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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.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
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  • 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.

40 of 40 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    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

23 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    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.

80 of 83 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    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 of 39 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Nathan
  • Houston, TX, USA
  • 02-09-17

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.

46 of 48 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent book!!

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

25 of 26 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    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 of 30 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    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.

56 of 66 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    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.

14 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • DWR
  • Minnesota, USA
  • 11-26-18

A conflagration of Verbiage...

The actual story was good enough to keep me interested. The underlying theme seemed to be insomnia, which got old after a while. Further, the ending left me unsatisfied; I assumed it would be more substantial, based on the buildup of the final interaction of the two main characters.

The big problem with the book is that the language is so elaborate that it actually detracts from the descriptions. I kept thinking that the author was trying to lead us to acknowledge how educated he was, or maybe he was making up for some past insecurity. I did think that some of the similes and metaphors were very creative, like out of a '60s Acid Trip.

Jim Meskimen read well. However, the beginning was clipped, maybe because of the writing but the drop of his tone at the end of each sentence was somewhat annoying.

A good book but certainly not a great book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful