Finden Sie Ihren nächsten hörbuch Favoriten

Werden Sie noch heute Mitglied und hören Sie 30 Tage lang kostenlos
The Falls

The Falls

Geschrieben von Joyce Carol Oates

Erzählt von Anna Fields


The Falls

Geschrieben von Joyce Carol Oates

Erzählt von Anna Fields

Bewertungen:
3.5/5 (23 Bewertungen)
Länge:
17 Stunden
Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
Sep 14, 2004
ISBN:
9780060786564
Format:
Hörbuch

Beschreibung

A man climbs over the railings and plunges into Niagara Falls. A newlywed, he has left behind his wife, Ariah Erskine, in the honeymoon suite the morning after their wedding. "The Widow Bride of The Falls," as Ariah comes to be known, begins a relentless, seven-day vigil in the mist, waiting for his body to be found. At her side throughout, confirmed bachelor and pillar of the community Dirk Burnaby is unexpectedly transfixed by the strange, otherworldly gaze of this plain, strange woman, falling in love with her though they barely exchange a word. What follows is their passionate love affair, marriage, and children -- a seemingly perfect existence.

But the tragedy by which their life together began shadows them, damaging their idyll with distrust, greed, and even murder. What unfurls is a drama of parents and their children; of secrets and sins; of lawsuits, murder and eventually redemption.

Set against the mythic historic backdrop of Niagara Falls, Joyce Carol Oates explores the American family in crisis, but also America itself in the mid-twentieth century. The Falls is a love story gone wrong and righted and it alone places Joyce Carol Oates definitively in the company of the great American novelists.

Performed by Anna Fields

Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
Sep 14, 2004
ISBN:
9780060786564
Format:
Hörbuch


Über den Autor

Joyce Carol Oates is a novelist, critic, playwright, poet and author of short stories and one of America’s most respected literary figures. She has written some of the most enduring fiction of our time, including We Were the Mulvaneys and Blonde. She is the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of Humanities at Princeton University and a recipient of the National Book Award and the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction.

Ähnlich wie The Falls

Ähnliche Hörbücher
Ähnliche Artikel

Rezensionen

Was die anderen über The Falls denken

3.7
23 Bewertungen / 20 Rezensionen
Wie hat es Ihnen gefallen?
Bewertung: 0 von 5 Sternen

Leser-Rezensionen

  • (4/5)
    Great 1950's "film noir" fiction.
  • (4/5)
    Yes, it's a bit overwrought. I suspect Joyce Carol Oates of writing overwrought grocery lists. Nonetheless, it's one of her better more recent efforts and I did enjoy it quite a bit.
  • (5/5)
    I love JCO! Great story, similar to We Were the Mulvaney's. Historical fiction of the Niagara Falls area and the corruption and pollution that resulted in Love Canal in the 1970's.
  • (4/5)
    Ariah Burnaby is a conundrum. Not just to those around her but to me after hundreds of pages. Rarely have I spent so much time reading about a character and depart at the end feeling that I never got to really know them. Still, I very much enjoyed this book. I kept wanting to understand or see if she'd ever divulge something to explain it all. She didn't. To the end, she was ever Ariah. They sympathy I felt for her in the beginning was stripped away as the story moves along & her children, Chandler, Royall & Juliet come into their own & she is seen through them. I wanted each of the three to get away simply as a mechanism of personal survival. It was compelling reading. I very much wanted to know if any would discover that she was the legendary lady by The Falls waiting for her fallen first husband to be returned by the churning waters. But the mystery of Dirk Burnaby was likely all that could really be handled & that was well done.

