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Deliverance (Bloomsbury Film Classics) Paperback – 5 Sep 2005

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Product details

  • Paperback: 252 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing; New edition edition (5 Sept. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747578699
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747578697
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 134,869 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'A brilliant and breathtaking adventure' New Yorker 'A novel that will curl your toes ... Dickey's canoe rides to the limits of dramatic tension' New York Times Book Review 'A novel of stunning power' Nation 'A tour de force' New Republic

About the Author

James Dickey was born in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1923 and published his first book of poetry, Into the Stone, in 1960. In 1966 his Buckdancer's Choice won the National Book Award. His first novel, Deliverance, appeared in 1970. Dickey's magnificent poetry, criticism and fiction rank him among the seminal authors of our time.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Captain Pugwash on 8 Mar. 2009
Format: Paperback
As another person who watched the classic 1970 movie starring Burt Reynolds and Jon Voight and subsequently bought this novel, I was stunned by how good the source novel actually is. Dickey writes fairly economically but with a power and an intensity that resonates long after the book has been put down. As for the notorious rape scene, Dickey handles it sensitively and without indulging in gratuitous description; I was left uncomfortable but not as nauseous as the film version made me.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Mary Whipple HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on 27 Aug. 2006
Format: Paperback
When four "typical" suburban businessmen decide to canoe down a river in the wilderness of northern Georgia, they are unprepared for any of the disasters which will await them. Inexperienced as canoeists, overloaded with beer and supplies, and ignorant of both the river and the mountains, they all have romantic visions of meeting some self-imposed test of manhood, of shooting a deer with bow and arrow and feeding themselves, of becoming one with the pristine environment, and of emerging from the experience "fulfilled" as men. Instead, they discover hostile country men, whom they refer to as "rednecks," who prove to be even more treacherous than the sheer faces of the cliffs along the river, the river's rocks and currents, and the dense, almost impenetrable, woods.

Poet James Dickey combines his ability to create vibrant descriptions of the natural world with his equally sensitive awareness of the need for city people to get closer to their roots. While sympathetic and understanding toward these suburbanites and their "mission," he is also careful to show their ignorance and their casual arrogance, both toward the natural elements and toward the mountain dwellers for whom these mountains and rivers represent the whole world. As the journey on the river begins, Dickey's romantic descriptions parallel the buoyant spirits of the canoeists, and as disasters begin to strike, his descriptions become darker, reflecting ominous events ahead.

When two mountain dwellers attack the four suburbanites in scenes which are by now infamous from the film, Dickey's minute descriptions of the most devastating aspects of these events add power to the story--one cannot simply close one's eyes to the worst of the horrors which destroy one canoeist's innocence forever.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Officer Dibble VINE VOICE on 20 Jan. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a frightening book. In particular, the theme of an alien country within a country. The narrator can spot 'to the block', precisely where 'suburbia ended and red-neck South began'. Yet within an ordinary afternoon's car ride, the protagonists enter a country frighteningly different and unsafe.

It is unsafe from both the moral outlook of it's inhabitants and from the power of Nature. Ed and his friends live in a country where all decisions are made by white middle class men and they seek 'the promise of other things'. In this other country, the game is played by different rules and they are not the masters.

Given the publication date, it is tempting to draw analogies with the Vietnam War. One wonders about the novel's later influence: 'The Deer Hunter' anyone? Or 'Never get out the boat!' in Apocalypse Now?

I found the ending oddly ambivalent and sensed, rightly or wrongly, that Mr Dickey was unsure of how to end it.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Adrian Rumble on 14 Feb. 2007
Format: Paperback
As adventure books go you won't get much better than this one. I'd rate it right along side Buchan's "Thirty Nine Steps", Household's "Rogue Male", Haggard's "King Solomon's Mines". It must surely become a classic.

It is a more complex work than the others cited above in that Dickey creates truly believable characters with convincing motives for the way they act.

Dickey has the ability to write extremely visually so that you are drawn deeply into the aching suspense of the action.

It's a an action novel with a twist in that the real tough guy in the end misses out on the tough guy action because of a broken leg and it's left to one of the more unlikely group members to risk everything in a bid to get them all off the river and safely home.

It's not a particularly macho novel- Dickey breathes too much life into his characters to be that insensitive.

I'd recommend this to everybody and anybody. If you've seen the film and found that gripping you're in for even more suspense and entertainment as you read.

By the way, if you have seen the film you'll have seen James Dickey himself because he plays the part of the sheriff.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Xavier on 17 Jun. 2012
Format: Paperback
This is a very poetic novel with wonderful descriptions of nature. I believe the author came from this isolated region in the deep south...I found this novel to be as enjoyable as the movie and was surprised to see that the film adaptation was almost gospel/verbatim the book, right down to most of the dialogue and interactions in each scene.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nigel Smart on 17 Oct. 2009
Format: Paperback
I was lucky enough to read this before the film was made. The latter was one dimensional by comparison with the book and, although James Dickey was involved, this is arguably one film that shouldn't have been made. Any reader is in for a treat.
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By A. Dawes on 24 July 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
bought this book to research how James Dickey managed to make the story so compelling. As an author I am constantly trying to learn from the masters of my genre. I loved the film, even though it was so cruel and shocking, and the book was just as good.
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