Shadow Country

Shadow Country NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNERPeter Matthiessen s great American epic Killing Mister Watson Lost Man s River and Bone by Bone was conceived as one vast mysterious novel but because of its length i
  • Title: Shadow Country
  • Author: Peter Matthiessen
  • ISBN: 9780679640196
  • Page: 223
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Shadow Country
    2008 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNERPeter Matthiessen s great American epic Killing Mister Watson, Lost Man s River, and Bone by Bone was conceived as one vast mysterious novel, but because of its length it was originally broken up into three books In this bold new rendering, Matthiessen has cut nearly a third of the overall text and collapsed the time frame while deepening th2008 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNERPeter Matthiessen s great American epic Killing Mister Watson, Lost Man s River, and Bone by Bone was conceived as one vast mysterious novel, but because of its length it was originally broken up into three books In this bold new rendering, Matthiessen has cut nearly a third of the overall text and collapsed the time frame while deepening the insights and motivations of his characters with brilliant rewriting throughout In Shadow Country, he has marvelously distilled a monumental work, realizing his original vision 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.Shadow Country traverses strange landscapes and frontier hinterlands inhabited by Americans of every provenance and color, including the black and Indian inheritors of the archaic racism that, as Watson s wife observed, still casts its shadow over the nation.
    Shadow Country By Peter Matthiessen,
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    About " Peter Matthiessen "

  • Peter Matthiessen

    Peter Matthiessen is the author of than thirty books and the only writer to win the National Book Award for both non fiction The Snow Leopard, in two categories, in 1979 and 1980 and fiction Shadow Country, in 2008 A co founder of The Paris Review and a world renowned naturalist, explorer and activist, he died in April 2014.

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  • Shadow Country Peter Matthiessen s New Rendering of the Watson LegendEdgar Artemas Watson 1855 1910 For seventeen days I was held enthralled by Shadow Country Once I began it, I was unable to stop Nothing could have pulled me away from it A New Rendering of the Watson Legend happens to be the subtitle of Peter Matthiessen s 2008 National Book Award winning novel The operative word in that subtitle is Legend.A legend is a story founded in truth, indigenous to the people residing in the region whe [...]


  • In the early 1990s, Peter Matthiessen wrote his Watson trilogy, a 1400 page work that his publishers, to his discomfort, insisted on publishing in three volumes Never satisfied with the work, feeling that it was disjointed and insufficiently integrated, Matthiessen began a number of years ago revising and extensively reworking the story, modifying it apparently significantly, and he published the new work last year as Shadow Country I never read the trilogy indeed, the only Matthiessen work I d [...]


  • Here lies Edgar Artemas Watson.The book opens on a scene of destruction a hurricane has ravaged the Ten Thousand Islands region of Florida A posse of Watson s neighbors forms and on the ruined beach they kill Watson as he arrives on shore The end of this man s life marks the beginning of this epic story The duty of the rest of the almost 900 pages of this book is to answer these questions who is Watson and why was he killed Was it a just or unjust death Who did he leave behind Was he a monster W [...]


  • As you probably know if you have skimmed the book description, the author has in Shadow Country put all three of his earlier books about Watson into one The first section expresses the views of all the diverse people who knew Watson The second is his youngest son s view of his father and his life, and now finally in the third section we hear Watson s own version Third time around, all this feels rather repetitive Third time around is rather boring, even if the picture is further clarified Couldn [...]


  • E Watson, The DecemberistsMy copy of this book is 892 pages, and I understand the original manuscript was like 1300 pages And then the Decembrists basically sum up Matthiessen s story in less than four minutes.Just sayin.This very large book is actually comprised of three separate novels Killing Mister Watson, Lost Man s River, and Bone by Bone , but each of the novels basically tell the same story from someone else s perspective This is actually pretty brilliant because you don t actually feel [...]


  • I swear I will never think of Florida the same again Gone is my impression of an overly air conditioned world of old people wearing Bermuda shorts and long black socks This book was brilliant and terrifying and drenched in blood It s set in the Ten Thousand Islands of the Florida Everglades beginning in the late 1800s when it was as lawless as the Wild West The characters display frontier grit in spades and a vicious, poisonous breed of racism the likes of which I have never seen before The auth [...]


  • Wow.Shadow Country is a searing dissection of turn of the century circa 1880 1910 Everglades culture, history and character The focal character is E.J Watson, sugar cane planter, innovator, patriarch, murderer, and victim The novel is comprised of three books , all telling the story of the death of Watson from separate points of view first, various people who witnessed and assessed the events at the time second, one of Watson s sons, trying maybe to reconstruct Watson s life and crimes and third [...]


