The Dig by Cynan Jones

86%

5 Critic Reviews

As absorbing on a second reading as it is on the first, this is the type of assured, rich first novel most writers can only dream of producing...While the action of the story is compelling, the real pleasures lie in Jones's language and meditations on grief.
-Publishers Weekly

Synopsis

"Jones's sense of place is acute, and his passion for the landscape—for its colors, its creatures, its textures, its scents—is absolutely magnetic."—Sarah Waters

"A dark, tense, and vital short novel. . . . Profound, powerful, and utterly absorbing."—The Guardian

"It is a book about the essentials: life and death, cruelty and compassion. It is a book that will get in your bones, and haunt you."—Daily Telegraph

"Cynan Jones's fourth novel, The Dig, is an extraordinarily powerful work—not in spite of its brevity but because of it. . . . In its marriage of profound lyricism and feeling for place, deep human compassion and unflinching savagery, this brief and beautiful novel is utterly unique."—Financial Times

Built of the interlocking fates of a badger-baiter and a farmer struggling through lambing season, The Dig unfolds in a stark rural setting where man, animal, and land are at loggerheads. There is no bucolic pastoral here: this is pure, pared-down rural realism, crackling with compressed energy, from a writer of uncommon gifts.

Cynan Jones was born near Aberaeron, Wales, in 1975. He is the author of three novels, The Long Dry (winner of a Betty Trask Award, 2007), Everything I Found on the Beach (2011), and The Dig (2014), winner of the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize. He is also the author of Bird, Blood, Snow (2012), the retelling of a medieval Welsh myth. The Dig is his first novel published in the United States.

 

About Cynan Jones

See more books from this Author
Cynan Jones is a writer whose work has appeared in Richard & Judy's Winning Stories and Urban Welsh.
 
Published March 16, 2015 by Coffee House Press. 176 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Parenting & Relationships. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Dig
All: 5 | Positive: 5 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Excellent
on Jan 18 2015

...he’s a deeply memorable character who’s simply rendered. A persistently dour story that’s energized by the author’s command of character and mood.

Read Full Review of The Dig | See more reviews from Kirkus

Publishers Weekly

Excellent
on Mar 26 2015

As absorbing on a second reading as it is on the first, this is the type of assured, rich first novel most writers can only dream of producing...While the action of the story is compelling, the real pleasures lie in Jones's language and meditations on grief.

Read Full Review of The Dig | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Evie Wyld on May 15 2015

There is certainly a deliberate gnarled quality to the novel’s prose. Its language is slightly askew, forcing the reader to linger.

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Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Patrick Barkham on Feb 14 2014

Death may be everywhere but The Dig is brilliantly alive; a profound, powerful and utterly absorbing portrayal of a subterranean rural world.

Read Full Review of The Dig | See more reviews from Guardian

Financial Times

Good
Reviewed by Melissa Harrison on Feb 14 2014

In its marriage of profound lyricism and feeling for place, deep human compassion and unflinching savagery, this brief and beautiful novel is utterly unique.

Read Full Review of The Dig | See more reviews from Financial Times

Reader Rating for The Dig
80%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 9 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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