“The prose is fresh and energetic, the story-telling superb, and the writing comes out as raw and terrifying as an exposed nerve.” New York Times
Aaron Platt has spent every day of his life breaking his back to scrape a living from the rocky, played-out fields of the Adirondack farm he inherited from his sadistic father. One winter morning, he follows footprints in the snow to his barn and discovers a man freezing to death in a horse stall. What unfolds between the two men, past and present, is a brisk, gritty depiction of crime and punishment. But their harrowing story is more than that, exposing the shocking hypocrisy of the people who live in the nearby, bucolic town—a legacy of hatred that reaches back to the violent founding of the nation.
This literary masterpiece, back in print for the first time in over 60 years, includes a new Afterword by Jack Mearns, author of John Sanford: An Annotated Bibliography
John Sanford’s most ambitious and searing novel, completes his Warrensburg Trilogy, digging beneath the bucolic surface of a small-town to expose the hatred at its core.
"A sacred book, majestic in its rebukes of those who violate the breath and origin of humanity while professing faith and going through the motions of holiness." Carl Sandburg
A trio of vicious World War One veterans descend on a farm in the Adirondack mountains. The arrival of a mail-order bride ignites a tinderbox of resentment, lust, and betrayal among the men that explodes in brutal depravity, bloody violence and shocking death. A literary, crime fiction classic.
On a freezing night, a lone farmer in the Adriondacks finds a starving man in his barn...what unfolds between the two men, past and present, is a brisk, gritty depiction of crime and punishment. A literary, crime fiction classic, out of print for 60 years.
A first-rate story of violence and congealed hate.
An unusual book with some brilliant pieces of writing.
The story is electrifying.
First published in 1939, this bleak hardboiled novel from Sanford (1904–2003) explores the long-lasting effects of childhood trauma and the inescapability of generational rural poverty. The shifts among three different narrative voices can be confusing, but striking imagery more than compensates.
Encompassing a slice of American history, this is an exposition on how pain festers and corrupts and how it manifests when released. A gritty social commentary and an insightful psychological portrait of damaged individuals. At times hard to take, deeply poignant, savage and realistic. How is Sanford not better known? There’s an energy and drive to his writing, much copied and often watered down.