In the Distance by Hernan Diaz

In the Distance

Hernan Diaz

Full of extraordinarily powerful images, we are plunged into a tumultuous history of the American west that is also a profound meditation on solitude and companionship during our hulking hero’s lonely odyssey. The colourful characters enhance this thrilling, unusual narrative as the lyrical writing oscillates between realistic to dreamlike.

Extract

Fear had always been loud for him – as soon as the feeling took over, he was deafened by the blood and air rushing through his body. But now, for the first time, terror was suspended in a silent void. Between each distant, laborious breath, Håkan barely felt his heart beat. Every now and then, he heard his animals cropping grass, their molars making the sound of pebbles in the water. There was something almost peaceful about this quiet horror. Then, a sudden gulp of air, and he would clutch a tuft of grass, crawl forward, and lie there, breathless. Whatever little remained of his consciousness was entirely devoted to taking in air and feeling panic; still, he managed to discover one thing – he feared death.

Parallels
  • West by Carys Davies
  • The Removes by Tatjana Soli
  • The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
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Violence