Try an audiobook on us

Outer Dark

Narrated by: Ed Sala
Length: 7 hrs and 10 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (29 ratings)
Regular price: £19.69
£7.99/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime

Summary

Outer Dark is a novel at once fabular and starkly evocative, set is an unspecified place in Appalachia, sometime around the turn of the century. A woman bears her brother's child, a boy; he leaves the baby in the woods and tells her he died of natural causes. Discovering her brother's lie, she sets forth alone to find her son. Both brother and sister wander separately through a countryside being scourged by three terrifying and elusive strangers, headlong toward an eerie, apocalyptic resolution.

©1968 Cormac McCarthy (P)2013 Recorded Books

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    18
  • 4 Stars
    6
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    20
  • 4 Stars
    8
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    16
  • 4 Stars
    6
  • 3 Stars
    5
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    0
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Bleak but riveting

Any additional comments?

An extremely bleak story but so well written as to be entirely absorbing. The dialogue is so good I cannot think of any novelist who surpasses it. The reading is perfect for the book, so gritty you feel you are right there among these wiry people, tough as worn out boots. Ed Sala is a true performer, bringing out the dialogue perfectly. I will look for more books he has done..

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

pay attention

not an easy listen, casual violence lyrically written and performed brilliantly. The words are lean and the talented narrator delivers them vividly. Only an American actor could do this because he captures the nuances of the language and the rhythm of McCarthy's prose which immerses the listener in the bleak but brilliant novel from one the world's greatest writers.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

A Bad Mens' World

Don't read this one if you haven't already read latest books from the author. 'Outer Dark' is a tipical wrong second novel after a tolerable first book: loads of material with no tangible concept. Incongruent simbolism, exhausting poetry,confused picaresque narration. However you can see traces of the future genius: endless erration on a road to nowhere, hostile landscape, evil locals and dead, dead, dead all along the story. (God will certainly punish Mr. McCarthy for all the babies and young people massacred in his novels) But locks of humour and a minimum of benevolent thinking. Adolescent blood hunger and uncomfortable storytelling. Quite forgettable.

Ed Sala is like a fat country cat, slow and jovial. Very enjoyable!

3 of 7 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Darwin8u
  • 22-04-13

Throwing chert boulders at the dark center

I keep reading Cormac McCarthy to find a single crack of light in his dark, grotesque lyricism. 'Outer Dark' as a novel is unconventional and amazing. The story was allegorical without being stiff, it was regional without being provincial. Like most all of McCarthy's work, it is Biblical in its power and intensity.

In 'Outer Dark', McCarthy is throwing chert boulders at the dark center of the Universe. He isn't interested in little themes. Even in his small books he is taking on ideas as large and slippery as fate, guilt, agency, and God. Structurally, Outer Dark was drum-tight. The prose and the vernacular/archaic dialogue were both crisp and amazing. 'Outer Dark' is prose art at a high-level and it scared the literary Hell out of me.

41 of 45 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • John C Raiss MD
  • 29-04-16

Amazing book, no happy ending

I couldn't stop listening : great dialogue , thrilling scenes. Loved it. Cormac really hit his stride with this, his second novel.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • tom
  • 17-05-15

The ultimate southern gothic tale.

Fantastic storytelling. This mythical tale of lost wandering wayfarers, dark and darker leads the reader down paths intertwined and alone of lost souls to a dantean finale.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Eli Luoma
  • 05-05-16

Excellent, but...

I felt like I needed to shower while listening to get the grime of the words off of me. It was as though I was face down in the decaying mud of a bog listening.

I say that as a good thing. This is a vivid story, excellently voiced.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Aaron Zimmerman
  • 14-09-18

Shit from Apple Butter

Finally catching up to Outer Dark (1968) by Cormac McCarthy. It contains my new favorite quote in the whole of the Great Southern literary tradition (that I have read): “He don’t know shit from apple butter!” Of course, it’s incredible for so many other reasons: Descriptive passages so beautiful and haunting they make you cry (particularly the descriptions of the settings and landscapes in which the characters dwell). Dialect so purely authentically southern you know practically which county that voice is coming from. Quirky, weird, funny, delicate, brutal characters that make you giggle with their peculiarity and profundity. Plots that lumber along then snap to and drive you to places of utter awe or terror or grandeur sometimes all at once. And it’s tied together with prose is so stripped down to the essentials its practically poetry. It’s all here in Outer Dark and it fucking rules.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ira Rogers
  • 14-01-19

bleak chilling and dreadful consequence

Cormac mccarthy delivers something truly ghastly and horrific. Southern gothic terror and constant suffering. Very fitting narration and is best to experience this by listening while reading along.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Talmadge
  • 18-02-18

Phenomenal read.

The wizardry of Cormac McCarthy and his prose are beyond excellence. A master of his craft creating a reality that seems all to grim yet so human. Is the world as cold as it seems? According to outer dark it just might be.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Molly
  • 07-04-15

Great Book

I thoroughly enjoyed this McCarthy book. Great flowing story with lots of mystery and interesting characters.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • jacques
  • 07-06-15

very, very disappointed

Any additional comments?

I can scarcely believe thet this is the same author who wrote no country for old men.
This guy gets so lost in detail, he seems to forget he's telling a story. so while he's busy waxing lyrical on the shape of a puff of road dust, or a faraway raven's lonely call, the reader wonders just when someting is going to FINALLY HAPPEN!?
the entire story could have been summed up in about half the time it took to slog through this horrible book. The first paragraph sets the tone and the pace. It sounds like that through the whole book. Listen to the sample. If you can stand it for five minutes, maybe you'll like it.

What little story was included in this depressing seven hour poem was not worth the time.
Also it ends badly, sorry but i hated it.

9 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • JoJo Blanco
  • 23-03-16

Brilliant use of language

Presumably set in northern Tennesee, this story of a brother and sister who are separated and his seach for her and her her search for her "chap", a baby who she was told had died b

0 of 1 people found this review helpful