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Peter Matthiessen is one of the few American writers ever nominated for the National Book Award for both fiction and nonfiction. When his novel Killing Mister Watson was published in 1990, the reviews were extraordinary. It was heralded as "a marvel of invention . . . a virtuoso performance" (The New York Times Book Review) and a "novel [that] stands with the best that our nation has produced as literature" (Los Angeles Times Book Review). Now Peter Matthiessen brings us the second novel in his Watson trilogy, a project that has been nearly twenty years in the writing. A story of epic scope and ambition, Lost Mans River confronts the primal relationship between a dangerous father and his desperate sons and the ways in which his death has shaped their lives. Lucius Watson is obsessed with learning the truth about his father. Who was E. J. Watson? Was he a devoted family man, an inspired farmer, a man of progress and vision? Or was he a cold-blooded murderer and amoral opportunist? Were his neighbors driven to kill him out of fear? Or was it envy? And if Watson was a killer, should the neighbors fear the obsessed Lucius when he returns to live among them and ask questions? The characters in this tale are men and women molded by the harsh elements of the Florida Everglades--an isolated breed, descendants of renegades and pioneers, who have only their grit, instinct, and tradition to wield against the obliterating forces of twentieth-century progress: Speck Daniels, moonshiner and alligator poacher turned gunrunner; Sally Brown, who struggles to escape the racism and shame of her local family; R. B. Collins, known as Chicken, crippled by drink and rage, who is the custodian of Watson secrets; Watson Dyer, the unacknowledged namesake with designs on the remote Watson homestead hidden in the wild rivers; and Henry Short, a black man and unwilling member of the group of armed island men who awaited E. J. Watson in the silent twilight. Only a storyteller of Peter Matthiessen's dazzling artistry could capture the beauty and strangeness of life on this lawless frontier while probing deeply into its underlying tragedy: the brutal destruction of the land in the name of progress, and the racism that infects the heart of New World history.
"A large, vivid, ambitious novel..., offering a powerful portrait of life among the hunters, renegades, and wanderers infesting the Florida Everglades in the century's early decades....Matthiessen has produced one of the best novels of recent years."
"There is, as always with Matthiessen, some terrific writing, and the evocation of the tangle of Florida history and myth and swampland can be potent, but there is only one section of the book--a letter to Lucius from his brother Rob--where event and style and theme come together in a powerful and seamless bit of narrative. This letter shows what the novel might have been had it been conceived not as an intricate, mosaic meditation on the meaning of legend and history, but, in keeping with the title, as a strong, irresistible river of story."
Rachel Pastan, Salon, 11/11/1997
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Book Description: Random House Inc, Westminster, Maryland, U.S.A., 1997. Hard Cover Half-Cloth. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New [Mylar protected]. First Edition [Stated]. 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. [539 pp] . FIRST EDITION HARDCOVER - NEW in NEW Mylar-protected DJ. Second book of historical fiction trilogy about the Florida's Lower Gulf Coast. Highly acclaimed fiction by winner of the National Book Award for nonfiction, "Snow Leopard." Laid-in Atlanta Journal-Constitution book review dated 12/28/97. Flawless copy. GIFT QUALITY COLLECTIBLE. 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 05401
Quantity Available: 1
Book Description: Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. Random House (New York), 1997. First edition, first printing. Hardbound. One of an unspecified number of copies SIGNED BY THE AUHTOR on a special tipped in page. New in dust jacket. A perfect unread copy. In 2008. the author won the National Book Award for fiction for SHADOW COUNTRY, the revised version of the Watson trilogy, of which LOST MAN'S RIVER was part two. The author was extremely unhappy with part two and revised the trilogy to omit large parts of this book. Signed by Author(s). Bookseller Inventory # 8315
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