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The Hour of Lead: A Novel
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Published:
Catapult 2014
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Description
Lonesome Animals was named as a Best Book of 2012 by both The Seattle Times and Slate, a literary debut sparking with beautiful language set against the rugged landscape of 1920s Washington state. Holbert returns with The Hour of Lead, an epic family novel and coming of age story that is once again imbibed with the mythology of the west.After losing both his twin and his father in a brutal, unexpected snowstorm, Matt Lawson must take over the family ranch. As his mother disappears into grief, Matt learns the hardest lesson the west has to teach: he is on his own. The necessity of work stabilizes young Matt against the pitfalls of first love with Wendy, the daughter of a local grocer, and their ragged end will sent Matt on a journey across the county, leaving Wendy to tend the ranch with local schoolteacher Linda Jefferson and her unwieldy son Lucky. It will take decades for Matt to learn his way back home, and that long journey will have great impact on all of those around him.Invoking the same beautiful landscape and language of his critically–acclaimed debut, The Hour of Lead is a wider, more expansive novel, less violent but just as affecting, another important contribution to the literature of the west.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
06/16/2014
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781619023802
ASIN:
B00IHGVG8O
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Bruce Holbert. (2014). The Hour of Lead: A Novel. Catapult.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Bruce Holbert. 2014. The Hour of Lead: A Novel. Catapult.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Bruce Holbert, The Hour of Lead: A Novel. Catapult, 2014.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Bruce Holbert. The Hour of Lead: A Novel. Catapult, 2014. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. 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 16:48:47
Date Updated:
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        Bruce Holbert is a graduate of the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop. His work has appeared in The Iowa Review, Hotel Amerika, Other Voices, The Antioch Review, Crab Creek Review, West Wind Review, Cairn and The New York Times. Bruce Holbert grew up on the Columbia River in the shadow of the Grand Coulee and a stone's throw from the Okanogan Mountains. His great-grandfather was an Indian scout and among the first settlers of the Grand Coulee.

