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Lost Nation

3.95  ·  Rating Details ·  778 Ratings  ·  95 Reviews
Lost Nation delves beneath the bright, promising veneer of early-nineteenth-century New England to unveil a startling parable of individualism and nationhood. The novel opens with a man known as Blood, guiding an oxcart of rum toward the wild country of New Hampshire, an ungoverned territory called the Indian Stream -- a land where the luckless or outlawed have made a fres ...more
ebook, 384 pages
Published December 1st 2007 by Grove Press (first published January 1st 2002)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Ron Charles
Nov 12, 2013 Ron Charles rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jeffrey Lent's first novel, In the Fall, earned him comparisons to Cormac McCarthy and William Faulkner. With Lost Nation, we'll have to go back a little further, say, to Euripides. This remarkable tragedy sets the bar pretentiously high, but then somehow surpasses it.

The story is loosely based on a rebellious moment of American history, the short-lived efforts of a group in upstate New Hampshire to secede from the Union two decades before the Southern Confederacy made the same disastrous effort
...more
Noel
Aug 07, 2010 Noel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one was quite a surprise - and proof that sometimes the right book comes along at the wrong time. I had tried to read it once, and actually marked it as "not gonna happen." I picked it up again and absolutely loved it!

The book is surprising - the two main characters, Blood- a 40+ year old man, running from his past, gritty, raw and flawed has purchased Sally, a 16 year old prostitute who actually is able to give him a run for his money. They settle in the wild west of the East - in a disput
...more
Marvin
Aug 04, 2009 Marvin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Set in 1838-39 on the frontier between New England & Canada, this novel's two main characters--a man in his late 40s (I think) who's running from his past, & the 15-year-old girl he purchases from a bordello--are immensely interesting. Both have to learn to trust, & both are amazingly perceptive in their relations with others (a source of their lack of trust). It's a real page-turner, a sometimes violent "Western" (though set on the Eastern frontier), at the same time as it's an insi ...more
Rebecca
Mar 23, 2013 Rebecca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
May 6th - I'm 1/3rd through chapter two. I just picked the book up again last night because I didn't want to get out of bed to get the book I was reading (Anil's Ghost, which I had put down to finish Pride and Prejudice). I had read through chapter one - trudged through it, more like it - and started chapter two several weeks ago. It felt too heavy to read at the time and I knew, because of the descriptive nature of the first 60 or so pages, I would not have trouble remembering characters and th ...more
Suzanne
A few years ago, I read Jeffrey Lent's In the Fall, and I was mesmerized with the author's talent for prose paired with a gripping historical narrative. I knew I would have to read another by this gifted writer. Lost Nation did not disappoint.

The novel takes place in Vermont, before statehood. Men ventured out into the wilderness of this New England area for solitude, and to establish communities as they would have them - far from the seats of competing nations that would control them. Those nat
...more
Susie Bell
May 14, 2012 Susie Bell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lent's writing draws me in like a master storyteller. He reveals each characters insights layer by layer as they become aware of themselves and the world around them. The dark side of life is palpable and disconcerting.
Ian Mapp
Feb 26, 2009 Ian Mapp rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kate
Jan 23, 2012 Kate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lost Nation is a richly textured landscape of the early 19th Century life. Lent's precise sensory details bring to life characters and their struggles with authority in a wild place between boundary lines. It raises great questions about sense of place, community involvement and explores how our current geography was carved up- through logic or coercion or luck. The book has a gripping plot that moves quickly along a natural arch slowly revealing very layered and realistic characters . No one is ...more
Allyson
Feb 22, 2010 Allyson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I find this author's writing so beautiful. He is able to create a scene, a world described so fluidly I am unaware of reading but feel as if I am seeing the action, the story, everything as if it is right in front of me.
I have read two previous novels although not yet In The Fall which may be his best known work. I feel prudish saying I dislike all the sexual content although it fits well in his stories, just feels a little too gratuitous for my taste. Maybe the only reason I do not rate him mo
...more
Linda
Sep 12, 2014 Linda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Best book I've read all year. At times both brutal and tender, this gritty drama set in the wilds of Northeast America in the early 1800's will not be for everyone, but some of the writing was so beautiful that I had to catch my breath, stop and reread certain passages several times, just to savor them. Although the setting is in the East, some have called this a Western, and I would agree, to the extent that it follows people on the edge of wilderness, trying to learn to be civilized. Besides t ...more
William Clemens
Mar 07, 2011 William Clemens rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I first started the book I was not prepared for what I got. The grizzled hard hearted mountain man with a dark secret and his young, naive, but tough as nails whore headed off into the wilderness to make their way in the world. I worried, but Lent's writing made these characters very real, and his descriptions of the country were amazing and drew me in. I was utterly unprepared for the twists in the end, and the way the story wrapped up was horrible and touching at the same time. There is a ...more
~mad
Jan 31, 2012 ~mad rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to ~mad by: Used fr 2nd & Charles
Shelves: booksiveread
2.4.12 - 8:26 pm - I've read other of this author's books. Let's see how this one measures up!

