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Beyond the Horizon

3.39  ·  Rating details ·  72 ratings  ·  21 reviews
In frontier America, a man lives with a pregnant woman who is not his wife. One day a stranger appears and advises the man to formally register the baby as his own at Fort James, a fabled military outpost. Setting out on a lonely journey across an arid and hostile terrain, the man leaves the woman in the care of the stranger. Soon after he departs, the stranger kills the w ...more
Paperback, 279 pages
Published April 14th 2015 by Oneworld Publications (first published March 10th 2015)
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3.39  · 
Rating details
 ·  72 ratings  ·  21 reviews

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May 14, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: supernatural
Three characters meet in this book, the man, the stranger and the Indian. The man character is fleshed out with constant flashbacks into his younger life. The stranger and the Indian have stories that float between the time of the story and the past and future. Other than that I will not say more of the story for fear of dropping a spoiler. For this reader this was just some kind of weird twisted convolution of a book that just seemed to be a bunch of bizarre crack addled dreams consisting of th ...more
I tried to get into this book. I started it and restarted it a few different times in the span of two years, but...I just can't do it. It's a bummer, because the book sounded really interesting.

Part of my problem is that I can't keep the characters straight in my head. None of them are named; they are just "the man" or "the boy" or "the stranger." So when "he" is doing something, it's hard to figure out, at times, who "he" is.

Female characters are few and far between, and their only purposes i
Sep 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Disclaimer: I work with Ryan and was able to read an advance copy of this book.

Goodreads does a nice job of summarizing the book without giving away spoilers, so I will not attempt to summarize here. If you like to read books that make you think about life and humanity, alternate histories, stories about the American West, if you’re intrigued by the macabre, then I highly recommend this book. It is a haunting tale that will keep you thinking long after you have finished reading it.

The world Ryan
Michael Zimmerman
I just reviewed this on Amazon, and I'm going to copy that review here:

Beyond the Horizon is a fantastic debut novel, a great read for any fans of Cormac McCarthy. The concise prose and cryptic dialogue are right up your alley, if you're a fan of McCarthy. There's also a strong likeness to Patrick DeWitt in the writing.

It's hard to pinpoint just what's great about the book. Like anything, there's an x-factor in it that keeps you reading. Or kept me reading, at least. If I was forced to put into
great effort and promising debut novel of myth of 'old west' and western genre and stories americans tell themselves about pioneers, 49ers, cowpokes, indians, etc...
because this twisted, twisty story of evil incarnate casually doing his/her work across the plains and mountains of north america circa 1880's can be looked at as brutal, true, nonsensical, funny, wretched, and a fast read ;)

anti-westerns in the tradition of wurlitzer The Drop Edge of Yonder and tom franklin Smonk

among others.
Feb 02, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
What a load of balls.
Leanne Leveaux
Nov 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In frontier America, a man lives with a pregnant woman who is not his wife. One day a stranger appears and advises the man to formally register the baby as his own at Fort James, a fabled military outpost. Setting out on a lonely journey across an arid and hostile terrain, the man leaves the woman in the care of the stranger. Soon after he departs, the stranger kills the woman and her unborn child and then sets off in pursuit of the man.

I was sent this book by the wonderful Oneworld Publications
Sep 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book is a provocative page-turner! I read it over a few days, unable to put it down for long!

