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In The Wilderness [Paperback]

Manuel Rivas

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Kindle Edition £6.99  
Paperback £10.76  
Paperback, 30 Jan 2003 --  

Book Description

30 Jan 2003
A glorious cast of animals and birds, as well as humans, relate the magical stories that form the plot of Manuel Rivas's extraordinary novel. An old lady, Misia, tells how the 300 ravens of Xallas are the warrior-poets of the last King of Galicia. A priest, Don Xil, explains to a peasant girl, Rosa, that the beautifully carved women in the local church are not saints, but represent the seven deadly sins. A mouse, Matac-ns, a poacher in his previous life, is chased by a cat, the bagpiper and anarchist, Arturo of Lousame. A bat, Gaspar, relates his own death to a lizard. In a nearby cellar, half the parish are found to have transmigrated into spiders, snails, toads-Manuel Rivas's story emerges like spirals of smoke, in a series of memorably poetic images. His characters have their roots deep in the traditions, legends and history of his beloved Galicia. Few contemporary storytellers share his power of vision and sense of cultural identity, or can narrate their tales with such tenderness and humour.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Harvill Press; First Printing edition (30 Jan 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1843430142
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843430148
  • Product Dimensions: 22.2 x 13.4 x 1.6 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,766,222 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


An exhilarating novel -- The Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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.

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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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