Out in the Open by Jesús Carrasco

Out in the Open

Jesús Carrasco

This Winner of the EU Prize for Literature is a bleak but intriguing read. The brevity of detail keeps the reader at a distance and can make this a slow read but this is made up for in moments of great tension and the portrayal of the demanding arid landscape. Who is the boy, why is he running away and being chased, is the goatherd friend or foe, where is the story set and when? Some of these questions are eventually answered, others are not.

Extract

The boy stood up and looked round him. The village street was lined with shadows and crumbling walls. The sky kept its usual distance. The boy threw his head back and gave a long outbreath. He felt close to exhaustion and all he wanted at that moment was to return to his hole in the ground, to that warm, damp pit where he had drowsed and slept on the first night of his escape. ... He looked at his trembling hands and sighed. The donkey laden and ready to go, and, beside him, like a troubling reflection, the old man telling him to do something that went entirely against his instincts.

Parallels
  • The Boy Who Stole Attila's Horse by Ivan Repila
  • The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Books with similar mood

A Meal in Winter

Hubert Mingarelli

The Bethlehem Murders

Matt Rees

The Fountain at the Centre of the World

Robert Newman

Death Is Hard Work

Khaled Khalifa

Dalila

Jason Donald

Captain of the Steppe

Oleg Pavlov

God's Dog

Diego Marani

The Warsaw Anagrams

Richard Zimler

Altered Land

Jules Hardy

Song for an Approaching Storm

Peter Fröberg Idling

The Kills

Richard House

The Unlucky Lottery

Hakan Nesser

The Godless Boys

Naomi Wood

Blind Sunflowers

Alberto Mendez

American Rust

Philipp Meyer

Three Day Road

Joseph Boyden

Double Vision

Tricia Sullivan

Kith and Kin

Stevie Davies

Walkin' the Dog

Walter Mosley

Lucifer

Michael Cordy

In the Distance

Hernan Diaz

Our Memory Like Dust

Gavin Chait

The Association of Small Bombs

Karan Mahajan

Bumping

Tony Bianchi

The Shadow Walker

Michael Walters

Blood Data

Lury. Gibson

A Perfect Arrangement

Suzanne Berne

Unreal City

Tony Hanania

The Crusader

Michael Eisner

The Return

Dulce Maria Cardoso

Beside Myself

Ann Morgan

The Distance

Helen Giltrow

Far North

Marcel Theroux

America Pacifica

Anna North

Peace

Richard Bausch

Talk of the Town

Jacob Polley

The Attack

Yasmina Khadra

Gotz and Meyer

David Albahari

We Need to Talk About Kevin

Lionel Shriver

The Dogs of Riga

Henning Mankell

The Constant Gardener

John Le Carre

Miss Smilla's Feeling For Snow

Peter Hoeg

Star of the North

D B John

Speak No Evil

Uzodinma Iweala

The History of Bees

Maja Lunde

Spill Simmer Falter Wither

Sara Baume

The Man I Became

Peter Verhelst

Alice and the Fly

James Rice