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The World Beneath: A Novel
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The World Beneath: A Novel

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  28 ratings  ·  9 reviews
One cold November morning in Perser, Oklahoma, Sheriff Jerry Martin receives a disturbing call: a local fifteen-year-old has disappeared. The boy, J.T., who is half Mexican, half Chickasaw and has been raised by his grandmother, is known for starting trouble. Sheriff Martin sets out on a fevered search, determined to find J.T., even as the hunt reopens wounds from a trauma ...more
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published April 13th 2009 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published March 7th 2009)
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Larry Hoffer
Wow. This book affected me more than I thought it would. On the surface, it definitely seemed like a fairly basic book. A teenage boy goes missing in a rural Oklahoma town, and the local sheriff tries to find him. It becomes a bit of an obsession for him because of an incident in his past. And at the same time, a Gulf War veteran in the same town finds a hole in his backyard. A very deep hole. Which for some reason totally unsettles him.

Although my description doesn't do this book justice, the s
I think I was only disappointed in this novel because Gwyn's short story collection was so extraordinary. I'm not sure what I was expecting as a follow up, and it's not fair to compare, really, which is why I gave this novel 4 stars, which is what it deserves as a stand alone piece.

I rarely say this, but I wanted more from this book. It could have been longer, the main characters developed further. It's a quick read, Gwyn's style is so fluid, so another 50 pages wouldn't have bogged it down at
Jul 27, 2010 deLille rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to deLille by: My mother
Part Edgar Alan Poe, part Twilight Zone... a short but very creative and quirky book that explores people's psyches, prejudices, guilt – as well as fear of local city government -- in a way that is humorous, suspenseful and horrifying. I think this is a delightful sorbet to cleanse the palate between rambling 800-page epic novels. It would make a great art-house flick.
Christopher Fisher
I'd rate this one at 4.5 stars if I could, and that low only because of my opinion that Gwyn's short story collection, Dog on the Cross (a definite 5 stars), is somewhat better than the novel. Still, a great read, and very well written. Highly recommended!
Gwyn's writing is crisp and his characters are carefully limned. This was a page turner for me to see how this mystery would be resolved and to see how each of the characters and their actions fit into the plot. This was a quick and powerful read.
Interesting book--about a 15 yr old boy struggling to live while feeling he fits in nowhere, and a man who also feels the same due to PTSD.
Nov 30, 2008 Anne added it
Review to come upon publication (April 2009) at
Review forthcoming on
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Aaron Gwyn was raised on a cattle ranch in rural Oklahoma. He is the author of a story collection, Dog on the Cross (finalist for the New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award), and two novels, The World Beneath (W.W. Norton), and Wynne’s War (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). His short stories and creative nonfiction have appeared in Esquire, McSweeney’s, Glimmer Train, The Missouri Review, Get ...more
More about Aaron Gwyn...
Wynne's War Dog on the Cross: Stories You and Me and the Devil Makes Three You and Me and the Devil Makes Three (Esquire's Fiction for Men, #1) Torpedo Volume 2

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