Faith's Reviews > The Ploughmen

The Ploughmen by Kim Zupan
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it was amazing
bookshelves: reading-room, reviewed

In Montana, John Gload is a 77 year old career thief and killer with a devoted wife. Young deputy sheriff Val Millimaki is a compassionate man with a difficult past and a dissatisfied wife. Part of Val's duties includes the often distressing job of searching for missing persons. Also, as the junior deputy, Val is given the night shift guarding Gload and the other prisoners. The insomniac Gload spends his nights forming an unusual relationship with Val.

For a book with a fair amount of death in it, every person in it felt very alive and real. A story that could have been just ugly, violent and mean in other hands had a peaceful, lyrical quality here. The writing was graceful and polished. Two brief quotes as an example: "The swaying lamplights made a strange parade of jittering light pools..." and
"...the distance from reason to rage is short, a frontier as thin as parchment and as frail, restraining the monster."

The author's treatment of the present day West reminded me of Cormac McCarthy. There are incredibly vivid descriptions of people and places and decisive dissections of situations, like an upper-crust cocktail party at a local mansion. The author also has a much better vocabulary than I do, and I kept a dictionary handy, but in spite of those minor disruptions to look up words, the language flowed beautifully.

I loved this book, the author's first, and I hope he writes more like this.

I received a free advance reader's edition of this book from the publisher.
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Reading Progress

September 12, 2014 – Shelved
September 22, 2014 – Started Reading
October 1, 2014 – Finished Reading

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