  • The historical Edgar J Watson 1855 1910 was a drunken murderer, bully, philanderer, cheat and conniving so and so He was a pioneering settler of the southwest coast of Florida in the final decade of the 19th century and the first decade of the 20th.He had an out sized reputation as a desperado He was thought to have killed Belle Starr, the Oklahoma territory outlaw, and was the subject of a dime store novel based on the legend of her demise Although he was never charged, it seems clear that he m [...]


  • The fact that I read Shadow Country over a long period of time should not be taken as a negative reflection on the book, but I suppose my rating hints at that This is a masterpiece, but one I chose to read slowly with breaks after each section The story of Mister Watson, which begins on the last day of his life, is full of turn of the 20th century life, details of frontier life I d never heard of before that frontier being Florida Edgar Watson is many things to many people, but he is always cont [...]


  • 892 pages Peter Matthiessen The Snow Leopard The Tree where Man was Born At Play in the Fields of the Lord I shake my head.I don t think I ve come across a book where the writing was so apparently brilliant disciplined and careful, dialogue true to each character, imaginative while the subject matter was so unrelentingly raw, rough, and dark At the end of the read, I was both in awe of this writer s command of storytelling, and fearful of where he might be in his view of the world at age 84.Orig [...]


  • Pa s de sombras Shadow Country, 2005 , de Peter Mattiessen incluye juntas las tres novelas que forman la Trilog a Watson Killing Mister Watson 1990 , Lost Man s River 1997 y Bone by Bone 1999 Matthiessen decidi en 2005 publicarlas como un todo, ante la evidente estructura interna com n De esta manera ya no se trata de tres novelas independientes, sino de un todo que las entrelaza Cada una de las partes sirve de complemento a la anterior, transformando la perspectiva del lector Pa s de sombras ga [...]


  • Shadow Country is actually three books rewritten and meant to be read together to get the whole story of Edgar J Watson He was a real plantation owner, one of the early settlers in the area now known as the Everglades There are many rumors about his life and his death This book is the fictionalized account of the myths and truths of the man and his family It s a damn long book and sometimes I didn t care if I got the truth But that was mainly because I was ready to move on to something else I al [...]


  • I am usually not a fan of National Book Award winners And after reading Marilynne Robinson s Home, I didn t think anything could top it But they got it right this year Matthiessen s trilogy is a book that if I know anything about myself will haunt me for a long time It is one of the ten best novels I ve ever read, and as most of you know I don t take ranking s lightly.Of the three novels, I am fondest of the first formerly published as Killing Mister Watson Matthiessen s vernacular is challengin [...]


  • I read Killing Mr Watson when it was published in the early 1990s, but did not realize then how much William Faulkner s Snopes Trilogy The Hamlet, The Town and The Mansion was a major model for Mathiessen There are a number of similarities between the works First and foremost is the use of multiple first person narrators speaking in dialect Dialect in narration is notorious for slowing the reader down, since one usually has to spend time sounding out each phoneme That s not the case here And I v [...]


  • I don t think I ll say I ve abandoned this forever, but I definitely didn t finish it in January It was the phenomenon that the farther in I got, the farther the end grew.


  • Shadow Country 2008 is a re rendering of Matthiessen s three volume Mister Watson series, Killing Mr Watson 1990 , Lost Man s River 1997 , and Bone by Bone 1999 On Charlie Rose and elsewhere, Matthiessen has pointed out that the work began as one very large novel, so large in fact that he chopped it into three to facilitate its publication, only he didn t feel right about the separation so he went back to work on it to make it work as a single volume novel He cut and he rewrote over several year [...]


  • I enjoyed this thoroughly absorbing historical novel which is similar in some ways to those by E L Doctorow However, while skillfully written, Shadow Country does not reach the artistic excellence of Invisible Man or All the King s Men, a comparison made by The New York Review of Books.Matheissen provides a fascinating look at late 19th and early 20th century SW Florida, particularly the everglades and Ten Thousand Islands region We get details on the flora, fauna, and early settlers We get a ch [...]


  • Someone, somewhere wrote about Shadow Country that this is it the Great American Novel It made me think about the never ending discourse surrounding the GAN, which has always struck me as somewhat odd It s one part Holy Grail quest and the other part a reflection of America s unease at least where art is concerned that its achievements just might not be good enough I ve never bothered paying too much attention to the discourse since I ve never trusted categories that contain the word great in th [...]


