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The Country Ahead of Us, the Country Behind Paperback – 11 Jan 1996

3.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 181 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC; First Edition edition (11 Jan. 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747525617
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747525615
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 1.3 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 707,868 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

From the Back Cover

Like his PEN/Faulkner Award-winning national bestseller, Snow Falling on Cedars, David Guterson's beautifully observed and emotionally piercing short stories are set largely in the Pacific Northwest. In those vast landscapes, hunting, fishing, and sports are the givens of men's lives. But although Guterson's characters go into the wilderness in search of mallards or silver trout, they discover other things instead: the decay of their youthful ardor; the motiveless cruelty of strangers; their own capacity for deception and grief. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

David Guterson is the author of a collection of short stories, The Country Ahead of Us, the Country Behind; Family Matters: Why Homeschooling Makes Sense; Snow Falling on Cedars, which won the 1995 PEN/Faulkner Award, the Pacific Northwest Bookseller Association Award, and was an international bestseller; and the national bestseller East of the Mountains. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I will always be grateful for this book. The night my father died I couldn't sleep and got up to wander around downstairs. I came upon this book or part of it in one of those magazine giveaways, it was just lying around. I sat down to dip into it by the light of a table lamp. The short story I read was called 'Opening Day'. Its about a father and son going out to hunt early in the morning. It drew me in and comforted me in a way that I'd not have thought possible. Gutterson manages to convey all of the frailties and imperfections of father-son relationships without being heavy handed or leading you too much. The understated dialogue and interplay of the narrative with nature gives the tale an elegiac feel that is both poignant and real. At my lowest, lowest ebb it miraculously made me feel better.

Like 'Opening Day' many of the other stories feature turning points or characters on the brink of great change as you'd expect from the title. The stories also share, for the most part, a close connection to nature and Gutterson's great ability to evoke mood and ideas by almost paying homage to the landscape he describes. 'Angels in the Snow' is a departure from this - a tendency towards infidelity is foretold by the apparently innocent recklessness of youth as a protagonist looks back on a failed relationship in later life. Gutterson's writing is a bit ponderous at times but I'll always be grateful for the comfort and warmth of 'Opening Day'.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this because I really enjoyed "Snow Falling on Cedars" and another novel about a surgeon who was terminally ill (can't recall the title) which I also rated highly. However, I gave up on this book after reading a couple of the stories which , although well written, I found were male-orientated - for example a hunting expedition - and didn't appeal to me.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Short stories. His novels are so much better.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars the incredible flowing of vocabulary--David Guterson's seemingly effortless ability to write prose that at times almost is poetr 8 April 2016
By Susanna - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The language, the expression, the incredible flowing of vocabulary--David Guterson's seemingly effortless ability to write prose that at times almost is poetry--all make this a book one I surely would recommend reading. As usual, his writings are thought-provoking. Though this book did not reach the popularity of his SNOW FALLING ON CEDARS (which was made into a movie), it still is surely a most worthy read. If this man wrote advertising brochures, I'd read those, so beautiful is his control of language, which seems to roll from an incredible gifted mind into his pen.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than Snow 26 Jan. 2002
By John Regan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm aghast when I read the reviews of my fellow readers but then I take in account the common misperception that a short story is somehow easier to write or a lesser achievement than a novel. The truth is that short stories are more difficult to write, every sentence must punctuate, there is no breathing room. In the two novels I have read of Guterson, the endless pages of description are wonderful but can be top-heavy at times, whereas these stories are lean creations, leaving me wanting more. While it's no Pigeon Feathers, Guterson has been handed the wordsmithing baton from Updike, and the rich prose reminds me of Updike, satiating a yearn I have for quality short stories. I thoroughly enjoyed these, I liked them better than either of his novels, I hope he writes more.
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars 15 Feb. 2016
By Judith Cayton - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
His writing is so lyrical I am mesmerized.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Time well spent. 8 Nov. 2009
By Gerald Eckert - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Guterson in smaller bites. The pictures evoked by "Snow Falling on Cedars" and the thoughts from "East of the Mountains" come
differently, but every bit as clearly.
Not as different as "The Other", and perhaps that was due to the medium.
I look forward to his next novel, more than short stories.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Early Excellence 25 Jun. 2011
By Donald Carter - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An excellent selection of short stories. The author's eye and talent for looking into a characters thoughts and behaviors is clearly developing here. They really show how much of his later novel themes were coming about in both characterization and settings.
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