just finished

This is the most beautifully written violent book I've ever read. It is unflinching and harrowing describing the inhumane brutality of war. Yet is tender when exploring loving relationships. The writing is poetic. Even as I was shocked by the suffering, I had to know what happened next. Beautiful but not for the faint of heart.

From the publisher:
Thomas McNulty, aged barely seventeen and having fled the Great Famine in Ireland, signs up for the U.S. Army in the 1850s. With his brother in arms, John Cole, Thomas goes on to fight in the Indian Wars—against the Sioux and the Yurok—and, ultimately, the Civil War. Orphans of terrible hardships themselves, the men find these days to be vivid and alive, despite the horrors they see and are complicit in.

Their lives are further enriched and imperiled when a young Indian girl crosses their path, and the possibility of lasting happiness emerges, if only they can survive.

Moving from the plains of the West to Tennessee, Sebastian Barry's latest work is a masterpiece of atmosphere and language. Both an intensely poignant story of two men and the lives they are dealt, and a fresh look at some of the most fateful years in America's past, Days Without End is a novel never to be forgotten.

A few quotes that particularly stuck with me:
“A man’s memory might have only a hundred clear days in it and he has lived thousands. Can’t do much about that. We have our store of days and we spend them like forgetful drunkards.”

“I guess love laughs at history a little.”

“Then rain began to fall in an extravagant tantrum. High up in mountain country though we were, every little river became a huge muscled snake, and the water wanted to find out everything,”

“We're holding hands then like lovers who have just met or how we imagine lovers might be in the unknown realm where lovers act as lovers without concealment.”

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1 comment:

Stacy said...

I don't really care for violence, but I'm intrigued.