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Summary

Billy Edgewater is a harbinger of doom. Estranged from his family, discharged from the Navy, and touched by a rising desperation, he sets out hitchhiking home to East Tennessee, where his father is slowly dying.

On the road, separately, are Sudy and Bradshaw, brother and sister, and a one-armed con man named Roosterfish. All, in one way or another, have their pasts and futures embroiled with D.L. Harkness, a predator in all the ways there are. Hounded at every turn by scams, vigilantes, grievous loss, and unspeakable violence, Edgewater navigates the long road home, searching for a place that may be nothing but memory.

©2018 William Gay (P)2018 Recorded Books Inc

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  • Erica R McKelvey
  • 04-03-21

Grab ya by the short hairs and shake you silly

I have to think on this one a minute or several in order to articulate my experience of this story, perhaps most especially the fore and after words which were fascinating and ponderable for days. Humans are just so peculiar and tragic.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Donald B. Eager
  • 06-09-21

One of the finest novels I have read!

McCormick, Faulkner, Burke, all writers who use language as as an art form of beauty, force, horror, pain, love, and insight into the human psyche. Now there is William Gay. A brilliant author who has been writing since his teens and had a love of words that made his writing reach deep into our souls. A wonder of a novel and so many levels. Southern gothic to its core with characters both mesmerizing and repulsive. Poverty as a country that can be visited at your own peril. You can not leave unscathed. T. Ryan Smith’s narration is superb, making the characters come alive as if they were speaking with their own embodiment. HIGHLY RECOMMEND!

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  • Novia Plummer
  • 04-06-21

Too Too Much!!

My goal this year was to expand my horizons by reading authors and genres I'd previously passed up or simply not known about. To get out of my comfort zone of "favorite authors/genres."

The reviews on Audible regarding this book were stellar and I thought, 'how can I go wrong with a book so highly rated?' EGADS! I went wrong, so much so that after fighting through 2 chapters, I gave up and returned it to Audible for a refund.

The best way to describe how Mr. Gay writes in this book is to tell you, think Steinbeck's East of Eden. I love Steinbeck as an author, heck, he wrote my favorite book of all time, Grapes of Wrath. But in East of Eden, he is incredibly flowery with his language. He describes everything down to the minuscule detail and in that attention to infinitesimal detail, the story (IMO) gets lost/bogged down in too much detail of the character's surroundings/feelings/thoughts. That's how Mr. Gay writes. An overuse of description does not put me in the character's shoes experiencing over described sunsets and scenery or emotions, but rather, causes me to forget what's happening with the character/story line and fumbling to remember the storyline once the effusive detailing has ended.

Granted, every book isn't for everyone, and some books require intellect and patience...but when I read, I do so to see the world through someone else's eyes, to be carried away in a craftily designed world, to imagine, to experience, to empathize, and yes, sometimes even to despise. I want to be moved to keep reading, to keep exploring. I did not find any of those emotions in this book, only a desperate need to put it down and move on to the next book/adventure.

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  • Kevin Sites
  • 28-03-22

The Stranger Meets Southern Gothic

Like Camus' Meursault in The Stranger, The Lost Country's Billy Edgewater is morally agnostic, drifting where the world takes him, meeting up with colorful characters like the one-armed Roosterfish and the ne'r do well Buddy Bradshaw. And while every sentence of The Lost Country is near poetry--prepare yourself for a long journey to nowhere. Please understand, that's not a complaint, the journey can indeed be the destination and in this, my first exposure to William Gay, ironically reading his last posthumously published work, first, I'm happy to go for a meandering ride. Gay's fearsome talents lie in his power of description and rich vocabulary, which can be described as Faulkneresque. And he brings both his characters and 1950s Tennessee into sharp relief. There's also a great forward and afterword, by Gay's friend J.M. White about piecing together the mystery of the lost manuscript.

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  • Barton
  • 05-12-21

Old Friend

This novel was like the unexpected return of an old friend believed gone for good.