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Gods of Howl Mountain

Narrated by: Mark Bramhall
Length: 9 hrs
Categories: Fiction, Literary
5 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Summary

In Gods of Howl Mountain, award-winning author Taylor Brown explores a world of folk healers, whiskey-runners, and dark family secrets in the high country of 1950s North Carolina. 

Bootlegger Rory Docherty has returned home to the fabled mountain of his childhood - a misty wilderness that holds its secrets close and keeps the outside world at gunpoint. Slowed by a wooden leg and haunted by memories of the Korean War, Rory runs bootleg whiskey for a powerful mountain clan in a retro-fitted 1940 Ford coupe. 

Between deliveries to roadhouses, brothels, and private clients, he lives with his formidable grandmother, evades federal agents, and stokes the wrath of a rival runner. In the mill town at the foot of the mountains - a hotbed of violence, moonshine, and the burgeoning sport of stock-car racing - Rory is bewitched by the mysterious daughter of a snake-handling preacher. 

His grandmother, Maybelline "Granny May" Docherty, opposes this match for her own reasons, believing that "some things are best left buried." A folk healer whose powers are rumored to rival those of a wood witch, she concocts potions and cures for the people of the mountains while harboring an explosive secret about Rory's mother - the truth behind her long confinement in a mental hospital, during which time she has not spoken one word. When Rory's life is threatened, Granny must decide whether to reveal what she knows... or protect her only grandson from the past. With gritty and atmospheric prose, Taylor Brown brings to life a perilous mountain and the family who rules it.

©2018 Taylor Brown (P)2018 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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Profile Image for Laurie A. Bobskill
  • Laurie A. Bobskill
  • 09-06-18

Brrrr... amazing tale, masterfully told

Brown's great little story of the mountain reads like a myth, although there no supernatural elements to it. There are no gods, and the struggle is not between good and evil. It's merely the struggle to outwit and prevail against evil. Gods of Howl Mountain is a perfectly rounded tale. And although most of the action is on the part of the male characters it's Granny--almost a Coyote figure--who is truly the protagonist.
And the epilogue is delicious.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • August West
  • 06-07-19

Cormac McCarthy's purple prose

Great book, entertaining story...but man, this guy lays it on thick. Picture all those bombastic, relentless sections of description from Blood Meridian. Now imagine an entire book written like that...the entire book. In general this is a good thing as his writing is top notch. But it is so obviously inspired by McCarthy's style that it became distracting at times. I just couldn't get McCarthy out of my head when I was reading it. So if you think being too much like Cormac McCarthy is a criticism, then stay away...but for many people, myself included, this is a huge plus.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Rambler
  • 18-09-18

Appalatia Noir

I devoured this book. Within the first minute of reading it had infected my blood, and I could not stop. The story is as imaginative, introspective, and complex as the authors incredible prose.

Quote: “He ascended the mountain in darkness, no lamplight, a world black and silver and blue. The moon lay scattered through the woods in blades, glowing palely, the wind rising now and again to moan through the trees. The trail scrawled ever upward, toward the looming darkness of the mountain's peak. Above it all the sea of night, the strange ornamentation of stars.”

American literature doesn't get much better than this.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Aleeta R. Hall
  • 22-01-19

Pointless

I haven't figured out exactly what the author is doing. I am not sure there is an actual point to this story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 05-08-19

Painful

I stopped listening halfway through. Performance was fine. The story was not. A it was bogged down with way to many words to describe simple things. I love painting a picture with adjectives and metaphors but this was more like a student trying to make a minimum word quota. And halfway through I have yet to connect with any character or determine a plot. I rarely quit a book - I will muddle through to finish but I absolutely am not going to waste anymore time on this book.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 25-07-19

awesome!!

Loved it! Granny Mae is one of the best female characters I have had the pleasure of reading. love her!!

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  • candice
  • 27-10-18

soo good!

this book was so good. it ended too soon. give her a read. ok done

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  • Craig
  • 25-08-18

Important Historical Fiction

There are eras in which the American ethos and pathos reveals more honestly than others. This novel reminds us of from whence we came. It is profound and honest.

This novel gets two stills up.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Kirk A Mann
  • 03-07-19

Wow!!! Epic journey, Masterful writing

Brilliant writing. This story is beautiful and rivetting. The story builds in depth and intensity - Rory's heroic journey after coming back from Korean war. Narration outstanding! My absolute highest rating!!! A must listen, Gods Of Howl Mountain.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 18-04-19

WoW!!

What an incredible book! I was traveling back home from just being in the Nantahala National Forest and the Great Smokeys, it was a wonderful way to end the trip! It made me feel as if I was back in those mystical mountains. The story was interesting and had many unexpected twists and turns, I love a good mystery. The writing and prose was exquisite! My favorite character was the grandma, I feel like she really brought the book together and without her a major part of the story would be missing. I would highly recommend this book to anyone!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful