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Ballistics [Hardcover]

D. W. Wilson
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
RRP: 12.99
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Product Description


A lean, powerful book about quiet, emotional people. It animates a world that any smalltown North American could identify in a moment, yet it transcends this environment to evoke something universal: how people live through loss, and how they talk about what matters, or don't (Guardian)

Unlike the standard sub-Carver sentences that characterise most of the genre, Wilson's prose is rich and nuanced, and Archer is a sophisticated portrait of a man intelligent beyond his education (Sunday Telegraph)

The plot twists and turns, but it's Wilson's voice that is outstanding, both raw and erudite (Vogue, Best Beach Reads)

The flinty coming-of-age story Ballistics, a follow-up to his story collection, Once You Break a Knuckle ... Wilson employs a central metaphor that leads a double life, "ballistics" referring both to causation in a family's history and to the gunshots that played a casual role ... A prose style that starts off as bracing, even breathtaking - Wilson can make a simile and a verb out of pretty much anything ... Description is the gift he is keenest to cultivate - rightly (New Statesman)

Forest fires are raging, to match the fiery passions of a hard-nosed, hard-boiled, basically hard cast. The spark for this slow-burning but eventually dramatic story is the heart attack suffered by old Cecil West ... It's a tale that needs a powerful amount of untangling, and it's told with a resistibly macho monotone but with so many betrayals and so much understated melodrama, it certainly packs a manly punch (Daily Mail)

Flinty, hard-edged prose ... Wilson can create a wonderfully tense scene, and his powers of description are often impressive. As Alan and Archer head into the hills to find Jack, they race against forest fires spreading across the valleys, and that constant burning presence works as a taut, nervy backdrop for the revelations to come ... There's no doubt that Wilson can write (Independent on Sunday)

Wilson's debut novel ... Provides all the macho behaviour expected of its title - shooting, hunting and grunting abound - but this is softened by the philosophising of Alan and Archer (Sunday Times)

The mountains dwarfing the township are threatened by wildfires, and Wilson uses this astutely to heighten the novel's background tension ... Archer's flashbacks bring together the potent moments that nudge the reader into the heart of Alan's journey ... Wilson handles the two perspectives ... Providing the reader with an at times enraptured sense of the terrible messiness of a world in which men are stunted emotional mutes, and the women suffer, their endurance taken for granted ... A male-only adventure playground. Wilson evokes it in telling detail ... As Alan's voice fades away and the dulcet, lyrical, often brilliant philosophising prevalent in his and Archer's musings attains the speed of a disappearing narrative bullet, you sense it heading straight for another fist-clenched tale, its bruised lips sealed (Scotsman)

Well-written, confident, and often compelling ... Engaging. His descriptive style is vivid and effective, albeit tinted with a romanticised view of small-town America, and while the novel may not go out with a bang, fittingly, this book is about the journey *** (The List)

Ballistics promises to bring to the longer form the brilliance [Wilson] showed in his superb short story collection Once You Break A Knuckle (John Burnside, Scotland on Sunday)

A hot shot of a novel ... Panoramic drama and epic scope (Tatler)

Stunning debut ... For such an outwardly macho book, it's full of tenderness and subtlety, marking the arrival of a sublime writer (Wiltshire Society)

Book Description

Selected as one of The Waterstones Eleven, for the best fiction debuts of 2013, Ballistics is a tender, powerful and brilliantly written novel of fathers and sons, vengeance and forgiveness, by the winner of the BBC National Short Story Award

About the Author

D. W. Wilson was born and raised in the small towns of the Kootenay Valley, British Columbia. He is the recipient of the University of East Anglia's inaugural Man Booker Prize Scholarship - the most prestigious award available to students in the MA programme. His stories have appeared in literary magazines across Canada, Ireland and the United Kingdom, and 'The Dead Roads' won the BBC National Short Story Award in 2011. He lives in Cambridge. Once You Break a Knuckle, his debut story collection, was published by Bloomsbury in 2012. It was shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize.
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