter, a local strongman and convicted murderer hired by Fenton to destroy the evidence. What follows is an adventure through the Harrikin, an eerie backwoods filled with tangled roads, rusted machinery, and eccentric squattersold men, witches, and families among themwho both shield and imperil Tyler as he runs for safety.
With his poetic, haunting prose, William Gay rewrites the rules of the gothic fairytale while exploring the classic Southern themes of good and evil.”

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Gay fills the book with haunting imagery and shocking, morbid and (surprisingly) hopeful turns as twisted justice gets meted out.”

    Publishers Weekly

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Phyllis | 1/28/2014

    " Bizarre and edgy. Lots of suspense and twists. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linda Dickson | 1/18/2014

    " I'm an avid fan of William Gay. As a native Tennessean, he speaks to me in a language I've heard all myl life. As I read this book I kept saying to myself,"I don't like this ... It's too dark, too morose, too evil but then I could never put it down. I was literally awake into the early morning three nights in a row. Thank goodness I finished it! Maybe now I can get some sleep... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lezlie | 1/17/2014

    " This book gave me a shudder that no other book has EVER produced. The writing is simple, yet so moving...amazingly descriptive...and dark. Did I mention the shudder? It is Southern Gothic at its best. I cannot wait to read another of his novels. I was so saddened to learn he passed away in February; he wrote four novels and some short story collections. I plan to own them all. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chris Seals | 1/3/2014

    " I liked this book, recommended by a review I read from Stephen King. It kept me page turning until the wee hours of the night, and I haven't found a book that I have wanted to read like that in a long time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Frank | 1/1/2014

    " Bizarre and horrific story about a perverse undertaker who is blackmailed by a teenage brother and sister (the Tylers) who discover his necrophilia through some disturbing photos they steal from the undertaker's briefcase. But instead of giving in to the demands, the undertaker pays a hired kill to go after the Tylers and retrieve the stolen photos. This is really an edge of your seat thriller and the author (William Gay) has described it as a modern Hansel and Gretel which is an apt description. The last half of the book mainly tells how the boy, Kenneth, is chased by the hired killer through a backwoods area in the South called the Harrikin which is full of overgrown machinery, sunken mine shafts, and eccentric characters. This novel reminded me somewhat of "Night of the Hunter" by Davis Grubb - another superb Southern Gothic tale. I would highly recommend both "Twilight" and "Hunter". "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Benoit Lelievre | 12/29/2013

    " It really caught me off guard. I know there is more to this book than what I grasped and that there is more to William Gay than what he showed in this novel. It's a strange, wonderful and oh-so-very-overwhelming experience to read him. There is something very southern about TWILIGHT, more than with your typical southern novel. It would be real marvellous if it wasn't so damn grim. It was good, don't get me wrong, just an avalanche of data and sensations I was not ready to process. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Drew | 12/25/2013

    " There is a fantastic bookstore in downtown Franklin, TN, called Landmark Books, owned by an extremely knowledgeable lover of books named Joel. He specializes in First Edition, and talked me into buying this author signed First. William Gay is not for the faint of heart. He deals with the darker sides of humanity through the southern gothic tradition. He does this while telling a great story, ie Steinbeck. Stephen King said in his year end review that this is the best book of 2007. I recommend it if you can handle a very dark subtext. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kesha | 12/20/2013

    " Is it sufficient to say that this was depressing, but not so depressing as to be wonderful? "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Billie | 11/20/2013

    " I didn't even get through 1/4 of this book. It jumped all over the place and couldn't keep up with it. Didn't really care for the author's writing either. No punctuation other than periods. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stephanie Griffin | 6/29/2013

    " A creepy Southern Gothic tale involving young children, old men, and dead bodies. Some necrophilia throw in as well. Gay writes wonderfully; gorgeous poetic sentences add to the color of this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristen | 4/3/2013

    " William Gay turns a simple, straightforward man-hunts-man story into a work of southern Gothic that reads like an allegory. An allegory for what, I'm uncertain. There are some gorgeous and eerie descriptions of backwoods life in here. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Patti | 1/19/2012

    " I really enjoy reading William Gay. Sentences remind me of Cormac McCarthy. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bibi | 8/4/2011

    " Really enjoyed this greatly written novel. He brought great characters to life and as a unique writing style. It's wonderfully uncomfortable! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Steve | 4/4/2011

    " Southern Gothic is alive and well. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stan Lanier | 7/15/2010

    " If you aren't a Southerner, you might not get it all. But read it anyway. This is some good story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Craig | 5/22/2010

    " Gay is an excellent storyteller--if you like bootlegger's daughters and psycho hillbillies and you can get past the purple passages. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Laura | 3/11/2010

    " Dark and rather gross in some parts, but hard to put down. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sherry Roit | 9/24/2009

    " At times I could almost taste the sweat and dirt. The language is direct, at times powerful, and the story moves at a fast clip. Gay does not waste time with trifles, he plows you right through the heart of the tale. Kudos! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Eric | 5/10/2009

    " Started off great and sort of just lost it with some pretty average writing. Over all I did enjoy it though. It would have gotten one or two stars had it not been for the necrophiliac undertaker angle... I mean who doesn't love those guys? "

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About the Author
Author William Gay

William Gay is the author of the novel The Long Home. His short stories have appeared in Harper’s, Atlantic Monthly, GQ, and New Stories from the South 1999 and 2000. He was awarded the 1999 William Peden Award and the 2000 James A. Michener Memorial Prize.

About the Narrator

T. Ryder Smith is an actor based in New York City. He has appeared on Broadway in Equus and in many off-Broadway shows including Passion Play, Dead Man’s Cell Phone, and Lebensraum, for which he won a Drama Desk Award. Smith has also made numerous television appearances on series such as Nurse Jackie, Blue Bloods, Law & Order: SVU, and others.