This book was extraordinary but not a story for just everyone to read - it is tough, violent, disturbing and while probably the situations are real - they are uncomfortable. BUT Mr Lent's writing is such that I could not put this one down tho I had to to take a rest from the harshness of some of the situations in the book.

Give it a try, if you will - I will read other of this author's books, in fact, I
...more
Linde
Jan 07, 2009 Linde rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book really surprised me. It took a bit of patience to get into it, but then I had a hard time putting it down. I was truly sad to see the end of it, which I always think shows a truly good book, when you don't want it to end.
Definitely a tragedy and a very sad story that takes place back in the old settlement period. There's some strong scenes in here that would keep me from recommending to my grandmother, but I would recommend it to friends.
J.R.
Jan 05, 2008 J.R. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
A man called Blood--on the run from a secret past--wins a teenaged prostitute in a card game and takes her with him to a wilderness area claimed by both New Hampshire and Canada. Here among a motley crew of outcasts, renegades and struggling farmers he sets up a trader/taverner.
As might be expected, the past catches up with him and collides with an increasing violent present.
Annette
Jun 10, 2010 Annette rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent historical fiction. Jeffrey is a great writer and this book was rich all the way to the final page.
Kirsten McKeown
Jul 24, 2011 Kirsten McKeown rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Quite possibly the best book I've ever read. (And yes--that's a big statement, isn't it? I stand by it.)
Jim Esten
Feb 20, 2017 Jim Esten rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Roxy Rowe
Nov 17, 2016 Roxy Rowe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After I enjoyed Lent's A Slant of Life for book club, I was eager to read another of his. This was as least as good as that. The characters are complex and true to the time and place, the rough landscape is beautifully rendered, and the sometimes violent action kept me turning the pages until my eyes burned.
Kay
Dec 11, 2016 Kay rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
While I enjoy this writer, this story was not my favorite. The end did not fit in my mind and took away from the rest of the intense drama. Not sure I really liked any of the main characters - but then maybe you weren't supposed to.
Janell
Jan 27, 2017 Janell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the third book I've read by Lent, and I am smitten. This book is so beautifully written I had to stop and read some passages aloud to myself and again to a friend.
Flewts
Jan 03, 2017 Flewts rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It took me a long time to get into this. It's a dark book, one of the main characters is a girl born in a whorehouse... not a good life. She ends up belonging to a man who ties her to his wagon and heads off into the wilderness. They work out their relationship, such as it is... I did end up getting hooked by the characters and story, but this is not light cheerful reading, fair warning.
Noel
Feb 22, 2010 Noel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one was quite a surprise - and proof that sometimes the right book comes along at the wrong time. I had tried to read it once, and actually marked it as "not gonna happen." I picked it up again and absolutely loved it!

