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The story opens when Dallas Hardin ("Old Nick," according to one character--"or whatever he's goin' by now") comes to town and wrests away home, wife, and whiskey still from the seriously ill Thomas Hovington. Only in a Southern novel could such an event be preceded by the inexplicable opening of a brimstone-scented pit near the victim's house without the reader even blinking an eye. Enter young Nathan Winer, hired by Hardin to build a honky-tonk. Winer starts out thinking he can earn his wage while steering clear of his employer's evil ways, but it soon becomes apparent that he can't--especially after he falls in love with Tom Hovington's daughter, now Hardin's stepdaughter, Amber Rose. Having given his heart, Nathan has taken the first inexorable step towards a final, deadly confrontation with the devil.
If Gay's themes are big--nothing less than the battle between good and evil--and his metaphors drawn unabashedly from that old-time religion, his novel is nonetheless firmly grounded in the flesh-and-bone world--sometimes nightmarishly so. There is a lot of blood spilt over the course of this novel, in myriad ways and in graphic detail. Indeed, one quality that The Long Home shares with most of Cormac McCarthy's work is that it is definitely not for the faint-hearted. But Gay balances the horror with moments of true beauty, and his novel is undeniably compelling. Enjoy it for its many strengths and for its promise of a bright literary future --Sheila Bright
I had high hopes for this book. I kept reading and reading and reading, basking in the excellent imagery and characterizations and then, about half-way through the book, well,... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Yukio
I read this book because my son is working on a soundtrack for the movie. I got it in audio for my Kindle because of the wait for the book. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Janice M. Michaud
This is a good example of how Amazon's policy of letting us read samples before purchasing a book saves money. Read morePublished 5 months ago by snekline
Thoroughly enjoyed the book. The miserable Kindle edition made it difficult to follow at times -- missing punctuation (especially hyphens), misspellings from scanning, run-together... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Lifelong Sponge
Poetic and dense, with rich characters. But not as compelling as Provinces of Night.Published 13 months ago by Entsphinxed
Excellent novel - I read one of his short stories awhile back and I wanted to further explore his writing. This is "Southern Gothic" at it's best.Published 14 months ago by TopCat
I bought this book because James Franco tweeted it is his new favorite book. He obviously didn't get the Kindle version. Never have I read a book filled with so many errors. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Amazon Customer J.Wood