Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Meadow, by James Galvin

In The Meadow James Galvin writes of the Western landscape and illuminates the character of the people, their inter-dependance and how the land that we call The West shaped them. This book reads like an accounting of life, not a novel, but fulfills the requirements of both. Here's a sample:

Almost everything Lyle did was hazardous. And after his brothers had gone he mostly worked alone: felling trees with chainsaws; balancing on the top log of a barn; hewing with an axe so sharp that a couple of fingers or toes wouldn't even slow it down; or just out fencing – old wire can snap under the stretcher and come at you like a snake...

Lyle learned to pay attention, to think things through and not get ahead of himself, not to lapse into inattention ever. After a while he couldn't not pay attention, shaking a stranger's hand, tasting Mrs. So and So's pickles, setting fenceposts. It endowed all his actions with precision. I gave him total recall. It obliterated time.

The Meadow by James Galvin,Henry Holt and Co., 1992

1 comment:

Andrew Campbell said...


Was just looking at my copy of this book on my shelf the other day -- and remembering how good it was. Now I guess I should actually read it all over again.