The book is surprising - the two main characters, Blood- a 40+ year old man, running from his past, gritty, raw and flawed has purchased Sally, a 16 year old prostitute who actually is able to give him a run for his money. They settle in the wild west ...more This one was quit
...more
Elizabeth Moeller
Nov 01, 2012 Elizabeth Moeller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book seemed to mutate as I read. At first, it was about a man, Blood, going into the wilderness with only his dog and a prostitute, Sally, that he won in a poker game. Then it's a story about the same man trying to make a life for himself as a tavern owner in the late 1800s in a territory sandwiched between New Hampshire and Canada and belonging to neither. Then it becomes about this same man running away from a horrible thing he has done in his life. Then, finally, it is about how the man ...more
Lisa/Bluestem Cafeohlai
"Lost Nation" on the top of every Contemporary American Literature reading list. Jeffrey Lent's story as words on pages comes at the reader as sensory experience, sopped with the sweaty, bloody thoughts of the main character as he runs from the emotional pains of his past. In a land and time of loneliness and ambiguities, "Blood" forges a physical and mental life beyond mere existence and survival.

In his attempts to be left alone, he is compelled to imbue those around him with understanding of
...more
Lynne
Jul 04, 2013 Lynne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lent is at his best writing historical fiction. This one is set in 1838 in a remote settlement somewhere in the borderless area between Canada and the US. People have to figure out how to survive...and that seems to mean conflict and violence. The writing is beautiful graphic disturbing. Lent's main character here (and in his other novel, In the Fall) is a strong woman who uses her wits to negotiate violence and complex relationships. Nothing is easy. The Postlude, set in 1896, seems like anothe ...more
Andrea
Jan 14, 2014 Andrea rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this story well enough--the cover and summary really had me thinking that it would be a good one. An exciting winner, you know?

Overall, it's a pretty anti climatic book and I found the ending very disappointing and bland. I bet it would benefit from a second read, but I don't think I'll even go that far. I struggled getting through this mostly due to the annoying writing. I had to constantly reread sentences so that they made sense and it seemed that crucial words were frequently left ou
...more
Kellie
Mar 13, 2010 Kellie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was one of those books you don't want to put down because you want to know what happens to the characters (even while feeling disturbed at the happenings in the book--ready to put it down). You are rooting for them to overcome their hardships and move past the things holding them captive. Because one of the main characters is a prostitute, there are many passages that are quite descriptive about the encounters of her profession. I would have given this book four stars if the author hadn't s ...more
Val Wilkerson
Jul 24, 2015 Val Wilkerson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-books-read
Such beautiful writing. Takes place early 19th Century in what would now be Vermont...Main character called only "Blood" , a man haunted by his past, probably in his mid 40's. He wins a 16 year old girl, who had been living in a whore house, in a card game and sets off with her
headed north. They set up a small tavern and the detail the author gives to the living conditions in that time period are extraordinary.
Sort of gives you the feeling of "what it really was like" when here and there small
...more
Ted Dunkelberger
I love early American history based fiction and books with a emphasis on the outdoors and struggles of pre-technology life. Also love any books set in Maine, New Hampshire etc. This met all those requirements with an added value of depth of characters emotional intrigue and beautifully unique language. Hard to follow the details at times due to Jeffrey Lent style of writing but it all comes together wonderfully in a complex tale based on a very simple plot. The Lost Nation does not follow a typi ...more
Meghan
Apr 19, 2010 Meghan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book jacket suggested this book was a New England western - and as improbable as that seems, it was. Blood and his servant/lover, Sally, head out to make a home on the New Hampshire frontier. They encounter a place, and a people, trying to create a home. The ways in which they try to do the same - and connect this new home to their past and future - is compelling. None of the characters are particularly likable, but you end up finding their humanity and rooting for their success. Lent's writ ...more
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“He doubted the hand of God but did not discount it - discarding only the God of the pulpit and the pious.” 6 likes
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