The Farther Shore
In his unforgettable debut novel, Matthew Eck puts readers inside the mind of a confused young soldier caught in the fog of unexpected warfare.
When a small unit of soldiers is separated from their command and left to fend for themselves in a hostile city, their only option is to keep moving. As they wander, encountering a series of surreal episodes and haunting characters along the way, the line between friend and enemy is blurred beyond recognition, and with it the sanity of those who survive.
Acclaimed as the first great war novel of its age—one that “vivifies the danger: making us feel the heat of the explosions, see the billowing black smoke or hear the sound of an antiaircraft gun” (New York Times)—The Farther Shore is at once ghostly and lyrical, terrifying and tender, gritty and profoundly illuminating.
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Praise and Prizes
“Every horrifying aspect of war is captured in Matthew Eck’s spare prose.”
“Matthew Eck is a natural novelist and a war novelist by accident. His book is ghostly, lyrical, and strange in the style of the young Tim O’Brien, but with a difference: Eck’s wandering soldiers are even further from home, like Beckett characters stranded in coastal Africa. This is the first novel that I’ve read to capture today’s postmodern political warfare.”
“The first great 21st century war novel belongs to Matthew Eck.”
“Worthy of addition to America’s canon of war fiction. Short, sharp, devastating, The Farther Shore is a literary machine gun.”
“Modern war has never been so fully explored as in this small, relentless novel. Matthew Eck never panders. . . . Possibly the first great war novel of our generation.”
“Although The Farther Shore isn’t meant to be a thriller, it inevitably summons a certain degree of tension. Every door that must be opened, every corner that must be turned could lead to danger. Matthew Eck’s writing is best when it vivifies the danger: making us feel the heat of the explosions, see the billowing black smoke or hear the sound of an antiaircraft gun.”
“The worse things get for the soldiers the more fluid and metaphorical Stantz’s voice becomes. . . . That’s what you root for on behalf of these desperate young men. . . . That they, like all soldiers, can pass through the space and distance of their miniature epic journey unscathed, but with a definitive sort of eloquence, the eloquence we expect when we give over our attention to a first-person speaker on a darkling plain where ignorant armies clash by night.”
“Heir to Hemingway, and damn near as powerful as Cormac McCarthy in The Road, Matthew Eck has created a contemporary version of The Red Badge of Courage in this tale of one young man’s trial by fire in the pandemonium of war in an age of high-tech weaponry and low-grade morality.”