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Bone by Bone | [Peter Matthiessen]

Bone by Bone

One of a very few National Book Award honorees to be nominated for fiction and nonfiction, Peter Matthiessen creates a curious blend of both in this tragic prequel to Killing Mister Watson and Lost Man’s River. An amazing novel in its own right, Bone by Bone caps the trilogy featuring the enigmatic E. J. Watson. During the Reconstruction Era, Edgar Watson grew up in the South at the mercy of a brutal alcoholic father and a vindictive mother. Witnessing the horrors of slavery, bilked out of his inheritance, and blamed in his youth for a murder he didn’t commit, E. J. developed a reputation for violence that preceded him everywhere he went. Finally, it brought him to a tragic and bloody end as his family watched in helpless horror. Borrowing an old local tale about a man who was killed by his neighbors, Matthiessen creates a powerful character. George Guidall’s excellent reading brings this moving tragedy home to us with a passion.
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Publisher's Summary

One of a very few National Book Award honorees to be nominated for fiction and nonfiction, Peter Matthiessen creates a curious blend of both in this tragic prequel to Killing Mister Watson and Lost Man’s River. An amazing novel in its own right, Bone by Bone caps the trilogy featuring the enigmatic E. J. Watson. During the Reconstruction Era, Edgar Watson grew up in the South at the mercy of a brutal alcoholic father and a vindictive mother. Witnessing the horrors of slavery, bilked out of his inheritance, and blamed in his youth for a murder he didn’t commit, E. J. developed a reputation for violence that preceded him everywhere he went. Finally, it brought him to a tragic and bloody end as his family watched in helpless horror. Borrowing an old local tale about a man who was killed by his neighbors, Matthiessen creates a powerful character. George Guidall’s excellent reading brings this moving tragedy home to us with a passion.

©1999 Peter Matthiessen; (P)1999 Recorded Books, LLC

What the Critics Say

"Matthiessen has created an unforgettable slice of deeply true and resonant American history." - (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.5 (24 )
5 star
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4.6 (5 )
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4.0 (7 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Elza Yuma, AZ, USA 07-29-09
    Elza Yuma, AZ, USA 07-29-09 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    28
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    "Compelling from start to finish."

    Matthiessen writes in a genial way that kept me engrossed and wanting more. Not normally the subject matter I am attracted to but in this case it has led me to start reading Lost Man's River (I know I am reading a triology back to front). They couldn't have made a better choice than George Guidall as the narrator. He brings the colorful figure of Watson to life and also makes all the other characters sound as they should. You won't be sorry if you choose this book.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carol Waianae, HI, United States 12-12-09
    Carol Waianae, HI, United States 12-12-09 Member Since 2008

    I love to read but don't have much time so, listening to books has become a necessary passion. If I can't read, I'll listen and it makes mundane things like driving long distances and cleaning house bearable.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Little Long..."

    This was an "ok" book. I found the characters to be real and likeable but there were just so many and the book so drawn out that I would get confused; for example, the main character E.J. Watson meets so many women that he becomes entranced by that I wasn't sure who he was with at any particular time. Should I mention the numerous offspring that he created? It doesn't seem possible.

    Over all the story is entertaining but if you are offended by the use of racial slurs this is not the book for you. The author clearly uses the slurs as the people from the era did but it was a bit much at times.

    I had originally purchased this audio book because it was in the myster/suspense category but this book does not have much of either.

    Still, it was entertaining enough as the narrator does a wonderful job reading. He probably made it more engaging because he does such a good job.

    A mediocre book at best.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cheryl Lawton, MI, United States 11-03-09
    Cheryl Lawton, MI, United States 11-03-09 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Bone by Bone"

    If you enjoyed Angela's Ashes, I think you would enjoy this novel too. Angela's Ashes for America I guess. The story covers a long period of history of the US that otherwise kinda goes unnoticed.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
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