    This is going to be on my almost favorites list because while I likely won't read it again, it was a great read & will have me reflecting upon its characters for years. Also, I'm a sucker for a Niagara Falls setting. I think this was the first novel I've read of Joyce Carol Oates & I have to say that I very much liked it.
  • (4/5)
    The scenic Niagara Falls, juxtaposed with the scandal of the "Love Canal," is the backdrop of this turbulent and majestic novel. Ariah Littrell becomes, on her wedding night, the solitary and tragic figure "The Widow Bride of the Falls" on her first day of her honeymoon after her strange and sexually confused husband commits suicide. Considering herself now damned, she stays at the Falls, waiting for her husband to surface from the Falls. While she waits, Dirk Burnaby, a handsome, wealthy and kind lawyer falls in love with her and marries her to the upset of her family and in-laws. Their happiness is complete when Ariah conceives and gives birth to three children; Chandler, Royall and Juliet.Yet, a dark cloud hangs over Ariah. Still convinced she is "damned," her increasingly erratic and eccentric behavior, coupled with Dirk's sudden desire to help a young woman who asks his help in fighting the city fathers over horrible conditions in the area known as the Love Canal, creates a rift between the two.This was my first reading of a work by Oates. I'm not sure why I waited so long to try a novel by her, but this definitely won't be my last. Oates tells a haunting story where nature and humans are equally uncontrollable and self-destructive.
  • (3/5)
    I got this as a bargain table item and I wondered about the abrupt ending ... was that really a stylist bit of wonder there? No it wasn't. I stopped in at the Gallery Bookshop in Mendocino and asked them to please check to see how many pages this paperback edition ran. Yup, my book that I got off a bargain table, for cheap, was just a misprint and didn't have the last 20 pages. Sometimes that old adage "you get what you pay for" sticks you.
  • (2/5)
    JCO, I appreciate how prolific you are, but maybe you should think about quality over quantity.

