Robert Jackson Bennett makes a stunning debut with this deliciously dark tale sure to hold readers in its menacing thrall. The grinding poverty brought on by the Great Depression is nowhere more apparent than in the untold thousands looking for work along America’s railroad system. But one man haunting the rail camps has been moved by an entirely different brand of desperation: revenge. And Marcus Connelly won’t stop until hee avenges his daughter’s brutal murder at the hands of a monster known as Mr. Shivers.
©2010 Robert Bennett (P)2010 Recorded Books, LLC
"Sprinkled with hobo folklore, Bennett's supernatural dust storm of a debut offers a killer premise and may remind readers of vintage Stephen King." (Amazon.com)
pros and cons
The plot of this book is clever and fascinating, but much of the novel seems to be a transposition of Blood Meridian into the depression era. There are good (even great) moments throughout, but the style gets somewhat tiresome by the end. That coupled with a conclusion that is telegraphed from the beginning of the novel made my interest flag as I went along. Still, it's an interesting story set against a vivid backdrop.
This starts out slow, a group of men and women coming together in Depression era America, riding the rails and traveling against the flow of life into the West. All of them have lost something vital to their existence...all of them seek vengeance.
As the story progresses, the tableau shifts from what almost seems to be an extension of Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath" into a long, slow twist that leads the protagonist, Connely, through myth and legend, pain and redemption toward a very strange, if slightly foreshadowed end.
The narration is good, the characters voices distinct and believable, the pacing and style well-suited to the narration.
A very strong first novel by author Robert Jackson Bennett, and a well-produced and exemplary audio production.
This author has an absolutely first rate imagination and the ability to put it to words.
One of the best audiobooks I've ever listened to, and my audible library is hundreds of audiobooks.
Narrator is perfect.
This one gets the highest grade I can give it,
If you like Cormac McCarthy, Steinbeck, and Stephen King you will probably not regret shelling out a credit for this one. don't get me wrong, it ain't Steinbeck or McCarthy (IMHO), but it has the flavor of both--as for king, well...yeah, both better plotted and more thoughtfully written than anything King has done for a long long time.
Maybe the ending was a little predictable but an enjoyable read nonetheless.
I'm reading American Elsewhere right now. Another solid book thus far.
I agree its no McCarthy (The Road) but these guys (Chris F. Holm, Wendig, etc..) are putting out good product.
Check it out.
Characters were well pictured as well as the moral struggles. But in the end, a bit too much left regarding the point
I wanted to like this book. The reading is OK but the story lacks surprises or really interesting characters. The ending was anticlimactic if you are the kind of person who usually figures out the endings.
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