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Against the country: a novel

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NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY VULTURE AND ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR * Against the Country is a gift for fans of Southern Gothic and metafiction alike. Set in the Virginia pines, and overrun with failed parents, racist sex offenders, cast-off priests, and suicidal chickens, this novel challenges literary convention even as it attacks our national myth--that the rural naturally engenders good, while the urban breeds an inevitable sin. In a voice both perfectly American and utterly new, Ben Metcalf introduces the reader to Goochland County, Virginia--a land of stubborn soil, voracious insects, lackluster farms, and horrifying trees--and details one family's pitiful struggle to survive there. Eventually it becomes clear that Goochland is not merely the author's setting; it is a growing, throbbing menace that warps and scars every one of his characters' lives. Equal parts fiery criticism and icy farce, Against the Country is the most hilarious sermon one is likely to hear on the subject of our native soil, and the starkest celebration of the language our land produced. The result is a literary tour de force that raises the question: Was there ever a narrator, in all our literature, so precise, so far-reaching, so eloquently misanthropic, as the one encountered here? Praise for Against the Country "Iconoclastic . . . Against the Country has obvious affinities to Southern Gothic, both in its voice and in the delight it takes in rural ignorance and grotesqueries. . . . [A] country cousin of David Foster Wallace." -- The New York Times Book Review "Exceptional in its verbal brilliance and conscientiousness, Against the Country involves us in a family's anguished and hilarious struggle against the strange dooms that seem peculiar to white rural America. This is a savage and gladdening novel." --Joseph O'Neill, author of Netherland and The Dog "Metcalf's unnamed narrator dazzles with his Puritan deadpan and capacious intellect, not to mention his double-barreled blasts of dark humor and wicked satire. . . . There are so many brilliant turns of phrase in Against the Country that it's hard to choose favorites, but Metcalf is at his sharpest and most seductive when his antihero does more than blast and blame, when he steps outside his sermons to say something real. . . . Every note in every solo is sounded with exquisite perfection." -- Slate "Faulknerian . . . eccentric, magnificent Southern Gothic metafiction." -- Vanity Fair "Ben Metcalf is a brilliant writer, and Against the Country is an ingenious and hilarious novel, a glittering, bitter celebration of how the lousiness of life can be redeemed in the hands (and mouth) of a top-shelf teller of life's stories." --Sam Lipsyte, author of The Ask and The Fun Parts "A daring conglomeration of every trick, swindle and gimmick possible using only ink and paper, a pulpwood imagination machine so finely and expertly wrought that it can take on Jefferson, Thoreau, the church, patriotism, race relations, sexual identity, J. D. Salinger, the myth of America and a thousand other targets . . . [ Against the Country ] is absolutely and completely worth all investment of time and effort, because it is an undeniably beautiful object, sharp as a new razor." --NPR "One of the more necessary--and most eloquent--expressions of a distinctly American, provincial rage in some years." -- Flavorwire
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ISBN:
9781400062690
9781490627670
9780812996531
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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID 3a4065fd-5c7c-7793-4b8a-f7561bfec2fa
Full title against the country
Author metcalf ben
Grouping Category book
Last Update 2018-05-26 23:36:46PM
Last Indexed 2018-05-27 00:22:02AM

Solr Details

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auth_author2 Sowers, Scott.
author Ben Metcalf
author2-role Recorded Books, LLC., Sowers, Scott.|Narrator
author_display Metcalf, Ben
available_at_catalog Bellevue, Bellevue Kids, Donelson, Edmondson Pike, Edmondson Pike Kids, Main Kids, Main Library, Southeast
collection_catalog Audiobook, Fiction
detailed_location_catalog Bellevue - Adult Audiobook, Donelson - Adult Audiobook, Edmondson Pike - Adult Fiction, Main Library - Adult Fiction, Southeast - Adult Fiction
display_description "Set in the Virginia pines, and overrun with failed parents, racist sex offenders, cast-off priests, and suicidal chickens, this novel challenges literary convention even as it attacks our national myth: that the rural naturally engenders good, while the urban breeds an inevitable sin"--Dust jacket flap.
format_catalog Book, CD audio book, eBook
format_category_catalog Audio Books, Books, eBook
id 3a4065fd-5c7c-7793-4b8a-f7561bfec2fa
isbn 9780812996531, 9781400062690, 9781490627670
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local_callnumber_catalog CD AUDIO Fiction Metcalf, Fiction Metcalf
owning_library_catalog Nashville Public Library
owning_location_catalog Bellevue, Bellevue Kids, Donelson, Edmondson Pike, Edmondson Pike Kids, Main Kids, Main Library, Southeast
primary_isbn 9781400062690
publishDate 2015
record_details ils:CARL0000453379|Book|Books|First Edition.|English|Random House,|[2015]|328 pages ; 22 cm., ils:CARL0000455028|CD audio book|Audio Books|Unabridged.|English|Recorded Books,|p2015.|9 sound discs (10 hr., 30 min.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in., overdrive:3f188ec9-2d44-470c-aa85-919d308f6e79|eBook|eBook||English|Random House Publishing Group|2015|
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series Southern voices audio
series_with_volume Southern voices audio|
subject_facet Audiobooks, Bildungsromans, American, City and town life -- Fiction, Country life -- Fiction, Families -- Fiction, Psychological fiction, Psychological fiction, American, Virginia -- Fiction
title_display Against the country : a novel
title_full Against the Country A Novel, Against the country : a novel / Ben Metcalf, Against the country [sound recording] : a novel / Ben Metcalf
title_short Against the country :
title_sub a novel
topic_facet Audiobooks, Bildungsromans, American, City and town life, Country life, Families, Fiction, Literature, Psychological fiction, Psychological fiction, American