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The Long Dry by Cynan Jones

The Long Dry

by Cynan Jones

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692252,686 (4.06)4
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    Haweswater by Sarah Hall (charl08)
    charl08: Rural life without the rose-tinted glasses.

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An accurate portrayal of the beauty of country life. The Welsh setting just makes me like it more. There is tragedy here, but all life is tragic whether you're a country mouse or a city mouse. ( )
1 vote librarianbryan | Apr 20, 2012 |
The Long Dry by Cynan Jones is a short novel that has a deceptively simple plot - a Welsh farmer wakes one morning to discover one of his calving cows is missing, and goes in search of her on a blistering hot day - with a lot lurking just underneath the surface.

Gareth's search for the missing cow is interspersed both by intrusions from his present and the past, and themes of loss, dependence, the relation between the old ways of living and the new, and how the land shapes those who live on it emerge. The search becomes emblematic of something deeper, as Gareth's relationship with his wife and family is examined through a kaleidoscope, showing the fragility and the strength in everything they have been through together. Loss and achievement, hope and despair reverberate through past, present and - in a deft piece of narrative where the reader is granted a glimpse a few days into the future which throws Gareth's day into all too harsh perspective - future, painting a picture of lives lived that is bittersweet to taste.

There's a lot of powerful and evocative imagery buried within this, and it is used to great effect. Small, but punches well above its weight.

I need to read something happy. The last two books I've read have both been great, but man, they've been a bit on the bleak side... ( )
2 vote MikeFarquhar | Sep 13, 2007 |
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Praise for Cynan Jones: ?[A] piercing novella . . . Like Cormac McCarthy, Jones can make the everyday sound fraught and biblical."?Kirkus , starred review ?Jones' prose clips along at an unnerving pace, barely giving you time to process the previous beautiful image, before knocking you dead with the next one."?Green Apple Books, Our Favorite Books of 2015 ?This book will collapse you into its single point of infinite heaviness, and you'll love it."?Elliott Bay Book Company On a long, hot day, Gareth searches for a missing pregnant cow. A dog must be put down, there are ducks to go in the pond, there are children, and there is Kate, his wife, who may be an uncrossable distance from him. Jones's rural Wales is alive with the necessities of our own animal instincts and most human longing. Cynan Jones was born near Aberaeron on the west coast of Wales in 1975. He is the author of five short novels,The Long Dry , Everything I Found on the Beach , Bird, Blood, Snow , The Dig and The Cove . His work has been translated into several languages, and short stories have appeared in a number of anthologies and publications including Granta .… (more)

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