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The Clearingby Tim Gautreaux
Synopses & Reviews
In his critically acclaimed new novel, Tim Gautreaux fashions a classic and unforgettable tale of two brothers struggling in a hostile world.
In a lumber camp in the Louisiana cypress forest, a world of mud and stifling heat where men labor under back-breaking conditions, the Aldridge brothers try to repair a broken bond. Randolph Aldridge is the mills manager, sent by his father—the mill owner—to reform both the damaged mill and his damaged older brother. Byron Aldridge is the mill's lawman, a shell-shocked World War I veteran given to stunned silences and sudden explosions of violence that make him a mystery to Randolph and a danger to himself. Deep in the swamp, in this place of water moccasins, whiskey, and wild card games, these brothers become embroiled in a lethal feud with a powerful gangster. In a tale full of raw emotion as supple as a saw blade, The Clearing is a mesmerizing journey into the trials that define mens souls.
"Gautreaux writes beautifully about terrible things, about war and life and death...Word for word, it's my favorite novel this year." Bob Minzesheimer, USA Today
"The power and complexity of The Clearing stem not only from the larger themes of loss, human ruin, and the redemptive force of love, but also from Tim Gautreaux's finely pitched capture of place and its effect on human nature and endeavor. What makes this novel a modern masterpiece is that while Gautreaux never blinks from the story, the reader begins to comprehend the layers upon layers of American fable, myth, and parable contained within the pages. A superb novel, from the very first page." Jeffrey Lent, author of In the Fall
"This dark story, told in the clearest prose, compels you forward like a handcar on a downhill slope, until the final escape. With The Clearing Tim Gautreaux makes himself a clearing on the shelf of books you have to keep. You read it in wonder." Kent Haruf, author of Plainsong
"The Clearing is a fine and exciting novel about place, work, violence, love and loyalty. Tim Gautreaux is a literary writer unafraid to tell a brisk and jolting story that keeps the pages turning." Charles Frazier, author of Cold Mountain
"A marvelous evocation of time and place merges seamlessly with Gautreaux's powerful and timeless story. He has long been regarded as an important Southern writer; it's time he was recognized as an important writer, period." William Gay, author of I Hate to See That Evening Sun Go Down
From "one of the best writers to have emerged in the 1990s" (Kirkus Reviews) comes The Clearing, a story of family, of what sustains people through loss, of establishing a community in the deepest wilderness and then defending it.
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