The Long Take

A Noir Narrative
Narrated by: Kerry Shale
Length: 5 hrs and 26 mins
4 out of 5 stars (23 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Finalist for the 2018 Man Booker Prize

Winner of the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction, the Goldsmiths Prize for Innovative Fiction, and the Roehampton Poetry Prize

From the award-winning British author - a poet's noir narrative that tells the story of a D-Day veteran in postwar America: a good man, brutalized by war, haunted by violence, and apparently doomed to return to it, yet resolved to find kindness again, in the world and in himself.

Walker is a D-Day veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder; he can't return home to rural Nova Scotia and looks instead to the city for freedom, anonymity, and repair. As he finds his way from New York to Los Angeles and San Francisco, we witness a crucial period of fracture in American history, one that also allowed film noir to flourish. "The Dream" had gone sour, but - as those dark, classic movies made clear - the country needed outsiders to study and to dramatize its new anxieties. 

Both an outsider and, gradually, an insider, Walker finds work as a journalist and tries to piece his life together as America is beginning to come apart: riven by social and racial divisions, spiraling corruption, and the collapse of the inner cities. 

Robin Robertson's fluid verse pans with filmic immediacy across the postwar urban scene - and into the heart of an unforgettable character - in this highly original work of art.

©2018 Robin Robertson (P)2018 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“A propulsive verbal tour de force.... A hymn to destruction that exposes our country’s betrayal of the American Dream in the years following World War II. [Robertson] places Walker’s world on a continuum of postwar abusive power that still resonates today, while also reminding the reader of older instances of displacement such as the Trail of Tears and Scotland’s Sutherland clearances. The Long Take conveys dignity upon its less than noble characters because they’ve been dispossessed by outside forces.... When was the last time you said of a book of poetry, ‘I couldn’t put it down?’ Well, now’s your chance." (Sibbie O’Sullivan, The Washington Post)

“A remarkable work.... I can’t think of anything quite like it.... Modern, complex, political...[Robertson’s] language is functional and often exquisite.... Though rooted in a specific time and place, The Long Take’s larger theme is the capacity of greed and politics to turn hope into despair.... A poem that’s long been waiting to be written." (Woody Haut, Los Angeles Review of Books

"As far as books go it’s A-1. I recommend it." (Nico Walker, author of Cherry)

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