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fullDescription
Lonesome Animals was named as a Best Book of 2012 by both The Seattle Times and Slate, a literary debut sparking with beautiful language set against the rugged landscape of 1920s Washington state. Holbert returns with The Hour of Lead, an epic family novel and coming of age story that is once again imbibed with the mythology of the west.
After losing both his twin and his father in a brutal, unexpected snowstorm, Matt Lawson must take over the family ranch. As his mother disappears into grief, Matt learns the hardest lesson the west has to teach: he is on his own. The necessity of work stabilizes young Matt against the pitfalls of first love with Wendy, the daughter of a local grocer, and their ragged end will sent Matt on a journey across the county, leaving Wendy to tend the ranch with local schoolteacher Linda Jefferson and her unwieldy son Lucky. It will take decades for Matt to learn his way back home, and that long journey will have great impact on all of those around him.
Invoking the same beautiful landscape and language of his critically–acclaimed debut, The Hour of Lead is a wider, more expansive novel, less violent but just as affecting, another important contribution to the literature of the west.
reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Seattle Times
      • content: "The rugged land and lives of rural Eastern Washington form the setting for Bruce Holbert's riveting and beautifully written new novel… a portrait of a disappearing way of life, lovingly told in gorgeous and moving prose."
      • premium: False
      • source: Booklist
      • content: "Holbert has been compared to Cormac McCarthy, but really he brings to mind the early John Steinbeck, as in To a God Unknown, with its melodrama and twisted pantheism."
      • premium: False
      • source: Jess Walter, author of Beautiful Ruins
      • content: "Bruce Holbert is a lyrical, soulful chronicler of our ever–changing West."
      • premium: False
      • source: Kirkus, Starred Review
      • content: "Holbert's powerful work echoes the romance of America's Western experience. A masterpiece."
      • premium: False
      • source: Publishers Weekly
      • content: "Holbert's clever conclusion offers several surprising twist and some satisfaction"
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        April 14, 2014
        Holbert’s second novel (after Lonesome Animals) is a dark, sad tale, set among the hardscrabble farms and ranches of eastern Washington state between 1918 and the early 1970s. The book vividly portrays the harsh lives of its unhappy characters in a crushing atmosphere of despair and violence. Young Matt Lawson loses his father and twin brother in a blizzard in 1918, leaving him to run the family ranch with his grief-stricken mother. As Matt matures, he courts Wendy, the grocer’s daughter. But she shoots him one night, under somewhat murky circumstances. For 13 years he wanders the West fighting, gambling, and drinking, until he falls in with the hateful Jarms family. Under their bad influence, Matt becomes an accomplice in arson and multiple murders. Matt has a child and falls out with the Jarmses, escaping with his child back to eastern Washington, where he reunites with Wendy. Decades later, after they marry, raise his child, and have children of their own, Matt’s past catches up with him. One of the Jarms boys comes for revenge, aided by Lucky Jefferson, a corrupt county sheriff and former rival for Wendy’s attention. Jefferson is a brutal man who also has a long-simmering, very personal score to settle with Matt. Holbert’s clever conclusion offers several surprising twists and some satisfaction, in this bleak story about people whose desperate pursuit of happiness is just a cruel illusion. Agent: Janet Rosen, Sheree Bykofsky Associates Inc.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        Starred review from June 1, 2014
        Holbert's (Lonesome Animals, 2012) second novel is a tale of the American West as faithful to the legends as McCarthy's Border Trilogy.Holbert's work rings out with the hard, clean truths of love and loyalty, family and friendship, all flowering from thickets of poetic language, some simple ("work was praying the same prayer everyday"), some gut-wrenching ("When he finally took the baby from her and held her bloody stillness in his hands, he wept"). Matt and Luke Lawson are twins, born to the rich land and open skies of eastern Washington. In 1918, as they journey home from school one day, they're trapped in an epic blizzard; their father leaves the farmhouse to search for them. Of the three, only Matt survives. Everything else that unfolds is set in motion by that tragedy. Matt's mother turns inward. Still a young teen, Matt runs the farm while obsessively searching for his father's body; he's accompanied by Wendy, a storekeeper's daughter, to whom he feels devotion. But Matt's also angry, frustrated and simmering with violence. He's the quintessential Western hero-taciturn and strong as iron with an unbreachable moral center. Rejected by Wendy, he abandons his mother and the farm; guilt-ridden Wendy moves to the farm to help. In this superb allegorical tale, Matt wanders through bar fights and ranch work and then settles in with Roland Jarms, a dissolute but good-hearted gambler. There, adrift in his great odyssey, Matt stays, and during his exile, he re-forms himself-"I believe I'm safe for people now"-before returning to Wendy bearing a motherless child he's named Angel. From the great flat land where "[w]ind gusted from the north and geese sliced ahead of it through the sky," Holbert's powerful work echoes the romance of America's Western experience.A masterpiece.

        COPYRIGHT(2014) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        June 1, 2014
        The author of the well-regarded Lonesome Animals (2012) returns to Washington State for his second novel, the tale of a primitive, tormented man named Matt Lawson. It begins in the 1920s, when farms were still being wrested out of the sod. In a memorably described blizzard, young Matt loses both his brother and his father, and then must take over the ranch and care for his inconsolable mother. He doesn't understand love, and his sole courtship, of a grocer's daughter, Wendy, turns sordid. He's driven out into the world, where he is unequipped for anything but work. He's big and strong, able to outwork any man, whether on a farm or in the (beautifully described) building of the Grand Coulee Dam. Eventually, Matt's simple obsessions return him to Wendy and a sort of happiness. But he's a dull fellow, and the smarter folks around him are doomed by violence and death wishes. Holbert has been compared to Cormac McCarthy, but really he brings to mind the early John Steinbeck, as in To a God Unknown, with its melodrama and twisted pantheism.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2014, American Library Association.)

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shortDescription
Lonesome Animals was named as a Best Book of 2012 by both The Seattle Times and Slate, a literary debut sparking with beautiful language set against the rugged landscape of 1920s Washington state. Holbert returns with The Hour of Lead, an epic family novel and coming of age story that is once again imbibed with the mythology of the west.
After losing both his twin and his father in a brutal, unexpected snowstorm, Matt Lawson must take over the family ranch. As his mother disappears into grief, Matt learns the hardest lesson the west has to teach: he is on his own. The necessity of work stabilizes young Matt against the pitfalls of first love with Wendy, the daughter of a local grocer, and their ragged end will sent Matt on a journey across the county, leaving Wendy to tend the ranch with local schoolteacher Linda Jefferson and her unwieldy son Lucky. It will take decades for Matt to learn his way back home, and that long journey will have great impact on...
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