Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Waterland Audio Cassette – Audiobook, Mar 1998

4.6 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

See all 23 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Audio Cassette, Audiobook, Mar 1998
CDN$ 137.87

Amulet Box Set Amulet Box Set

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
click to open popover

No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Product Details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Sterling Audio Books; Unabridged edition (March 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0754000931
  • ISBN-13: 978-0754000938
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 17.1 x 23.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 612 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews
  •  Would you like to update product info, give feedback on images, or tell us about a lower price?

Product Description


Waterland appropriates the Fens as Moby-Dick did whaling or Wuthering Heights the moors—a beautiful, serious, and intelligent novel, admirably ambitious and original.” —The Observer

“A formidably intelligent book—animated by an impressive, angry pity at what human creatures are capable of doing to one another in the name of love and need.” —The New York Review of Books

“Swift spins a tale of empire-building, land reclamation, brewers and sluice-minders, bewhiskered Victorian patriarchs, insane and visionary relicts . . . A book of strange, insidious, unsettling power.” —Books and Bookmen

“Teems with energy, fertility, violence, madness . . . Demonstrates the irrepressible, wide-ranging talent of this young British writer.” —The Washington Post Book World

“Extraordinary . . . A personal book, a book that speaks to the innermost core of the reader . . . Waterland is history, it is exploration. Waterland is geography, lineage. It is commerce, decline and fall, the industrial revolution (the French one, too, with heads lopped off) and, like everything around us, it bears the scars of the two great wars of the twentieth century. It is family saga, family secrets, love, licit and otherwise; it is, above all, an exploration into what it is, this history thing, that affects us all, your history, mine, ours.”
—from the Introduction by Tim Binding
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From the Inside Flap

Set in the bleak Fen Country of East Anglia, and spanning some 240 years in the lives of its haunted narrator and his ancestors, Waterland is a book that takes in eels and incest, ale-making and madness, the heartless sweep of history and a family romance as tormented as any in Greek tragedy.
"Waterland, like the Hardy novels, carries with all else a profound knowledge of a people, a place, and their interweaving.... Swift tells his tale with wonderful contemporary verve and verbal felicity.... A fine and original work."--"Los Angeles Times --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

See all Product Description

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The aspect of this novel that I found most intriguing was Crick's fascination with history. He is plagued, as we all are, by the omnipresent question "Why?", and the novel is the story of his quest for the eternal answer. He views the persent as the ultimate indefineable dimension of time; the time when we as humans are the most vulnerable and unable to make heads from tails. He comes to the conclusion that we must look to the past to determine not only the future, but the "Here and Now" as well. Driven by an infinity of "Why?"s that haunt his daily life, Crick becomes a school teacher; a history teacher. He strives to show the students how history, no matter how distant it seems to the individual, is somehow linked to everyone, and how no piece of history is more important or monumental than another. Through the narration of his own personal experiences as well as the lives of his ancestors, Crick reveals the beauty and power of history to his students. He reaches them in a way that textbooks never dreamed of. Perhaps it is redemption he seeks in teaching his pupils to draw wisdom and foresight from the past. While Crick opens the gates of history for his eager students, he comes to terms with his own past.
One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
In On Interpretation, philosopher Paul Ricoeur writes: "bytreating the temporal quality of experience as the common reference ofboth history and fiction, I make fiction, history and time one problem." Swift's narrator, Tom Crick, attempts to solve this big, unified problem.
Crick, a high school history teacher, has veered from the syllabus and veered vigorously. A disintegrating marriage with a baby-snatching wife, and a student who questions the point of learning about the French Revolution (and starts a "fear club" that obsesses over nuclear holocaust) contribute to Crick's decision to abandon strait-laced, traditional, timeline history.
Instead, Crick attempts to answer the essential historical question (the "WhyWhyWhy?" of events) for his own life. This "problem," as Ricoeur would have it, takes us through centuries of Crick's ancestors (which turns out to be a thorough regional history), discourses on eels and holes, stories of the people who have figured in Crick's life, and his interpretation of these sundry yarns (each of which, incidentally, is a good story, i.e.--would go over well at a bar).
What emerges, in nuance and layers, is an amalgam of fiction, history, and time; a novel obsessed with the reasons people walk onto the stage of history, the nature of revolutions and the prospects of progress. In his development of these issues Swift has, among other things, written a philosophically fascinating novel. The over-all impact is that there is more to history than the subject is generally given credit; and (to fearfully evoke an old cliché) only through history can we hope to have a future different from the past.
The prose this point arrives in is both quirky and muscular, engaging and complex. Swift's written a big book and he's written it well.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
A reader must have patience and perseverance while reading Graham Swift's remarkable novel "Waterland." Like some of the better authors in British literature, Mr. Swift weaves theme upon theme with great virtuosity and skill; the reader must follow the turns and detours of the expansive plot while dealing with an unusual handling of time. The extraordinary tale is narrated by Tom Crick, a rambling storyteller and ex-history teacher from England's Fen Country. He is the son of a canal lock keeper, and the story he tells - although frequently convoluted, digressive, and rambling - is one of the most fascinating stories I have ever read. Right before he is forced to retire in the 1980's, Tom abandons the history curriculum of the school at which he teaches and relates instead a three-hundred page saga of the Fen Country involving murder, incest, madness, ghosts, revenge, and two centuries of pain and tragedy. He incorporates this remarkable history with references to the French Revolution and to his own painful story of growing up during World War II, becoming involved with a bizarre murder and with a witless half-brother who was conceived in order to become "Saviour of the World." It is a disquieting and painful novel, a work of Gothic proportions in which the reader must maintain the utmost concentration. But the rewards are great. I simply could not get this novel out of my mind while I was reading it. I quickly became enthralled with Tom Crick's touching story, with his striking historical account of his ancestors, and with his marvelously graphic description of the Fen Country and its austerity and often tragic hardships. In fact the Fen Country is a major character in the novel for it acts upon the characters in extraordinary ways.Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Report abuse
By A Customer on Oct. 28 1999
Format: Paperback
This emotional novel takes the reader to the heights and depths of emotions. The characters, so well written and completely developed, paint the picture of life in Fenland. This isolated world resembles a fairy-tale land at times because of the hazy uncertainty that surrounds many of the characters. It is no coincidence that the main product produced in this town, the product that put the town on the map, is alchohol. The world that is created is not unrealistic, however, because the people experience the same emotions of love, desires, rage and utter grief, that are universal to all people. One character who exemplifies the Fenland and all that it stands for is Mary Metclaf, later Mary Crick. Mary's father worked hard throughout his life to give his daughter everything necessary to make her special, not just a farmer's daughter. Because of her father's constant pressure on her, Mary became exceedingly curious. Her curiousity (a characteristic not unknown to most adolescents) gets her into some trouble. She experiments with her feelings of sexuality, using the boys of her town as her learning tools, specifically the book's main character, Tom Crick. As the two characters grow older, and escape the foggy haze that youth and the Fen create, they learn harsh realities about life. Mary, unable to face the consequences of some of the mistakes of her youth, looses her sanity and resorts to snatching a baby from a local supermarket to fulfill her sense of loss over a baby she aborted in her youth. The character of Mary is just one of the extraordinarily written characters in this book, who bring the reader into the
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Report abuse

Most recent customer reviews