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Winner of the 2016 Costa Book of the Year
Winner of the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction 2017
Winner of the Independent Bookshop Week Book Award 2017
Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2017
‘Pitch perfect, the outstanding novel of the Year.’ Observer
After signing up for the US army in the 1850s, aged barely seventeen, Thomas McNulty and his brother-in-arms, John Cole, fight in the Indian Wars and the Civil War. Having both fled terrible hardships, their days are now vivid and filled with wonder, despite the horrors they both see and are complicit in. Then when a young Indian girl crosses their path, the possibility of lasting happiness seems within reach, if only they can survive.
A beautiful, savage, tender, searing work of art. Sentence after perfect sentence it grips and does not let go.
A violent, superbly lyrical western offering a sweeping vision of America in the making [and] the most fascinating line-by-line first person narration I’ve come across in years.
A book about cruel times, for cruel times. And tender enough to swell your throat ... Not since Peter Carey's Ned Kelly has a narrative voice so got inside my head.
The novel comes close to being a modern masterpiece. Written in a style that is as delicate and economical as a spider's web, it builds to a climax that is as brutally effective as a punch to the gut ... The Secret Scripture and A Long Long Way were shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and there is every reason to think that this novel could do just as well next year. It could even go a stage farther. It really is that good.
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