    anecdote time: I needed to buy a Christmas gift for my sister so I picked this book up at the last minute at a Borders Express at the mall. Turned out my sister bought it for me as well (probably because I was studying the Love Canal at the time). It was like Gift of the Magi, except dumber. Okay, so it wasn't like Gift of the Magi at all.
  • (5/5)
    I loved everything about this book. Great read, highly recommend and it would be great for a book club.
  • (5/5)
    Remarkable. My head is just too chock full of things to say, but feel somewhat speechless. "The Falls" feels like a force of nature — it roars along with a can't put it down pace, scenes full of emotive words smashing their way to the end — and the end came quietly as if further down river away from the misty, churning Niagara River gorge. A very satisfying read, and has become a new ‘favorite’ on my bookshelf full of favorites by JCO (Them, Wonderland, Middle Age, Bellefleur). It is one of her best.
  • (4/5)
    As with most of Oates' books, I began reading this and thought, Okay, this is odd. Am I going to be able to slog through this? Then, before I know it, I'm sucked into the story and can't put it down. This is a saga covering almost 40 years in the life of the Burnaby family and the history of Niagra Falls. I couldn't even begin to summarize all that happens during that time. Suffice it to say, it is a fascinating and enjoyable journey.
  • (5/5)
    I think Joyce Carol Oates is the genius of our generation. She is the American woman writer of our times who expresses the angst and the character of people of the 20th century, and now into the 21st century. There's not a book she's written that isn't worthwhile reading and discussing in a bookgroup or study."The Falls," is the story of a family who lives in Niagra Falls and experiences the trials and traumas of ordinary, disfunction; as well as the political history that blankets their town. It's a history of the Falls, too, and a history of what created the Love Canal...the poisonous run-off of radioactive chemicals that made such a turmoil that the American side of the Falls was split from the Canadian side.I've visited the Falls, and the contrast between the Love Canal side and the other is like visiting a ghost town or ghetto to a city in a garden state. Strange and decidedly a warning of things possible with chemical poisoning of waters by big business.The storyline of this novel is engaging, to say the least, and the tension between family members and lovers is keenly felt as you read.I highly recommend "The Falls" to everyone!
  • (2/5)
    The book seemed to me three books somewhat oddly pieced together: the first on marriage (and the arbitrariness of marriage), the second on the Love Canal scandal which is based on fact, and the third on the effects of parent's broken lives on their children. I loved the first part which peaked for me in the "7 July 1950" chapter ("She would say yes. Yes with her eager wiry little body like a nerved-up cat's fitting itself to the man...."). I thought the struggle to expose the Love Canal scandal was "OK" but these chapters had the book feeling like a movie to me, one which I wouldn't be particularly inclined to see. The novel started crumbling in the lives of the children, with silly episodes like the hostage crisis and the inexplicable sex in the cemetary. I know I'm simplifying here and there are threads that tie the book together (moreover, real life is not one pretty bundled package!), but this is my impression, and the themes that did recur throughout, like the ominous nature of Niagara Falls, seemed forced particularly in the later chapters. Quotes:On marriage:"Two trembling young people at the altar being blessed like cattle about to be slaughtered by a common butcher. Bonded by terror yet strangely oblivious of each other.""Not jus the women have domesticated us for their own purposes, they make us feel guilty as hell when the domestication doesn't take.""They surprised each other less often in their lovemaking. There must have been a day, an hour, when they made love during the daytime for the final time; when they made love impulsively somewhere other than their big, comfortable bed for the final time...""Was this the basic principle of domestic life, of the terrible need to propagate one's kind? The human wish, as in a fairy tale, to live longer than one's lifetime, through one's children. To live longer than one is allotted, and to matter. To matter deeply, profoundly to someone.""Royall said, disgusted, 'Christ's sake, Mom! If I wanted a 'sweet' wife I'd marry a chocolate bunny. I'd go to bed with fucking Fannie Farmer.'"On suicide:"As Dirk Burnaby once said, you had to have a deep, mysterious soul to want to destroy yourself. The shallower you are, the safer."On death:"The cemetery, Royall decided, was like a city. It continued the injustice of the city and of life. Most of the grave markers were ordinary stone, weather-worn and soiled with bird lime, while others were more expensive, larger, made of granite or marble with shiny engraved facades."On the 50's:"It was 1950 and everyone was pregnant."And on the Love Canal:"Women having miscarriages, babies born with bad hearts, missing parts of their colons, you ascribe to more 'congenital deficiencies.' When the state finally ordered blood tests for the Love Canal residents, finally in 1971, in the Armory, people were asked to come at 8 A.M. and waited all day, and at 5 P.M. half were still waiting. There was a 'needle shortage.' 'Nurse shortage.' Three hundred blood samples were 'contaminated.' Lab results were 'inconclusive' - 'misfiled'. Some of us have been criticized for suggesting these doctors are not much different from the Nazi doctors doing experiments on human beings, but I hold to that charge."
  • (4/5)
