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The New Valley: Novellas ebook

by ,Josh Weil

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The three linked novellas that comprise Josh Weil’s masterful debut bring us into America’s remote and often unforgiving backcountry, and delicately open up the private worlds of three very different men as they confront love, loss, and their own personal demons.Set in the hardscrabble hill country between the Virginias, The New Valley is populated by characters striving to forge new lives in the absence of those they have loved. Told in three varied and distinct voices— from a soft-spoken middle-aged beef farmer struggling to hold himself together after his dad’s death; to a health-obsessed single father desperate to control his reckless, overweight daughter; to a mildly retarded man who falls in love with a married woman intent on using him in a scheme that will wound them both—each novella is a vivid, stand-alone examination of Weil’s uniquely romanticized relationships. As the men battle against grief and solitude, their heartache leads them all to commit acts that will bring both ruin and salvation.Written with a deeply American tone, focused attention to story, and veneration for character, The New Valley is a tender exploration of survival, isolation, and the deep, consuming ache for human connection.
I picked up this book as a possible for using in my senior seminar paper. I chose not to use it because it's a series of novellas as opposed to short stories, and "short story cycle" was the requirement. However, this fits neatly alongside the books I did choose: Steinbeck's The Pastures of Heaven and Gardner's Someone to Crawl Back To. Rural people facing crushing loneliness, emotionally and mentally stunted, sexually deviant or disappointed, etc.

The landscape is very Steinbeck. The characters echo Faulkner and O'Connor. The style is classic and fresh at the same time. I was highlighting similes all the way through. Well done, Mr. Weil. Very well done.
This book is absolutely outstanding. I like, but don't love, Weil's novel, but this collection of novellas is written with such efficiency, clarity, feeling, poise, energy. A truly perfect book.
The Rollers of Vildar
I am an avid reader, especially of newly published fiction. This is right up there with the Pulizer-winning Olive Kitteridge (2008) by Elizabeth Strout. The book consists of three separate, but inter-linked, short novels set in the hardness that life offers those who live it out in America's backcountry. Then there are those who finally give up, pull the trigger. And that is where the reader will find herself when opening up a book that I suspect will not be easy to put down. The language is truly brilliant with skies that are tacked up by stars. There are books which I treat like a rich dessert, refusing to let myself finish up because I just know that the next book I pick up will be so much less. And this is just that kind of work. It will get awards--or it should anyway.
lucky kitten
The author certainly gets to the core of his characters and is able to let us see the world through their eyes and experience their emotions. In fact, one emerges 'feeling their world' as it were, which is a world that is certainly quite different from my own.

However, while the stories are satisfying and emotional, particularly the one about Stillman, I found them rather slow moving. This is particularly true of the last one, during which my interest was lost long before the ending. Definitely less grabbing than the other two. Nonetheless, I found myself wanting more than just seeing and feeling through the characters eyes. In short, I felt like there simply wasn't enough happening to really keep me wanting to continue through the stories.

I know this one got wonderful reviews from The NYT Book Review etc, and while I thought it was good, I just didn't find it to be THAT good. A solid three stars, at least that was what it did for me.
crazy mashine
The landscape is a very real character in The New Valley and it is so skillfully rendered, you can smell the cow pasture and feel the cold bite of the wind. Weil's stark portraits of his rural characters are both realistic and respectful. Read this first work and you'll find yourself happily anticipating the next Weil project. Jim Harrison's quote appears on the front of the book jacket, and he is right, "...It is a very rare but clear case of the sky being the limit for a young author."
Josh Weil's writing is visceral. The physical quality of his descriptions and the way he designs the stories are unusual and compelling. For example, at the end of the first story Osby resolves the problem that was presented in the story's first sentence. The author's drawings illustrate the second story's central metaphor. The language in the third story lets you watch a bit removed as the main character is treated as one who is removed from everyday society. These three stories describe the core being of three different bone lonely men told in a convincing way. They are worth reading several times.
I'm a Russian Occupant
there are good things in country living as well as bad. I have no need to read only about the bad side of things. Great read if you want to be depressed and don't care about complete neglect of positive aspects of life
In one sense, it's an interesting book with tension built into the stories. At the same time, the claim that it introduces an audience to the people of the Southern Appalachian communities along the New River is a far miss. There was thanks given to a cattle farmer in the region for teaching the author about the ways of farm animals but the subsequent reporting would make the farmer wince. Further, the idea that a family would kill its cattle for no reason given in the book and bury them en mass defies understanding of the communities along the New. As an ethnographer and someone who grew up on the New before migration to the West Coast and beyond, there is too little of the reality of farm and rural life. Stuck on a coast-to-coast flight, I read the entire book and afterwards wondered how other reviewers gave such praise. Yes, there is stoicism in the region and people often suffer in silence but, at the same time, there is a sensibility that is sadly missing.
The New Valley: Novellas ebook
,Josh Weil
Short Stories & Anthologies
EPUB size:
1775 kb
FB2 size:
1370 kb
DJVU size:
1637 kb
Grove Press; Reprint edition (May 11, 2010)
352 pages
Other formats:
mobi lit txt doc
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