The Wilding by Benjamin Percy
A Novel

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Synopsis

A powerful debut novel set in a threatened western landscape, from the award-winning author of Refresh, Refresh

Echo Canyon is a disappearing pocket of wilderness outside of Bend, Oregon, and the site of conflicting memories for Justin Caves and his father, Paul. It's now slated for redevelopment as a golfing resort. When Paul suggests one last hunting trip, Justin accepts, hoping to get things right with his father this time, and agrees to bring his son, Graham, along.

As the weekend unfolds, Justin is pushed to the limit by the reckless taunting of his father, the physical demands of the terrain, and the menacing evidence of the hovering presence of bear. All the while, he remembers the promise he made to his skeptical wife: to keep their son safe.

Benjamin Percy, a writer whose work Dan Chaon called "bighearted and drunk and dangerous," shows his mastery of narrative suspense as the novel builds to its surprising climax. The Wilding shines unexpected light on our shifting relationship with nature and family in contemporary society.

 

About Benjamin Percy

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Benjamin Percy has won a Whiting Writers Award, a Plimpton Prize, two Pushcart Prizes, and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. He is the author of the novel The Wilding (Graywolf Press, 2010) and two short story collections, Refresh, Refresh (Graywolf Press, 2007) and The Language of Elk (Carnegie-Mellon University Press, 2006). His work has appeared in Esquire (where he is a contributing editor), GQ, Time, Men's Journal, Outside, TheWall Street Journal, The Paris Review, Tin House and Best American Short Stories.
 
Published September 28, 2010 by Graywolf Press. 271 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure, Romance. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Wilding

Kirkus Reviews

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Back in Bend, a creepy vet is stalking Karen, and the Echo Canyon developer, more forthrightly, is trying to seduce her;

Oct 01 2010 | Read Full Review of The Wilding: A Novel

New York Journal of Books

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This is Benjamin Percy’s first novel following his successful short story collections Refresh, Refresh (Graywolf, 2007) and The Language of Elk (Carnegie Mellon, 2006).

Sep 28 2010 | Read Full Review of The Wilding: A Novel

Los Angeles Times

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It's Paul's idea to bring Justin and his bookish 12-year-old son, Graham, on one last hunting trip into the Ochoco Mountains east of Bend, to Echo Canyon, the very place where Paul took Justin as a child and the very place where a brand new development — timbered lodge, 300 lots, golf course, pav...

Jan 09 2011 | Read Full Review of The Wilding: A Novel

Dallas News

In Benjamin Percy's taut, accomplished first novel, The Wilding, protagonist Justin Caves thinks about how the lyrics to the children's song "Teddy Bears' Picnic" have always bothered him: "It's lovely down in the woods today, but safer to stay at home."

Oct 24 2010 | Read Full Review of The Wilding: A Novel

Oregon Live

Nature, whether Justin fights the grizzly or Brian comes to terms with his furry self or even a conflicted Karen tussles with the lecherous fakery of Bobby Fremont, developer of the Echo Canyon resort.

Oct 02 2010 | Read Full Review of The Wilding: A Novel

Review (Barnes & Noble)

Living as most of us now do in an urban and suburban world, we tend to idolize the deep woods as a place of natural beauty, a place to renew and reflect.

Oct 01 2010 | Read Full Review of The Wilding: A Novel

MostlyFiction Book Reviews

Justin often (sadly) treats his son as an equal partner on their adventure while the distance between Justin and his dad is too pronounced to be ignored.

Sep 28 2010 | Read Full Review of The Wilding: A Novel

Bookmarks Magazine

When Paul suggests one last hunting trip, Justin accepts, hoping to get things right with his father this time, and agrees to bring his son, Graham, along.

Oct 03 2010 | Read Full Review of The Wilding: A Novel

Spinetingler Magazine

Thing is, we get to that point in the end, we’ve got fucking Brian standing behind her while she folds laundry or some shit, and then he gets a headache and hides in the closet until dawn then just leaves – without Karen ever even knowing he was after her!

Jan 11 2011 | Read Full Review of The Wilding: A Novel

Fiction Writers Review

For more on the book and Percy’s writing process, please read Shawn Mitchell’s interview, which FWR published this week.

Sep 28 2010 | Read Full Review of The Wilding: A Novel

The BookPage

Yesterday we posted about a big deal for a post-apocalyptic novel—today I wanted to mention this deal for writer Benjamin Percy, whose first novel The Wilding “speaks of an author with many more tricks up his sleeve,” according to BookPage … Continue reading →

Nov 09 2010 | Read Full Review of The Wilding: A Novel

The Nervous Breakdown

Around his father, Justin had always felt that way, as if everything were bigger than he was.” This fear is at the heart of The Wilding , this story about a boy, Justin, who grows into a man that lives in the shadow of his own father, Paul.

Dec 22 2010 | Read Full Review of The Wilding: A Novel

Culture Mob

In a book as terrifying as any horror and tense as any thriller, The Wilding makes the case that to overcome our own weaknesses we must be willing to enter the shadow and confront whatever we find.

Aug 12 2011 | Read Full Review of The Wilding: A Novel

Reader Rating for The Wilding
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