Blackwater is the saga of a small town, Perdido, Alabama, and Elinor Dammert, the stranger who arrives there under mysterious circumstances on Easter Sunday, 1919. On the surface, Elinor is gracious, charming, anxious to belong in Perdido, and eager to marry Oscar Caskey, the eldest son of Perdido’s first family. But her beautiful exterior hides a shocking secret. Beneath the waters of the Perdido River, she turns into something terrifying, a creature whispered about in stories that have chilled the residents of Perdido for generations. Some of those who observe her rituals in the river will never be seen again….
Originally published as a series of six volumes in 1983, Blackwater is the crowning achievement of Michael McDowell, author of the Southern Gothic classics Cold Moon Over Babylon and The Elementals and screenwriter of Beetlejuice and The Nightmare Before Christmas. This first-ever one-volume edition will allow a new generation of listeners to discover this modern horror classic.
Point of view:
Historical American/Southern Gothic with an interesting horror-ish element. It did take me almost the entire length of Part One: The Flood to get into the story (admittedly this isn’t my typical genre) – but once I did, I was hooked. Just over 30 hours and I enjoyed it thoroughly. Nothing. Absolutely nothing was predictable for me.
Blackwater spans 50 years (starting in 1919), several generations of family members and their sometimes contentious relationships, southern small/rural town living.
While the description talks about Elinor’s true form/history – I found that to be just a small part of what was intriguing/compelling about following the Caskey family. It’s a wild family tree, each quirky member bringing something unique, and not everyone behaves/reacts as expected.
Content Warning: (possible spoilers) Several characters die, some are horrific and details range from benign to fairly descriptive. Two characters are raped. While the act isn’t described, some details are and aftermath for both is long-term.
Matt Godfrey was a new narrator for me. I truly enjoyed his performance. His accents, voices, and emotions were wonderful. McDowell gave him a HUGE cast of characters to work with and he did a wonderful job. I’m looking forward to more for both of them.
About the author:
Michael McDowell was an American novelist and screenwriter described by author Stephen King as “the finest writer of paperback originals in America today”. His best-known work is the screenplay for the Tim Burton film Beetlejuice.
About the narrator:
Matt Godfrey was raised in the Deep South on O’Connor, Welty, and Lee, and spent most of his teenage years in Yoknapatawpha County. But the books took him places, from Los Angeles to Tokyo, Bradbury to Murakami. After nine years as a working film and TV actor, he found his true passion in audiobooks and now is lucky enough to live inside books every day. He is a winner of the Audiofile Earphones Award and a multiple-time nominee for the Society of Voice Arts & Sciences Awards and the Independent Audiobook Awards.
You can connect with Matt Godfrey here:
My Favorite Quotes
All deaths are sudden, no matter how gradual the dying may be. – Blackwater by #MichaelMcDowell #Audiobook narrated by @GodfreyTweets #Horror #AmericanGothic #Mystery #SuspenseTweet