The Clearing by Tim Gautreaux

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In his critically acclaimed new novel, Tim Gautreaux fashions a classic and unforgettable tale of two brothers struggling in a hostile world.
In a lumber camp in the Louisiana cypress forest, a world of mud and stifling heat where men labor under back-breaking conditions, the Aldridge brothers try to repair a broken bond. Randolph Aldridge is the mill’s manager, sent by his father—the mill owner—to reform both the damaged mill and his damaged older brother. Byron Aldridge is the mill's lawman, a shell-shocked World War I veteran given to stunned silences and sudden explosions of violence that make him a mystery to Randolph and a danger to himself. Deep in the swamp, in this place of water moccasins, whiskey, and wild card games, these brothers become embroiled in a lethal feud with a powerful gangster. In a tale full of raw emotion as supple as a saw blade, The Clearing is a mesmerizing journey into the trials that define men’s souls.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About Tim Gautreaux

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Born and raised in Louisiana, Tim Gautreaux is Writer-in-Residence at Southeastern Louisiana University. His work has appeared in Harper's, The Atlantic Monthly, GQ, and Zoetrope, as well as the O. Henry and Best American short-story annuals. His first novel, The Next Step in the Dance, won the 1999 Southeastern Booksellers Award, and he has also published two collections of short fiction.
Published December 18, 2007 by Vintage. 322 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Clearing

The Guardian

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The highly charged set-pieces - the gunfights and beatings, the carefully plotted ambushes and the crazy acts of wanton destruction - are compelling in themselves, but they also provide the occasion for a series of subtle and oblique reflections on our seemingly incorrigible tendency to maim and ...

Oct 18 2003 | Read Full Review of The Clearing

Publishers Weekly

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A godforsaken mill town in the cypress swamps of Louisiana is the setting for a bitter power struggle in this darkly lyrical, densely packed second novel by Gautreaux (The Next Step in the Dance).

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Book Reporter

If you're looking to fell a cypress tree five feet in diameter, or if you need to incapacitate a man using a shovel, or if you need to pull half of a nightclub into a river using a steamboat, you'll find clear, step-by-step instructions in Tim Gautreaux's second novel, THE CLEARING.

Jan 21 2011 | Read Full Review of The Clearing

Entertainment Weekly

After witnessing the horrors of WWI, the once charming and confident Byron Aldridge returns from France a shell of his former self.

Jun 27 2003 | Read Full Review of The Clearing

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