The Ploughmen

A Novel
By: Kim Zupan
Narrated by: Jim Meskimen
Length: 7 hrs and 54 mins
4 out of 5 stars (1,190 ratings)

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

A young sheriff and a hardened killer form an uneasy and complicated bond in this mesmerizing first novel set on the plains of Montana.

Steeped in a lonesome Montana landscape as unyielding and rawas it is beautiful, Kim Zupan's ThePloughmen is a new classic in the literature of the American West.

At the center of this searing fever-dream of a novel are two men - a killer awaiting trial and a troubled young deputy - sitting across fromeach other in the dark, talking through the bars of a county jail cell: JohnGload, so brutally adept at his craft that only now, at the age of 77, has he faced the prospect of long-term incarceration; and Valentine Millimaki, low man in the Copper County sheriff's department, who draws the overnight shift after Gload's arrest. With a disintegrating marriage further collapsing under the strain of his night duty, Millimaki finds himself seeking counsel from a man whose troubled past shares something essential with his own. Their uneasy friendship takes a startling turn with a brazen act of violence that yokes together the two haunted souls by the secrets they share - and by the rugged country that keeps them.

©2014 Kim Zupan (P)2014 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

More from the same

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    508
  • 4 Stars
    404
  • 3 Stars
    162
  • 2 Stars
    83
  • 1 Stars
    33

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    695
  • 4 Stars
    259
  • 3 Stars
    98
  • 2 Stars
    31
  • 1 Stars
    14

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    455
  • 4 Stars
    358
  • 3 Stars
    162
  • 2 Stars
    60
  • 1 Stars
    49

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great language and performance

If you like Cormac McCarthy, you will probably like this book. The reading by Jim Meskimen is excellent.

41 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Quality book worthy of your time

The Ploughmen started off a little slow for me I had a hard time relating to the characters at the beginning. But, by the time I neared the end of the the book I wanted to take my time a savor the story while at the same time I was anxious to know how it ended. A very well written and descriptive book

24 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Perceptive Narration

At first I was bothered by Meskimen's almost stubborn, it seemed in my mind, lack of expression and refusal to acknowledge the writing style, but by the end of the book it was all so clear. His performance was brilliant. He read the narrative in the skin of the main character, Val, and hence his read seemed at odds with the sometimes flowery writing in the same way that Val seemed at odds and isolated, detached from the world around him. One of the most amazing audiobook performances I've ever heard.

82 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

gorgeous prose

a little slow moving but the prose is very poetic, glad I read. the narration is fabulous!!

38 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

buy it.

this book is not for the faint-hearted.

incredibly Vivid writing, the writing equivalent of a Renaissance masterpiece. I had no idea that I could feel sympathy like that for a cold-blooded killer.

47 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent book!!

Loved it. I can't stop thinking about the beautifully written work by this Montana author.

25 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

excellent book

I read the nook first, then bought the audio book. I was thrilled at both. This performance was excellent, captivated me. The perfect voice for this quietly intense tale.

28 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Too Literary For Its Own Good

There is an effective, simple, emotional story buried under the dense literary descriptions and obscure vocabulary. I loved the narration by Jim Meskimen, he brought the dialogue and characters to life. I wouldn't have been able to wade through the deluge of words without his wonderful reading.

57 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Good story BUT...

The story was good but it feels like Kim Zupan swallowed a dictionary and thought he had to use everyone word in it. I found his descriptions over the top.
EXAMPLE:
On the sandy bluffs the surgeons house, where he was to meet his wife, appeared fortress like against the dusk. It's roof line a complex topography of hips and gables and dutch hip dormers and a phallic tower of dome of hammered copper, which at that moment beaconed it's roughen affluence to the working class homes on the river below.

I prefer simple language books. Over describing things only takes my mind away from the story and makes it difficult to continue to listen rather than just returning the book.

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The experience of death

This book is hard to really explain. The setting is northern Montana. The two main characters are as opposite as possible. One is a young deputy sheriff, Valentine Millimaki, who is very dedicated to the law and very conscientious to his duty; the other is John Gload, a 72 year-old cold-blooded serial killer, starting as a teenager. Millimaki is a skilled tracker of missing persons and is responsible for the department’s tracker dog. But, as the book develops, a certain bond grows between the two based on a series of commonalities. One is that they are both familiar with death. The book opens with the suicide of Millimaki’s mother when he was a child. It was he who found her hanging in the barn. And, in such a harsh climate, it seems that half the missing people he finds, he finds too late. When they meet, Gload has just been arrested and is being held in the county jail. Millimaki, being the youngest member of the sheriff’s department, works the night shift when there is no search going on, with little to do but guard the prisoners. Gload has been an insomniac since his teens (coincidence that that is about the time he killed his first victim?) and Millimaki needs stay away, so it’s natural that they should talk at times. Gload begins to tell stories about some of those he killed, and he tells them as if his actions are as normal as eating. Because Millimaki listens, Gload begins to respect him. Their bond is not friendship or even understanding, but something is there that’s hard to explain, yet as you read the book, is easy to understand. The book is not predictable and the subject matter can be disturbing. And yet, it comes across as real and believable. It’s a book that I didn’t expect to like, but I did. The author gets into the mind of a serial killer without condoning or making excuses for his actions. It’s a novel with a ring of truth. 

1 person found this helpful