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In the House upon the Dirt between the Lake and the Woods

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In the House upon the Dirt between the Lake and the Woods Cover

ISBN13: 9781616952532
ISBN10: 1616952539
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

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Publisher Comments:

In this epic, mythical debut novel, a newly-wed couple escapes the busy confusion of their homeland for a distant and almost-uninhabited lakeshore. They plan to live there simply, to fish the lake, to trap the nearby woods, and build a house upon the dirt between where they can raise a family. But as their every pregnancy fails, the child-obsessed husband begins to rage at this new world: the song-spun objects somehow created by his wife's beautiful singing voice, the giant and sentient bear that rules the beasts of the woods, the second moon weighing down the fabric of their starless sky, and the labyrinth of memory dug into the earth beneath their house.

This novel, from one of our most exciting young writers, is a powerful exploration of the limits of parenthood and marriage — and of what happens when a marriage’s success is measured solely by the children it produces, or else the sorrow that marks their absence.

Review:

"There is a power here that is almost overwhelming. The force of the writing is derived from something elemental and primal. Unlike anything I have read in a long time.” Charles Yu, author of How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe

Review:

"Matt Bell does not write sentences — he writes spells. He is not a novelist — he is a mystic. This book, which will grip you in an otherworldly trance, reads like something divined from tea leaves or translated from a charcoal cipher on a cave wall." Benjamin Percy, author of Red Moon and The Wilding

Review:

"In the House upon the Dirt between the Lake and the Woods is a big, slinking, dangerous fairy tale, the kind with gleaming fangs and blood around the muzzle and a powerful heart you can hear thumping from miles away. The story's ferocity is matched by Matt Bell's glorious sentences: sinuous and darkly magical, they are taproots of the strange." Lauren Groff, author of Arcadia

Review:

“This is a fiercely original book — at once intimate and epic, visceral and philosophical — that sent me scurrying for adjectives, for precedents, for cover. Matt Bell commands the page with bold, vigorous prose and may well have invented the pulse-pounding novel of ideas.” Jess Walter, author of Beautiful Ruins

Review:

“Bell puts the fable in fabulism....This spare, devastating novel...is as beautiful as it is ruinous. A tragedy of fantastic proportions, the book’s musical, often idiosyncratic prose will carry its readers into an unfamiliar but unforgettable world." Library Journal, Starred Review

Review:

“Challenging, boldly experimental.” Publishers Weekly

Review:

“Matt Bell’s visionary debut novel In the House Upon the Dirt Between the Lake and Woods is one of the most singularly strange and beautiful and wondrous books to come along in a long time....[Bell] has invented an entirely new rhetoric of fiction and marked unique territory of his own.” Tin House

Review:

In the House upon the Dirt between the Lake and the Woods...has an impressive wealth to share with its reader...it’s a gorgeous, bottomless book.” Ploughshares

Review:

“One of the year’s best novels....Bell keeps the narrative evolving, shifting groundrules and revealing more about his setting and characters. Disorienting and evocative, this is a fantastic reading experience.” Vol 1. Brooklyn

Review:

“Meticulously designed, with a particular focus on the musicality of its sentences...an unflinching portrait of the struggle to keep a family intact.” Kirkus Review

Review:

In the House Upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods is a terrifying and wonderful fable that has nestled itself somewhere deep inside my shoulder blades. I have never come across a book that is so close to a dream state, with all the wildness and wonder and transfiguration that implies.” Flavorwire (Staff Pick)

