The Watson Trilogy is superb and this "retelling" is excellent.
There is so much here: the ecological history of a rich frontier wilderness; a disturbing depiction, which is palpable, of the psychological and physical brutality of turn-of-the-century racism in the deep south; and the strangely affecting tragedy of an ambitious and determined man who murdered too often and sometimes too easily trying to mark his way through the wild lands into the modern era.
There's real beauty here, too. It is cast with humor and poetry, and it is a tale told through manifold voices recalling Watson in the Ten Thousand Islands, then via his son investigating the history to find peace of mind, and finally, the intense first-person narration of Watson himself.
This is Matthiessen's masterwork. And that an artist of his caliber has rewritten an already superb trilogy (taking nine years to do so!), bringing the story back into the tight focus he intended in the first place, and for it to be this exceptional novel, places it securely on the shelf of great American Fiction--alongside Twain, Faulkner and Morrison (in my canon!). <i>Shadow Country</i> is a triumphant accomplishment! Bravo, Mr. Matthiessen!
The audio narrator of this novel seems quite capable and I look forward to revisiting this complex, enriching, and entertaining novel audibly!
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 ..Show More »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.