The Ploughmen
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The Ploughmen

3.79 (1,243 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

John Gload is a seventy-seven-year-old murderer. He has been killing for over half a century before he is caught for the first time.Valentine Millimaki is the young man in the Copper County sheriff's department who draws the overnight shift after Gload's arrest. He is tasked with getting the killer to confess to a string of unsolved murders.Gload and Millimaki sit across from each other in the dark, swapping stories and secrets. As sheriff and criminal talk through the bars night after night, Millimaki's safety is threatened within his own department. Then a brazen act of violence leads to a manhunt and a stunning revelation that ensures Gload's past and Millimaki's future are for ever entwined.Set against the extraordinary landscape of Montana, The Ploughmen is a tense, compelling and powerfully moving novel that announces the arrival of a major American talent.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 130 x 197 x 17mm | 200g
  • Pan MacMillan
  • PICADOR
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Main Market Ed
  • 1447247825
  • 9781447247821
  • 677,752

Review quote

Stunning . . . A remarkable novel . . . it's absolutely beautiful, from its tragic opening scene to its tough, necessary end. Zupan is an unsparing writer, but also a generous, deeply compassionate one * NPR * A dark and imaginative debut * New York Times * Mr. Zupan produces pleasurably lush and baroque prose, especially when describing his setting's awesome and unforgiving topography * Wall Street Journal * Passionately arresting . . . Even though Zupan's novel deals with grim topics, he plows the depths of grief and numbness with such a concentrated dedication that the prose is a character in itself. His sentences are unleashed in a furious splendour . . . bleak and brilliant - the best kind of book * Minneapolis Star Tribune * Mr. Zupan has created a remarkable character in John Gload . . . The expansive, indifferent and lonely landscapes that populate the book are as vital as the two main characters and elevate Mr Zupan's work from a story about an unlikely friendship to a solemn exploration of the human soul - and how it is formed by the space that surrounds it * Pittsburgh Post-Gazette * Gripping . . . a strong debut for a talented wordsmith . . . Zupan has that rare skill and we as readers are better off for it * Montana Magazine * Zupan provides a satisfying climax, but his debut isn't really about plot; it's mostly a rich, morose meditation on death, law enforcement, and friendship * Booklist * This memorable debut is at times strikingly beautiful, while at others quite bleak, but it is always poignant * Bookpage * An impressive debut, a magnificently dark novel that evocatively depicts the modern American West * Largehearted Boy * [A] riveting debut . . . A fascinating first novel that examines the complexities of two men, opposites in every way, whose lives nevertheless intertwine. With such a strong debut, Zupan's literary future looks exceptionally promising * Library Journal * We know we are in the hands of a master storyteller from the very first pages of Kim Zupan's powerful, beautifully crafted debut novel The Ploughmen . . . The searing, lyrical prose, relentless violence, and tenuous moments of reprieve are reminiscent of Cormac McCarthy and Flannery O'Connor . . . The disturbing yet quietly redemptive finale to this gripping and psychologically nuanced tale leaves the reader satisfied. Bravo, Mr. Zupan * Montana Quarterly * Kim Zupan has captured the feel of Montana: He has made a fine beginning -- Larry McMurtry, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of LONESOME DOVE In a voice that evokes the great contemporary Western landscape, Kim Zupan's debut novel The Ploughmen weaves a gripping tale both personal and epic. This is a story of two men, a deputy and his prisoner, and the uncommon bond forged between them. A stunning work from the first pages to the last, this is a book that will not let down -- Claire Davis, author of WINTER RANGE and LABOURS OF THE HEART The Ploughmen is simply splendid; lyrical, surprising, authoritative and starkly honest in its rendering of the human soul. The relationships between Mr. Zupan's complex and heartbreaking characters gripped me from the first page and have left me wondering still at the grace that affords us moments of generosity and compassion -- Mark Spragg, author of AN UNFINISHED LIFE Kim Zupan's The Ploughmen is one of finest evocations of life in Western America in recent memory, a book that stands alongside Richard Ford's Rock Springs, Marilynne Robinson's Housekeeping, James Welch's Fools Crow . . . Zupan's prose is elegant and reminiscent of Cormac McCarthy at his best, and the action is terrifying and abrupt. And yet at heart this is a powerful and profoundly moving story about the heartbroken souls of women and men who are attempting to fashion significant lives in the grassy plains of Montana -- William Kittredge, author of HOLE IN THE SKY The Ploughmen is part inspired fever-dream, part adventure story, a lyric parable of not just good and evil but of the vast and beautiful and often lonely country in-between. Kim Zupan is a wonder -- Rick Bass, author of THE WATCH and THE WILD MARSHshow more

About Kim Zupan

Kim Zupan is a native Montanan who lives in Missoula and grew up in and around Great Falls, where much of The Ploughmen is set. For twenty-five years Zupan made a living as a carpenter while pursuing his writing; he has also worked as a smelterman, pro rodeo bareback rider, ranch hand, Alaska salmon fisherman and teacher, and presently teaches carpentry at Missoula College University of Montana. He holds an MFA from the University of Montana.show more

Review Text

Stunning . . . A remarkable novel . . . it's absolutely beautiful, from its tragic opening scene to its tough, necessary end. Zupan is an unsparing writer, but also a generous, deeply compassionate one NPRshow more

Rating details

1,243 ratings
3.79 out of 5 stars
5 24% (303)
4 43% (530)
3 24% (301)
2 6% (75)
1 3% (34)
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