Against the Country by Ben Metcalf audiobook

Against the Country: A Novel

By Ben Metcalf
Read by Scott Sowers

Recorded Books, Inc.
10.57 Hours Unabridged
Format: Digital Download (In Stock)
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    ISBN: 9781490632452

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  • $44.99

    ISBN: 9781664431256

For fans of Southern Gothic, Ben Metcalf's AGAINST THE COUNTRY is an intense, sly and deceptively humorous debut novel about growing up in the wilds of Goochland County, Virginia, from former literary editor of Harper's Magazine. Beginning with his parents' decision to move away from the corrupting influences of town, and to settle instead in rural Virginia, Metcalf's narrator leads the reader through a gallery of scabrous youths and callous adults driven mad by the stubborn soil of the New World. Eloquently misanthropic, the narrator of AGAINST THE COUNTRY fully inhabits the style of the old timer's winding yarn even as he sabotages all that the forces of provincialism stand for from within. For it is through this deft and self-destructive tone that it becomes clear that the land itself, from dirtyards to farms and forests, is not mere backdrop but the living, breathing, menacing influence behind each and every inhabitant's hardscrabble existence. Ben Metcalf was born in Illinois and raised in that state and later in rural Virginia. His writing has appeared in The Baffler, Harper's, and elsewhere and has twice been included in THE BEST AMERICAN ESSAYS.

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Summary

Summary

A Vanity Fair Hot Type Pick for January 2015

A NPR Best Book Selection of 2015

A Vulture.com Pick for the 10 Best Books of 2015

For fans of Southern Gothic, Ben Metcalf's AGAINST THE COUNTRY is an intense, sly and deceptively humorous debut novel about growing up in the wilds of Goochland County, Virginia, from former literary editor of Harper's Magazine. Beginning with his parents' decision to move away from the corrupting influences of town, and to settle instead in rural Virginia, Metcalf's narrator leads the reader through a gallery of scabrous youths and callous adults driven mad by the stubborn soil of the New World. Eloquently misanthropic, the narrator of AGAINST THE COUNTRY fully inhabits the style of the old timer's winding yarn even as he sabotages all that the forces of provincialism stand for from within. For it is through this deft and self-destructive tone that it becomes clear that the land itself, from dirtyards to farms and forests, is not mere backdrop but the living, breathing, menacing influence behind each and every inhabitant's hardscrabble existence. Ben Metcalf was born in Illinois and raised in that state and later in rural Virginia. His writing has appeared in The Baffler, Harper's, and elsewhere and has twice been included in THE BEST AMERICAN ESSAYS.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“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.” New York Times Book Review
“Faulknerian…eccentric, magnificent Southern Gothic metafiction.” Vanity Fair
“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
“A virtuosic tour de force of Southern malfeasance…The all-American life is lovingly deconstructed in a passionate screed that feels like a confession from the tortured heart of the South itself. But even in envying Thomas Jefferson ‘his idyllic hallucinations’ and damning ‘this flytrap of a county,’ Metcalf composes a relentlessly articulate paean to the American project. In the end, this isn’t a Southern novel, because it isn’t exactly a novel. It’s more like man’s revenge on God for the world he made—and anyone who disagrees must be a Yankee.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Ben Metcalf

Author Bio: Ben Metcalf

Ben Metcalf was born in Illinois. He was for many years the literary editor of Harper’s magazine. He has since taught at Columbia University’s School of the Arts and joined the Lapham’s Quarterly editorial board. His writing has appeared in The Baffler, Harper’s, The Best American Essays, and elsewhere.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, CD
Category: Fiction/Literary
Runtime: 10.57
Audience: Adult
Language: English