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The Long Take

Narrated by: Kerry Shale
Length: 5 hrs and 27 mins
Categories: Classics, Poetry
4.5 out of 5 stars (5 ratings)

Non-member price: $25.82

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Publisher's Summary

Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2018

Winner of The Roehampton Poetry Prize 2018

A noir narrative written with the intensity and power of poetry, The Long Take is one of the most remarkable - and unclassifiable - audiobooks of recent years. 

Walker is a D-Day veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder; he can’t return home to rural Nova Scotia, and looks instead to the city for freedom, anonymity and repair. As he moves from New York to Los Angeles and San Francisco we witness a crucial period of fracture in American history, one that also allowed film noir to flourish. The Dream had gone sour but - as those dark, classic movies made clear - the country needed outsiders to study and dramatise its new anxieties. 

While Walker tries to piece his life together, America is beginning to come apart: deeply paranoid, doubting its own certainties, riven by social and racial division, spiralling corruption and the collapse of the inner cities. The Long Take is about a good man, brutalised by war, haunted by violence and apparently doomed to return to it - yet resolved to find kindness again, in the world and in himself.

Robin Robertson's The Long Take is a work of thrilling originality.

©2018 Robin Robertson (P)2018 Macmillan Digital Audio

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  • V
  • 08-10-2018

Lyrical melancholic film-noir epic.

Runs at a relentless clip, flicking between harsh shell blast glimpses of horrors in wartorn France, idyllic rememberences of a home to which our protagonist can not return, and an homage to the, often neon lit, alive and gritty late 40s/50s streets of NY, LA and San Francisco and the films made there in those years. Narration was excellent, the writing faultless, heartbreaking, beautiful. A film-noir epic.

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  • Sally P
  • 17-02-2019

May give you nightmares

I loved the beautiful writing and this novel brought WW2 and its impact on survivors of combat alive for me in a totally new way. It ranges over three American cities as well as the battlefields of France, reaching into the 1950s and homelessness, hate crime, property development and earthquakes in California. An amazing creation - just be aware that some of the violence is very vividly drawn and may stay with you. Fascinating and unforgettable.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • leigh griffin
  • 25-09-2018

Literature noir

A stunning performance of a fabulous lyrical, haunting and harrowing tale. Not for the faint hearted but incredibly powerful and beautiful.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Nuala Mcdermott
  • 15-07-2019

Not one for audiobook - need to actually read it.

Also bought the book and it was way better because of the poetry style. Nothing wrong per se with the performance but just didn’t translate well to audio.

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  • WhatCathyReadNext
  • 02-07-2019

A book for which audio books were invented

Written in a combination of prose and free verse, I found this account of a Canadian war veteran’s journey through the streets of Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York mesmerising, haunting and atmospheric.  If, like me, you are a little daunted by the idea of its unusual narrative structure, this audiobook version narrated by Kerry Shale will come to your rescue.  I thought his narration was outstanding. It really brought the poetic quality of the book to life and he created distinctive voices for the different characters. It's the sort of book I think I might have struggled to read if there had been no audio version.

 The book was a deserved winner of The Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction 2019.

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  • Longshanks
  • 06-12-2018

Utterly Brilliant

Heart-wrenching and beautifully written. I have listened to 3 times in a row. Powerful and beautifully read. A real treasure and a must read. I went on to buy the book and just can't put down.

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  • RARA
  • 01-10-2018

Man Booker shortlist

Typical Booker whimsy over plot monologue with little substance but plenty of emotion. On the destructive nature of war, on nations and men.

0 of 3 people found this review helpful