Days Without End

Days Without End

eBook - 2017
Average Rating:
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Twice Booker-shortlisted author Sebastian Barry returns with a sensational new novel set in mid-19th Century America, an intensely poignant story of two men and the lives they are dealt. 'Time was not something then we thought of as an item that possessed an ending, but something that would go on for ever, all rested and stopped in that moment. Hard to say what I mean by that. You look back at all the endless years when you never had that thought. I am doing that now as I write these words in Tennessee. I am thinking of the days without end of my life. And it is not like that now...' Having signed up for the US army in the 1850s, aged barely seventeen, Thomas McNulty and his brother-in-arms, John Cole, go on to fight in the Indian wars and, ultimately, the Civil War. Orphans of terrible hardships themselves, they find these days to be vivid and alive, despite the horrors they both see and are complicit in. Moving from the plains of the West to Tennessee, Sebastian Barry's latest work is a masterpiece of atmosphere and language. Both an intensely poignant story of two men and the lives they are dealt, and a fresh look at some of the most fateful years in America's past, Days Without End is a novel never to be forgotten.
Publisher: [United States] : Penguin Publishing Group 2017
ISBN: 9780698168633
0698168631
Branch Call Number: PR6052.A729
Characteristics: 1 downloadable text file

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geordie18
Sep 14, 2017

Thomas McNulty , aged barely 17 , flees the Irish famine for the USA. In the 1850's, he joins the US Army , fighting in the Indian Wars- the Sioux and Yurok . With his brother in arms, John Cole, he goes on to join the Civil War. In between battles scenes is the touching story of two young men, and the makeshift family that they create with a young Sioux girl .

The battle scenes far outweighed the more interesting and touching story of Thomas, John and young Winona. The three led an unconventional life, which was by far the more interesting part of the book for me. I suppose I learned some details of the American Indian Wars as well as the Civil War, but overall, this was not the book for me.

n
njon38
Sep 03, 2017

long listed for the Mann Booker 2017 it is a spare story about Thomas McNulty an Irish emigrant from the great hunger making his way in the American frontier. Every sentence is astonishing, not a wasted word. In some ways its cometmplates the same theme as Pauline' Jilette's News of the World, i.e. what makes a family, how does one make a life after horrific experiences. Two men and an orphan Indian child travel through the American west and the American civil war.

EvaELPL Aug 29, 2017

Some of the most purposeful, breathtakingly beautiful writing I've read; the nuanced emotional and historical resonance that comes through in this spare but effective writing is truly artful. A favorite read of 2017 by a wide margin.

m
mikey1982
Aug 17, 2017

Brilliantly written love story - I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

4
411ninja
Jul 11, 2017

The writing was very disjointed and hard to get into.

d
DagmarStonehouse
Jun 04, 2017

I truly enjoyed reading this book, narrated in the voice of an uneducated but insightful and soulful soldier. So many contradictions .... a beautiful gentle love story between two men who have few choices in life and must kill hundreds of times........ the ruthless murder of indigenous tribes, yet the daring rescue of one adopted native daughter, a gay marriage against the backdrop of Civil War destruction, and mostly, deep reflections about life by a simple plain-speaking soldier ! A brutal detailed look at American history and yet a tender story ! Really quite a brilliant book !

u
uncommonreader
Mar 20, 2017

Costa Prize winner. The novel tells of the massacres of indigenous peoples and of a nation founded in violence and destruction. The book has been lauded for its lyrical prose, but it did not capture me.

g
GilbertMartin
Mar 03, 2017

Wonderfully unconventional historical novel and respectfully told love story. I couldn't put it down, while at the same time dreading it was going to end.

Nicr Jan 14, 2017

Vivid yet dream-like, epic but intimate, these are the adventures of Thomas McNulty and John Cole, from their early teen days as dress-wearing dancers for woman-starved miners through the Indian wars, the Civil War, Andersonville and beyond, recounted by Thomas, now 50, in a voice speaking fresh from history. Memorable. (The feat of narrative ventriloquism reminded me of Peter Carey's wonderful "True History of the Kelly Gang.")

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