Shadow Country- Peter Matthiessen

f_mattiessen_jacketSince it won the National Book Award a few years back, there is a good chance you know the back story behind this book.  Matthiessen combined and reworked the three novels he’d written about the life and death of early Florida planter Edgar J. Watson (Killing Mr. Watson, Lost Man’s River, and Bone by Bone) into one mighty doorstop.  A real hoss of a book, as they say back where I come from.

Now, I am the last person you want reviewing books for you (look here and here to see what the professionals have to say), but I will go a little crazy today and state that I think this may be one of the best books I have ever read.  It was like starting at the top of a* 900 page inclined plane- I found myself barreling onward with increasing velocity the farther along I went.

By the time I got to the last book (Bone by Bone, easily my favorite of the three, although I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have liked it nearly as much if I hadn’t read the first two) it was getting ugly.  I couldn’t think about anything else.  All I wanted to do was read.  Sleep deprived as I am, I stayed up way past 1 a.m. on Sunday night because I couldn’t stop reading the damn thing.

-Norm De Plume

* Edited for clarity.  Thanks, delta99.

Published in: on June 18, 2009 at 5:08 pm  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Norm–
    I presume you must have started at the top of this inclined plane. It would take a real horse to gather speed moving up this tilted plane.

  2. You’re right. I should have said declined plane. I guess I should make an edit for the sake of clarity.

  3. […] sent me a link to this funny review of Shadow Country, a book I recently described as probably one of the best books I have ever read.  In fact, cowardice and “probably” […]

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