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Shadow country : a new rendering of the…
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Shadow country : a new rendering of the Watson legend (original 2008; edição 2008)

por Peter Matthiessen

Séries: Watson Trilogy (4)

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
1,0893713,718 (3.97)125
Inspired by a near-mythic event of the wild Florida frontier at the turn of the twentieth century, Shadow Country reimagines the legend of the inspired Everglades sugar planter and notorious outlaw E. J. Watson, who drives himself relentlessly toward his own violent end at the hands of neighbors who mostly admired him, in a killing that obsessed his favorite son.--From publisher description.… (mais)
Membro:Mark-Bailey
Título:Shadow country : a new rendering of the Watson legend
Autores:Peter Matthiessen
Informação:New York : Modern Library, 2008.
Colecções:Lista de desejos
Avaliação:
Etiquetas:Nenhum(a)

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Shadow Country por Peter Matthiessen (2008)

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Mostrando 1-5 de 37 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
A long novel. Same story told three times from three different perspectives. Main character, E. J. Watson, is a really bad guy that you really want (almost) to like. This is a third iteration of this story. The first try was a single novel of over 1,500 pages that didn’t get published. Next try: published as three separate novels. Third try: recomposed as a single novel, whittled down to approximately 900 pages, and wins the Pulitzer Prize. I liked reading about E.J. Watson. I have always enjoyed reading about those I don’t admire and don’t feel I agree with morally almost as much as the opposite. The magic of E.J. Watson is that he is never one thing or another. After 900 pages you still don’t have a firm handle on who he is.

The three different perspectives were well done. They overlapped but there was enough different each time that you didn’t feel you were reading the same story. You learned different pieces of the story in each retelling. In fact, the biggest challenge of the novel was reconciling the three different perspectives given they were separated by so many pages. I also enjoyed reading about the Wild, Wild West era of Florida; the description of Florida reminded me of The Yearling. Ultimately, what detracted from the story was its length. It could have been and needed to be tighter and more concisely delivered. ( )
  afkendrick | Oct 24, 2020 |
This gripping, violent tale explores the death of E J Watson in 1910. Based on true events, the imagining of a life and the aftermath of a death is a must read for history buffs and those who enjoy a deeply felt exploration into the social issues prevalent in the South after the Civil War. ( )
  Chrissylou62 | Aug 1, 2020 |
I'm calling this read but I had to put it down about halfway through. Having read the first three iterations I not only found the protagonist's fixation on Mr. Watson depressing and unexplainable. It doesn't surprise me his next book was set in the holocaust and then he died.
I don't know who writes these unattributed introductory blurbs but the one for this book I'm pretty sure is factually incorrect. The origin plan was to write one book, not three. And this book is not a synopsis or condensation of the previous three as anyone who has read the four will know.
The NYT Sunday magazine had a story about Matthiessen years ago. Matthiessen was driving the journal through the Everglades to meet some of Watson's descendants in the Thousand Islands and he points out a tree and says that species was not here in Watson's time. The journalist also noted that Watson's descendants didn't seem to be nearly as interested in Watson as Matthiessen was.
Admittedly I didn't finish the book but it seems most of the reviews here are failing to mention the narrator's voice in this book. It starts more or less in the present, Ted Bundy, referred to only in passing as Bed Tundy, has just been executed and then the narrator, now an old man, reminisces about his research of Watson in the 1920s.
I found the first book the best and with each subsequent book, the novelty wore off more and more. I would recommend starting with the first book but would be interested to know how it was if a different sequence was followed. ( )
  JoeHamilton | Jul 21, 2020 |
I wasn't sure if I was going to like this book when I started it. This epic novel is separated into three books. The first book is slow and is written in the first person. It is detailed reading, and lays the base for the remainder of the book. I'm not sure if the book would be good, if you skimmed this part. The second book is narrated by Mr. Watson's son. The third book is told by Mr. Watson, and we learn about his life a young man. This part brings the entire novel together, and is very good. I think this is the best part, I want to continue reading to find out how it all ends. Definitely a book I will remember, and one I may reread. ( )
  KarlaC | Feb 21, 2020 |
not enough. ( )
  Adammmmm | Sep 10, 2019 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 37 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
To sum it up in a few words is impossible since its interest lies in the ambition of storytelling and inevitability of story.
 
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Look at a stone cutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times without so much a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundre-and-first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not the last blow that did it, but all that had gone before. -- Jacob Riis
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With love to my brother Carey and my ever dear Maria
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Sea birds are aloft again, a tattered few.
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Plume hunters shoot early in the breeding season when egret plumes are coming out real good. When them nestlings get pinfeathered, and squawking loud cause they are always hungry, them parent birds lose the little sense God give 'em. They are going to come in to tend their young no matter what, and a man using one of them Flobert rifles that don't snap no louder than a twig can stand there under the trees in a big rookery and pick them birds off as fast as he can reload. . . . A broke-up rookery, that ain't a picture you want to think about too much. The pile of carcasses left behind when you strip the plumes and move on to the next place is just pitiful, and it's a piss-poor way to harvest, cause there ain't no adults left to feed them young and protect 'em from the sun and rain. let alone the crows and buzzards that come sailing and flopping in, tear 'em to pieces. A real big rookery like that one the Frenchman worked up on Tampa Bay had four-five hundred acres of black mangrove, maybe ten nests to a tree. Might take you three-four years to clean it out but after that them birds are gone for good. . . . It's the dead silence after all the shooting that comes back today, though I never stuck around to hear it; I kind of remember it when I am dreaming. Them ghostly trees on dead white guano ground, the sun and silence and dry stink, the squawking and flopping of their wings, and varmints hurrying in without no sound, coons, rats, and possums, biting and biting, and the ants flowing up all them white trees in their dark ribbonds to eat at the scrawny things that's backed up to the edge of the nest, gullets pushing and mouths open wide for the food and water that ain't never going to come. Luckiest ones will perish before something finds 'em, cause they's so many young that the carrion birds just can't keep up. Damn vultures set hunched up on them dead limbs so stuffed and stupid they can't hardly fly.

truth don’t count for much after all these years cause folks hangs on to what it suits ’em to believe and won’t let go of it.
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Inspired by a near-mythic event of the wild Florida frontier at the turn of the twentieth century, Shadow Country reimagines the legend of the inspired Everglades sugar planter and notorious outlaw E. J. Watson, who drives himself relentlessly toward his own violent end at the hands of neighbors who mostly admired him, in a killing that obsessed his favorite son.--From publisher description.

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