    Joyce Carol Oates expertly takes cultural icons and important events and builds novels around them that seem vividly real--as they could very well be.The Falls is actually several stories all wrapped into one novel. First, we meet Ariah Erksine, a newlywed whose husband commits suicide the morning after their wedding night by getting up early, racing to the falls, and plunging in. This is the strange event that gets the novel going. JCO is very good at this; many of her novels begin with events that are very strange and very tragic, but they are always believable when they roll off her pen.The second strange event is that Dirk Burnaby, a lawyer friend of the local entrepreneur who happens to own the hotel at which Ariah is staying, and a rich, highly eligible bachelor, falls in love with Ariah while she keeps her eccentric, week-long vigil by the falls, until rescue crews find her husband's corpse. She becomes known as The Widow Bride of the Falls, and winds up marrying Burnaby a short time later, a man she barely knows. He's persuasive.The two of them have a very passionate relationship and three children, before Dirk Burnaby becomes engrossed in the first Love Canal Case--this is 1962. Here, JCO provides a short history of the Love Canal tragedy that is both succinct and riveting, though she does change the names. I've googled enough to know that the basic facts are correct. This case was never resolved until 1978, and Burnably did not live to see it. On the contrary, his life was ruined because he took this case.The latter part of the book follows his children, their relationship with their strange, damaged mother, and how each of them play a part in discovering a part of their father's past, despite their mother's determined silence. This is a family history that takes place in the wake of the famous Niagara Falls, and I found it quite poignant.I became quite involved with this novel, and liked most of the principal characters. Though long, at 481 pages, it went by rather quickly, and I would gladly recommend it to most people.
  • (2/5)
    This was my first novel by this author who I know is well esteemed. It's possible I chose the wrong novel of hers to start with as I gave up quite quickly so obviously can't make an informed criticism. I'll try another of her books now..
  • (2/5)
    The only thing I like about this book is how clearly it depicts the slide into depression and the crawl out of it.
  • (4/5)
    The most compelling character in Joyce Carol Oates’s “The Falls” is the title character. Niagara Falls, the power and drama of the waterfalls…and the hypnotic aspect of one of nature’s most amazing creations…in that character I found beauty and intrigue.“The most treacherous corner of Goat Island, as it was the most beautiful and enthralling. Here the rapids go into a frenzy. White frothy churning water shooting up fifteen feet into the air. Hardly any visibility. The chaos of a nightmare. The Horseshoe Falls is a gigantic cataract a half-mile long at its crest, three thousand tons of water pouring over the gorge each second. The air roars, shakes. The ground beneath your feet shakes. As if the very earth is beginning to come apart, disintegrate into particles, down to its molten center. As if time has ceased. Time has exploded. As if you’ve come too near to the radiant, thrumming, mad heart of all being. Here, your veins, arteries, the minute precision and perfection of your nerves will be unstrung in an instant. Your brain, in which you reside, that one-of-a-kind repository of you, will be pounded into its chemical components: brain cells, molecules, atoms. Every shadow and echo of every memory erased.”“Maybe that’s the promise of The Falls? The secret?”Sorry that quote was so long – but there’s no place to stop once you fall under the spell of those words. I’ve never been to Niagara Falls – but after reading that part, I find myself mentally forcing myself away from the edge, psychically wiping drops of heavily churned water from my skin. I am there, I feel the sounds, and my eyes are drawn into the massive amounts of water and spray and sheer force.Whenever Oates takes us back to the falls – my interest is piqued once again. During the rest of the book, as we meet damaged character after damaged character…my interest wanes. As I have said before (and will no doubt say many times again), my fatal flaw as a reader is that I have to feel some connection to at least one of the characters in the book to really want to keep reading the book. None of the (human) characters in this book connected with me.I did feel sympathy and interest for Ariah, “The Widow Bride of the Falls” until her character abruptly changed, or manifested itself. The idea that a groom, one day after marrying, would throw himself into Niagara Falls is quite a hook. Ariah’s feelings about this event were compelling, to say the least. But once her life takes a more conventional turn, she seems to be a different person. Instead of sympathy, I started to feel revulsion.Which is fine… So then we enter the minds of other characters, her second husband, her children… These people have so many problems, so much despair, and seem unable to relate to their lives, their world. Maybe Oates takes us too far into their minds, into the deepest, darkest parts of their soul, where things live that no one wants to even think about, let alone talk about. Maybe I ended up knowing too much about them to connect to them. Again, this is fine…for some readers. Oates brings forth some real truths – some we may not want to acknowledge – but ones that exist, nonetheless.“You yearn to hurt them sometimes. Those who love you too much.”And there’s another quote (which I now an unable to find for the life of me) that says something like “the world is torn between those who fight to be loved more and those who fight to be loved less”. This book contains multiple examples of this – inappropriate loves, shameful loves, unforgiving loves, doomed loves…All worthy of examination…but maybe I just don’t have the stomach for such a process. Oates is such a descriptive and evocative writer…I just don’t think I am eager to see the world she describes or handle the emotions she evokes.
  • (2/5)
    way too long - did audio version, first time reading this author - never got deep in story - left you hanging. wouldnt recommend unless you absolutely have nothing else to read
  • (4/5)
    CD - a little long, but enjoyed the story created around Love Canal problems.
  • (3/5)
    This was my first JCO book. I can't say I am all that interested to read her again. I liked the beginning, and the ending, but the middle really dragged. It seemed very flabby and rambling. The characters were odd, but had that touch of reality, so you could believe in them. Looking back at the mores and manners of the times was interesting and well done, but ultimately not enough to carry the book. This isn't really a book where something happens, in terms of plot. It is more a fly on the wall type of book where you watch the people interact, and live. Just not interesting enough to carry that kind of weight.Not sure I cared for the introduction of Love Canal. Once that part of the book started the reading doldrums set in.There was a lot of symbolism with the falls and the river, and life, but ho hum, it too didn't really do anything to interest or entertain.
  • (4/5)
    The gimmicky stuff is all at the beginning and the book improves immensely after it's over. I feel Oates's heroines are often a little too flawed to be likable, but it didn't stop me from enjoying the book.