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In a Shallow Grave

Narrated by: Matt Godfrey
Length: 3 hrs and 43 mins
5.0 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Summary

Garnet Montrose returns home from Vietnam to small-town Virginia with injuries so terrible that people become ill at the sight of him. Seeking assistance and companionship in his isolation, Garnet hires two young male caretakers, Quintus and Daventry. His interest and curiosity are awakened by the books Quintus reads to him, but in the handsome Daventry he finds a powerful, transformative love unlike anything he has experienced before.

In this story of the strange, moving relationship of these three men, by turns Gothic, mystical, and grotesque, James Purdy has crafted one of his most memorable novels. 

Widely acclaimed by critics during his lifetime and championed by writers as diverse as Gore Vidal, Tennessee Williams, and Jonathan Franzen, James Purdy (1914-2009) is now being rediscovered as a major figure in modern American literature. 

"One of the very best writers we have." (New York Times

"A marvelous tour-de-force...a very impressive book." (Publishers Weekly

"A writer of the highest rank in originality, insight, and power." (Dorothy Parker)

©2019 James Purdy (P)2019 Valancourt Books LLC

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Enraptured

An enrapturing southern gothic romance that had me up till 4am listening. Highly, highly recommended

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  • SCD
  • 16-01-20

Wonderful Southern Gothic Tale Beautifully Narrated

In A Shallow Grave is a wonderful southern gothic tale beautifully narrated by the one and only Matt Godfrey.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Tyson
  • 09-10-19

Unique!

Another stellar title to be unearthed by Valancourt Books. Great uneasy vibe. Kinda like a gothic romance for men. Purdy is masterful with his ability to tell a big story in a short length. Some of the character changes did arc a little fast for me. I wouldn’t have minded if he had slowed it down to a longer structure, but as long as you pay careful attention to every word it’s easy to follow. And the writing is so beautiful you’ll want to hang on every word. Another masterful performance by Matt Godfrey. Highly recommended!

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  • Bill
  • 22-09-19

Unlikely angels and mulberry wine scar tissue

Garnett Montrose, a horribly disfigured war hero hiring a caregiver to deliver messages and massage his aching scars. Not an easy task. Until a servant and an applicant settle in and become more than just hired hands. Dancing alone under the globe, unlikely angels and mulberry wine scar tissue. I’m not entirely sure why I liked this one as much as I did but it was really great and kept me engaged from the very beginning. Some great characterizations here and written very well.

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  • Retired 39
  • 28-03-20

A Gothic Romance Novel of Love and Alienation

The story told by James Purdy in his 1975 novel ‘In a Shallow Grave’, and currently told in this 2019 Audible audiobook skillfully narrated by Matt Godfrey, is of a hideously disfigured veteran, Garnet Montrose, trying to return to his childhood sweetheart in their coastal Virginia hometown. Montrose advertises for a caregiver and eventually hires two men, Quintus Pearch and Potter Daventry, whose major duties are to rub Garnet’s feet, read to him, and, while he dictates, write down and deliver letters to Georgina Rance, his childhood sweetheart, who is now the widow Rance. I had no idea what to expect when I began listening to this audiobook, I’ll still not certain how I feel about everything that happened, but I’m sure I’ll appreciate it more as I continue to reflect on the multiple forms of love and alienation it portrays.