I am a Reader by nature, and I usually only bother with award-winning books. "Beyond The Horizon" captures my love of the natural, untouched Western U.S. It's strong in the same way as "The Road". It's visceral and bold. The form is more of a parable with nameless main characters: "The Man", "The Stranger", "The Woman". It might be thought of as Magic Realism as it blends time travel with a realisti
May 13, 2015 rated it liked it
There's some things to like here, but it just didn't quite come off for me. Read about half, skimmed the rest. There's a good boldness, a refusal to look away from some horrors, but the touches start to add up to less than more after a while, and we're probably still in a moment where you're better off, as a writer, not wandering anywhere too close to Cormac McCarthy's territory. He's managed to dance along the line between dark sublimity and ridiculousness, against all odds, but that doesn't me ...more
Cesar Camba
Aug 23, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction, gave-up-on
I haven't got much to add to the reviewer below who said it's a load of balls, other than, I'm a native Spanish speaker and my annoyance at the book was only increased by the direness of the 'GoogleTranslate' type Spanish.
Feb 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Ireland is definitely a writer to watch. Not my usual genre (apocalyptic Western), but I appreciated the intricate plot and beautiful prose.
Carole B
Sep 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Ireland innovates in this book. His use of common nouns instead of proper names works well with the winding plot he uses, as does the gradual way he introduces his characters' capacity for regeneration. Reducing them to "man," "boy," etc. in a manner almost reminiscent of allegory allows him to give his characters a more flexible identity, a better ability to represent human desires and impulses, and an ability to fit into the Western setting he creates, where named characters would bring in tro ...more
Kevin Varney
This is not what I was expecting. I was thinking westerns are an unfashionable genre these days. I noticed this book while I was signing up for a Lee Child book signing in a branch of Waterstones. The only other westerns in there were The Lonesome Dove series (excellent), True Grit (also excellent) and Blood Meridian. I was not sure I felt up to Cormac McCarthy, so I got this. It's not really a western; it's either western/sci-fi or western/horror. It's very, very, very violent. Westerns general ...more
Tara Harrold
Mar 02, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Halfway through this book I nearly stopped reading it. I thought it might at least make sense if I finished it. I should have stopped. This book seems pointless to me. The writing style feels forced. The characters initially feel mysterious but eventually feel shallow. I really didn’t like it.
Mrs. Watermelon
Nov 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Well, that was...strange. It's very well-written but towards the end the plot starts to become hard to follow. It's a Western combined with elements of magical realism (?) and horror. A very visceral book indeed, it's quite disturbing at times.
Anne Goodwin
Dec 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
After a boyhood at sea amongst drunks and cannibals, the man sets off across the empty plains of North America, navigating by the stars. When his wagon bursts its axle, he decides the place he’s got to is as good as anywhere to settle and, when a passing band of Mexicans sell him a pregnant woman in exchange for coffee, his simple life seems complete. But then the stranger arrives out of nowhere and, despite warnings from the woman in a language the man can’t understand, sends him on a fool’s er ...more
Oct 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: survival, owned-books
Amazing. Tragic. Mysterious. Frustrating. I felt so many emotions when I read this book. This Gothic Western follows the lives of three people; the Indian, the Stranger, and the Man. By the end of the book, you'll be left thinking (at least I was). I felt like I was on that journey with all of the characters. I guarantee that you'll want to read this book again the moment after you've finished it. I didn't want to put this book down when I started reading it (although I had to. Thanks a lot, sch ...more
James Sorauf
Apr 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I picked up this book and didn't set it down until it was done. It was a great read with a unique twist on the gritty world of the West. His writing is dark, twisted and kept me glued to the page with characters that make you sit in anticipation of what they will do next. I recommend this book to any western and thriller fan. I can't wait to read his next book.
Apr 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Interesting combination of Western tropes with some po-mo reflexivity and depth psychology to boot. Or should I say "cowboy boot"? More later.
Jul 15, 2015 added it
Shelves: western-modern
Magical realism meets the western. I'm not sure what I think of this book yet, I may need to come back and rate it when I've digested it for a while.
Shall I Download A Black Hole And Offer It To You
astounding... not like anything i have read in quite a while... bits of Cormac McCarthy, Jim Crace, Clive Barker, Beowulf, myth, fact, folklore, truth... weird and wondrous and worth every page...
Unsung Stories
rated it it was amazing
Apr 25, 2016
Ryan Fletcher
rated it really liked it
Jan 06, 2016
rated it really liked it
Apr 25, 2016
Hugh Boyle
rated it really liked it
Dec 03, 2016
Tim Lambert
rated it it was ok
Nov 25, 2016
rated it liked it
Apr 07, 2017
Ryan Ireland
Sep 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Juancho Vizcaino
rated it liked it
Mar 19, 2017
Daniel Carpenter
rated it really liked it
Jan 24, 2015
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