  • Peter Mathiessen has taken his Watson trilogy novels and rewritten them into a gigantic work of obsessive brilliance.I was absolutely enthralled by the convergence of perspectives in this story of the infamous Mr Watson For those who didn t know, Watson really existed A pioneering Everglades planter with a shady background, he was murdered by a mob of his friends and neighbors in Chokoloskee, Florida in the early 19oo s This novel is not so much a fictionalised account of the events, but an insp [...]


  • 3 books 2 stars, 2 stars, and 4 stars rewritten into 1 long book The 1st book sets up the tragic fiction character and is a tedious read with a lot of characters that are difficult to remember The 2nd book is less tedious but also less entertaining The 3rd book brings it all together the fiction story that is used to bring in the history, and the total tragedy of the character, Florida, and the country as a whole The story incorporates the sad, uneducated Scots and other poor whites that immigra [...]


  • Shadow Country is one of those books I describe as nearly great For our purposes here, that would translate to 4.5 stars if the rating system allowed I owned the first book in the original trilogy that this book distills subtracts from adds upon, but never read it I suspect I m not missing a lot, as good as this novel is.Matthiessen comes at the story of turn of the century southwest Florida legend Edgar Watson from all angles in Book I, first person narratives that don t include Watson in Book [...]


  • I really loved this book I didn t know anything about the Watson legend before I started reading it, but it didn t matter It s formatted as a trilogy so you hear mostly the same story from different points of view when I say it like that it sounds repetitive, but Matthiessen did a good job of not making it laborious In fact, each of the three major parts gives you information about the story you heard in the section before.Edgar Watson, I guess true to what they say about his real life self, wa [...]


  • An exceedingly well written book on a spectacular canvas I liked everything about it, the cover, the feel, the cadence of the writing, the undercurrents of history, both ecological and human A brilliant portrayal of a story from at least three different angles, corresponding to the three books packed into this reworked edition as the neighbours and workers see Watson, as his son Lucius sets out to discover with brother Rob about their father, as his own story Despite the 900 page length, I ended [...]


  • Read this novel Absolutely fascinating account of life along the Florida Everglades gulf coast and development in the late 19th and early 20th centuries through the eyes and actions of the real life character of Edgar Watson This is one of those rare novels where it is truly difficult to sort out your own feelings for the plot s main protagonist Sometimes you love him, and sometimes he is a real bastard Just like like each of us, Edgar is a flawed character and Mattiesson invests much of the boo [...]


  • Matthiessen s work here is really three books rolled into one He rewrote his earlier Watson trilogy, and combined all three aspects into one book Despite this, he labels the three distinct parts as Books I, II, and III Book I is a culmination of diary entries deposition type statements by many of the people that came into contact with Edgar Watson in SW Florida, with many of the people being the ones who participated in the mass shooting lynching that ended Watson s life Book II is about the sea [...]


  • This book is a masterpiece, but don t trust this ordinary reader Just look at the book jacket and read the quotes from such luminaries as Oates, Bellow, and Dillard They are in awe of this book and so am I You d think that a book which begins with the story s climax the murder of its protagonist wouldn t be able to keep you interested for nearly 900 pages In fact, I lugged this book around everywhere and read it whenever I had a moment to spare I did not want it to end The author s note articula [...]


  • Mientras le a esta novela me he preguntado muchas veces qu es lo que tiene para que me guste tanto No es la primera vez que me pregunto estas cosas, claro, y la mayor a de las veces sigo sin saber responderme No s exactamente qu debe tener una forma de narrar para que me llegue m s profundamente que otras es m s, no siempre me gustan todos los libros de un autor, aunque el estilo sea el mismo o casi el mismo Lo que s suele pasar es lo contrario, vamos, que cuando un autor no me llega, da igual l [...]


  • This book is based on the true story of a Florida planter and outlaw, E.J Watson, who was murdered by his neighbours it was originally a trilogy and Matthiessen reworked and condensed it to produce this version It was entirely an accident that I ended up reading this whilst in Florida, given that it s set in the Florida back country at the turn of the century It really seemed to add to the atmosphere, being in and around the same places mentioned in the book, smelling the mangrove swamps and see [...]


  • Shadow Country won the National Book award this year, but I don t think it should have The book is a rewrite of three novels Matthiessen published about 30 years ago He claims he dropped about 400 pages from the original, but in my mind 400 was not enough The book could easily have been about half as long as it is over 900 pages.The story revolves around one E.J.Watson who was a planter in the Florida keys with a storied, violent past Out of fear of him, his neighbors one day assassinate him as [...]


  • 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 [...]


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