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Journeyman: A Novel
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Catapult 2017
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From the author of The Dogfighter, hailed by Geoff Dyer as “the most exciting debut…by an American writer since Eugenides’s The Virgin Suicides,” comes Journeyman, a tightly wound novel about dwelling, building, belonging, love, and the value of a place to call home. Nolan Jackson is a journeyman carpenter by trade and a wanderer by nature. Set in 2007, while fellow Americans fight in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, Nolan builds tract homes across California, travelling between jobs. Following a shocking workplace accident in his temporary home of Las Vegas, he uproots himself from the tentative relationships he has made and heads west towards the ocean.
On his way he passes through his brother's town where circumstances force him to stay put. Bereft of his trailer and his tools, Nolan turns to the task of building the foundations of a meaningful life. The specter of war and questions of the Western-film notions of masculinity are woven throughout the novel; from the damage to Nolan’s family by the Vietnam War in which his father fought, to the ubiquity and consequence of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, to slow unraveling of his brother’s marriage and mental state, to the mysterious series of arsons being set around their small town.
Ultimately, Journeyman is an important, timely novel about men and brothers finding their way in the 21st century West.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
02/01/2017
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781593766689
ASIN:
B01MSUVE00

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Citations

APA Citation (style guide)

Marc Bojanowski. (2017). Journeyman: A Novel. Catapult.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Marc Bojanowski. 2017. Journeyman: A Novel. Catapult.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Marc Bojanowski, Journeyman: A Novel. Catapult, 2017.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Marc Bojanowski. Journeyman: A Novel. Catapult, 2017.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.

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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 16:25:39
Date Updated:
Jan 04, 2021 17:28:38
Last Metadata Check:
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Last Metadata Change:
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      • bioText: Marc Bojanowski graduated from the University of California at Berkeley and received his MFA in creative writing from the New School. His writing has appeared in The Literary Review, McSweeney’s and Granta. His first novel, The Dog Fighter, was a Finalist for the New York Public Library Young Lions Award.
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title
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fullDescription
From the author of The Dogfighter, hailed by Geoff Dyer as “the most exciting debut…by an American writer since Eugenides’s The Virgin Suicides,” comes Journeyman, a tightly wound novel about dwelling, building, belonging, love, and the value of a place to call home. Nolan Jackson is a journeyman carpenter by trade and a wanderer by nature. Set in 2007, while fellow Americans fight in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, Nolan builds tract homes across California, travelling between jobs. Following a shocking workplace accident in his temporary home of Las Vegas, he uproots himself from the tentative relationships he has made and heads west towards the ocean.
On his way he passes through his brother's town where circumstances force him to stay put. Bereft of his trailer and his tools, Nolan turns to the task of building the foundations of a meaningful life. The specter of war and questions of the Western-film notions of masculinity are woven throughout the novel; from the damage to Nolan’s family by the Vietnam War in which his father fought, to the ubiquity and consequence of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, to slow unraveling of his brother’s marriage and mental state, to the mysterious series of arsons being set around their small town.
Ultimately, Journeyman is an important, timely novel about men and brothers finding their way in the 21st century West.
reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Kirkus
      • content: One of "31 Brilliant Books That you Really Must Read This Spring."
      • premium: False
      • source: Jon Raymond, author of Freebird and Livability
      • content: "Bojanowski's novel is layered and thoughtful."
      • premium: False
      • source: The Irish Times
      • content: "A carpenter. An arsonist. A tortured writer. In this beautifully wrought novel, Marc Bojanowski stages a showdown between warring New Western masculinities, using the ghost town of California's tract architecture as backdrop. Angry, rootless, unquenchably romantic, haunted by wars fought and unfought, these lost men have come to tell us something urgent and true about a world they no longer understand."
      • premium: False
      • source: Herald Scotland
      • content: "A rich but unrefined seam of allegorical meaningfulness [runs] through this pleasing tale."
      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        December 1, 2016
        A rootless carpenter searches for home in Bojanowksi's second novel (The Dog Fighter, 2004).After witnessing a serious accident on the job, journeyman carpenter Nolan Jackson ditches Las Vegas, leaving behind a promising, if casual, relationship with dental hygiene student Linda, to head west. A second accident--this one involving his Airstream trailer--forces Nolan, 31, to take up residence with his semiestranged older brother, Chance, now living beyond his means in a small town in Sonoma County. Whereas Nolan is a stoic (and serial) wanderer in a Western hat, his disheveled brother is a conspiracy-minded journalist who has long operated under the name Cosmo Swift. Cosmo, it's quickly apparent, is losing it: his wife has left him, and he spends his days hammering away on his computer, "extrapolating the geopolitical ramifications of an obscure naval battle" between Russia and Japan in 1905. Meanwhile, someone has taken to burning down old houses in the town, and Nolan worries Cosmo may have something to do with it. Bojanowski aims high here. The story is set in 2007, during the U.S.'s dual engagements in Afghanistan and Iraq, and Nolan's decision not to enlist, despite his father's service in Vietnam, weighs heavily on him. A bevy of well-rendered secondary characters brings humor and heart to the proceedings. Ultimately, though, the parts here don't add up to a satisfying whole. While Nolan makes a fine protagonist, Cosmo is allowed too much real estate to ramble, and Linda, given her ultimate significance to the plot, is underwritten. Meanwhile, the ending may strike readers as too tidy, a maudlin coda to a story that is otherwise admirably complex. Bojanowski's novel is layered and thoughtful but aspires to heights it doesn't quite reach.

        COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        February 1, 2017
        Bojanowski's follow-up to The Dog Fighter (2014) tells the story of Nolan Jackson, a journeyman carpenter and itinerant do-it-yourself philosopher. He witnesses a horrific accident while on a construction site and flees Las Vegas for the Pacific Ocean. Following up on a promise to his mother, he stops in Valley Oaks, California, to visit his older brother, Chance, a journalist covering a string of arson attacks in town after his wife abruptly walked out on him. Circumstances keep Nolan there for a while, and he finds that he must figure out how to stand still and open his heart, probably for the first time since his father died years before. Bojanowski employs prose best described as masculine as he portrays Nolan as broken down, then rebuilt. Sometimes I think about all the places I've been, carpenter Nolan observes, all the walls I've raised. No one knows it was me except the guys I worked alongside. Journeyman is a textured, deceptively linear novel that throws some curves and carries a trace of Cormac McCarthy.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2017, American Library Association.)

popularity
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