About the Author

Matt Bell's first story collection was How They Were Found. In 2012, Cataclysm Baby, a novella, was published by Mud Luscious Press. Bell's fiction has been anthologized in Best American Mystery Stories 2010, Best American Fantasy 2, and 30 Under 30: An Anthology of Innovative Fiction by Younger Writers, and shortlisted in Best American Short Stories 2010 and the Pushcart Prize anthology. He serves as Senior Editor at Dzanc Books and teaches writing at Northern Michigan University. This is his first novel.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Shane Minden, November 7, 2013 (view all comments by Shane Minden)
So In The House upon the Dirt between the Lake and the Woods is a phenomenon for me. I can't recommend it, but there are also things about it that I want to recommend. I guess it was a fairy tale, right? There was a lot of metaphor. The story itself felt like it was not too meaty or maybe not very substantial, so the details and the descent in to yuck had to be great. And that part was really great. Matt Bell is amazing - truly - with a well turned descriptive sentence/phrase/whatever. He can do gross. He can do psycho. He really gets uncomfortable. And really, I think he could write anything well. But I have to say, most of this book left me thinking "what is going on here"? At some point I sincerely felt like the madness took over and left the plot in the dirt... between the lake and the woods. With a bear, which was a metaphor for something maybe... I'm not smart enough to figure it out. This was an Indispensable selection - so it was like a "book club" experience for me. I'm not sad I took the time to read this book, but I'm not picking it up again and I might loan it out and not be too upset if it doesn't come back. I have high hopes for the next effort. More story, less gory
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(2 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
Tisa, August 28, 2013 (view all comments by Tisa)
It's been quite a while since a book had my heart pounding, but the first chapters of Bell's book will do that. This fable, fairy tale, fantasy of love, adventure, childbirth, child loss, and life lived fiercely is like nothing else you have read before. The forces of nature combine with the frailty of the human condition to create a story you'll never forget. Fire, earth, and water take on a dimension of giving and taking that surprises, scares, and fulfills the reader's imagination--a necessary tool to have at hand as you begin the journey that is this first novel. Don't start this book if you have other tasks that need to be done. You won't get to them.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781616952532
Author:
Bell, Matt
Publisher:
Soho Press
Author:
Bell, Matt
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20130618
Binding:
Hardback
Language:
English
Pages:
312

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Related Subjects

Business » International
Featured Titles » Arts
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Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Family Life
Humanities » Mythology » Folklore and Storytelling
Religion » Comparative Religion » General

In the House upon the Dirt between the Lake and the Woods Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$18.50 In Stock
Product details 312 pages Soho Press - English 9781616952532 Reviews:
"Review" by , "There is a power here that is almost overwhelming. The force of the writing is derived from something elemental and primal. Unlike anything I have read in a long time.”
"Review" by , "Matt Bell does not write sentences — he writes spells. He is not a novelist — he is a mystic. This book, which will grip you in an otherworldly trance, reads like something divined from tea leaves or translated from a charcoal cipher on a cave wall."
"Review" by , "In the House upon the Dirt between the Lake and the Woods is a big, slinking, dangerous fairy tale, the kind with gleaming fangs and blood around the muzzle and a powerful heart you can hear thumping from miles away. The story's ferocity is matched by Matt Bell's glorious sentences: sinuous and darkly magical, they are taproots of the strange."
"Review" by , “This is a fiercely original book — at once intimate and epic, visceral and philosophical — that sent me scurrying for adjectives, for precedents, for cover. Matt Bell commands the page with bold, vigorous prose and may well have invented the pulse-pounding novel of ideas.”
"Review" by , “Bell puts the fable in fabulism....This spare, devastating novel...is as beautiful as it is ruinous. A tragedy of fantastic proportions, the book’s musical, often idiosyncratic prose will carry its readers into an unfamiliar but unforgettable world."
"Review" by , “Challenging, boldly experimental.”
"Review" by , “Matt Bell’s visionary debut novel In the House Upon the Dirt Between the Lake and Woods is one of the most singularly strange and beautiful and wondrous books to come along in a long time....[Bell] has invented an entirely new rhetoric of fiction and marked unique territory of his own.”
"Review" by , In the House upon the Dirt between the Lake and the Woods...has an impressive wealth to share with its reader...it’s a gorgeous, bottomless book.”
"Review" by , “One of the year’s best novels....Bell keeps the narrative evolving, shifting groundrules and revealing more about his setting and characters. Disorienting and evocative, this is a fantastic reading experience.”
"Review" by , “Meticulously designed, with a particular focus on the musicality of its sentences...an unflinching portrait of the struggle to keep a family intact.”
"Review" by , In the House Upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods is a terrifying and wonderful fable that has nestled itself somewhere deep inside my shoulder blades. I have never come across a book that is so close to a dream state, with all the wildness and wonder and transfiguration that implies.”
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