River, Sing Out
by James Wade
Narrated by Roger Clark
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 08 Jun 2021 | Archive Date 19 Jul 2021
Attempting to escape his abusive father and generations of cyclical poverty, young Jonah Hargrove joins the mysterious River—a teenage girl carrying thousands of dollars in stolen meth—and embarks on a southern gothic odyssey through the East Texas river bottoms.
They are pursued by local drug kingpin John Curtis and his murderous enforcer, Dakota Cade, with whom River was romantically involved. But Cade and Curtis have their own enemies, as their relationship with the cartel controlling their meth supply begins to sour.
Keeping tabs on everyone is the Thin Man, a silent assassin who values consequence over mercy.
Each person is keeping secrets from the others—deadly secrets that will be exposed in savage fashion as their final paths collide and all are forced to come to terms with their choices, their circumstances, and their own definition of God.
With a colorful cast of supporting characters and an unflinching violence juxtaposed against lyrical prose, River, Sing Out dives deep into a sinister and sanguinary world, where oppressive poverty is pitted against the need to believe in something greater than the self.
A Note From the Publisher
“Wade, whose striking debut, All Things Left Wild (2020), traveled back a century in Texas history, uses an unlikely friendship to explore an equally wild present-day landscape…A haunting fable of an impossible relationship fueled by elemental need and despair.”
“With echoes of Jim Harrison, Cormac McCarthy (and perhaps a smidge of Flannery O’Connor), River, Sing Out is a beautiful, brutal meditation on survival and love in the face of nearly unspeakable violence and depravity in an East Texas community ravaged by the meth trade. Taut, lyrical, and precise, the prose soars in this important new novel by James Wade.”
-Elizabeth Wetmore, New York Times bestselling author
“James Wade got our attention with his debut, All Things Left Wild, that existed in a world between western, crime fiction, and the end of days. He proves his talent wasn’t a first-time fluke with his follow-up River, Sing Out. By setting up a simple crime fiction premise, he is able to delve deep into emotion and theme like a master bluesman with three chords.”
“If you read one novel this year, make it this one. James Wade’s River, Sing Out is an instant classic filled with characters that will break your heart, lyrical prose as haunted as the river it evokes, and a Southern Noir undertow that wholly sucks you in and keeps you turning the pages until its searing, masterful conclusion.”
-May Cobb, author of The Hunting Wives
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• Also available: All Things Left Wild
|DURATION||9 Hours, 18 Minutes|
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 14 members
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! The characters are well developed and the author gives each one such a unique voice which made the story so enjoyable to listen to as an audiobook. We meet 13 year old Jonah and are whisked away right along with him as he embarks on a life-or-death adventure to save a stranger, River, who is running from her past while each of them keep dangerous secrets. This Goodreads summary nails it perfectly when it states: "With a colorful cast of supporting characters and an unflinching violence juxtaposed against lyrical prose, River, Sing Out dives deep into the sinister world of the East Texas river bottoms, where oppressive poverty is pitted against the need to believe in something greater than the self." This book gives off vibes similar to This Tender Land and We Begin at the End. It's a story of adventure, self discovery, poverty, addiction, and so much more. Thank you Netgalley and Blackstone Publishing for this gifted audiobook in exchange for my honest review.
Eloquent, remarkable book filled with vivid descriptions and an appropriate ending. Well done, and highly recommended.
I loved this book. I absolutely loved it. From the beginning to the end, it was a phenomenal book. It was heartbreaking and ... just wow. It was so incredibly well-written. I loved every second of it. The narrator was excellent, as well. He was perfectly suited to this book; he portrayed every character - from the 13-year-old boy to the pregnant, half-grown girl to the meth-addicted drug dealer, etc. - perfectly. There wasn't a single part of this book that I didn't love. It started perfectly; it ended perfectly; and every section in between was just as good. I cried during this book, and I was angry. It also had one of the best lines in a book that I've ever read: (Paraphrasing here: I am a consequence. When you drink too much, sometimes you feel unwell. If you don't pay your electricity bill, your lights will be cut off. Those are consequences. .... .... I am the unwell feeling. I am the darkness. I am a consequence.) That line gave me the shivers. Seriously. This was just a PHENOMENAL book.