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Lost Nation

Lent, Jeffrey

ISBN 10: 0871138433 / ISBN 13: 9780871138439
Published by Grove Press, 2002
Used Condition: Fine Hardcover
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Signed 0871138433 Inscribed by Jeffrey Lent. Dj blurbs by Jim Harrison & Colum McCann. Bookseller Inventory # 012758

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Lost Nation

Publisher: Grove Press

Publication Date: 2002

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: First Edition.

About this title

Synopsis:

Jeffrey Lent's first novel, In the Fall, was a national best-seller and was celebrated as one of the best books of 2000. Hailed as "majestic ...epic ... vital" by The New York Times Book Review and compared to the works of William Faulkner and Cormac McCarthy by Newsweek, the debut landed its author squarely in the company of the best American novelists of the day. Lost Nation resoundingly confirms Jeffrey Lent's place in that pantheon. Set in the early nineteenth century, Lost Nation opens with a man known only as Blood guiding an oxcart of rum toward the wild country high in New Hampshire, an ungoverned territory called the Indian Stream -- a land where the luckless or outlawed have made a fresh start. Blood is a man of contradictions, of learning and wisdom, but also a man with a secret past that has scorched his soul. He sets forth to establish himself as a trader, hauling with him Sally, a sixteen-year-old girl won from the madam of a brothel over a game of cards. Their arrival in Indian Stream triggers an escalating series of clashes that serve to sever the master-servant bond between them and presents both a second chance at life. But as the conflicts within the community spill over and attract the attention of outside authorities, Blood becomes a target for those seeking easy blame for the troubles. As plots unravel and violence escalates, two young men of uncertain identity appear, and Blood is forced to confront dread apparitions of his past while Sally is offered a final escape. Lost Nation is a vivid tale of unexpected strengths, terrible and sad misconceptions, and the yearning toward civil society in a landscape raw and with little pity for human strivings. In prose both lucid and seductive, it carries us deeply into human and natural conditions of extreme desolation and harrowing hardship, but also gives us the relentless beat of hope and, finally, the redeeming capacity of love.

Review:

In his second novel, Lost Nation, Jeffrey Lent follows Blood, a mysterious rogue attempting to make a new life for himself in Indian Stream, an ungoverned territory in 19th-century northern New Hampshire. Intending to start a trading business, Blood brings with him rum, supplies, and Sally, a 16-year-old girl he won in a card game from the madam of a brothel. A rugged "man of contradictions," Blood is learned and occasionally kind, yet capable of considerable cruelty and violence. Rumors quickly circulate in Indian Stream regarding his troubled past, and Blood is made a scapegoat when conflicts escalate in the area following his arrival. As Blood's history is gradually revealed, it becomes clear that his only chance at redemption is through confrontation.

Demonstrating his gift for narration, Lent has created a rich and entertaining novel from this somewhat familiar outline, filled with well-developed characters and stark, evocative descriptions. In its epic, unflinching style and omniscient voice, Lent's prose is reminiscent of Cormac McCarthy and Faulkner, to whom he is often compared. Wolves, scoundrels, and barbaric natives abound, and Lent never shies away from the gritty, realistic detail appropriate for the novel's harsh setting. Though light on profundities, Lost Nation should offer readers many engaging reasons to return. --Ross Doll

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