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In The Wilderness [Paperback]

Manuel Rivas , Jonathan Dunne

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Paperback, 1 Jan 2004 --  

Book Description

1 Jan 2004
A glorious cast of animals and birds, as well as humans, relate magical stories in this extraordinary novel. An old lady, Misia, tells how the 300 ravens of Xallas are the warrior-poets of the last king of Galacia. A priest, Don Xil, explains to a pesant girl, Rosa, that the beautifully carved women in the local chruch are not saints, but representations of the seven deadly sins. Manuel Riva's story emerges like spirals of smoke, in a series of memorably poetic images. His characters have their roots deep in the traditions, elgends, language and history of Galacia, Spain's most north-westerly province. With tremendous power of vision, Rivas displays his strong sense of cultural identity through tales narrated with great tenderness and humour.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 170 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; New Edition edition (1 Jan 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099455188
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099455189
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 12.8 x 1.2 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,610,919 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


An exhilarating novel -- The Times

Book Description

An early novel by the author of The Carpenter's Pencil that displays Manuel Rivas's powers as a storyteller and his poetic vision to their fullest. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 300 Spying Songster Crows... 4 Jan 2008
By Draoi - Published on
I had this book for about 5 years and kept dipping into every now and again; so its one of those authors 'testimonies' that lasts a lifetime, an accumulation of reflections, observances, brief sketches and poetical illustrations. There is no story-line as such, although it revolves around an the character of an old lady called Misia in a Galician village in North-West Spain. Other prominent residents of the town are animals which are the reincarnated souls of previous individuals, all monitered and watched by the 300 Crows of king Xallas. Strange events, miracles, storms and silence are all interwoven with human suffering, joy and exhaltations. The author employs many of the characteristics, symbols and myths of the Celtic Galician past and writes in an almost timeless sense of continuing existence.

The 'deadpan' Gallic humor is something wierd and difficult to get used to, but ultimately charming and addictive. The whole book spirals around and jumps and leaps from the extraordinary to the mundane but is worth the effort in perseverance; very delicately crafted style of writing which reminds me of contemporary Irish novelists such as James Joyce and Samuel Beckett.

Highly recommended for its sharp contrasts, subtle insights, visions, ancient logic and sense of mystery.
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