Ballistics: A Novel Paperback – Mar 4 2014
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“One of the finest novels of the year.” - Georgia Straight
“Like the Boss, Wilson takes as his subjects working men who prefer outdoor pursuits and manual labour and who tend to blow off steam by drinking beer and fighting. . . this is a man’s, man’s book.” - Globe and Mail
“With this new book, Wilson stakes his claim for the title of manliest Canadian literary-fiction author. . . Its haunted men and matter-of-fact violence may call to mind the work of such American authors as Richard Ford and Russell Banks.” - Winnipeg Free Press
“Lean Richard Ford and Raymond Carver-like prose. A tough debut.” - Sharp
“Ballistics is a lean, powerful book about quiet, emotional people. It animates a world that any smalltown North American could identify in a moment, yet it transcends this environment to evoke something universal: how people live through loss, and how they talk about what matters, or don't.” - The Guardian
About the Author
D.W. Wilson was born and raised in the small towns of the Kootenay Valley, British Columbia. He is the recipient of the University of East Anglia's inaugural Man Booker Prize Scholarship—the most prestigious award available to students in the M.A. program. His fiction and essays have appeared in literary magazines across Canada, Ireland, and the U.K., and he is the youngest-ever winner of the BBC’s National Short Story Prize. He lives in Cambridge.
Top Customer Reviews
I did like the book though - there's a good story at the heart of it - and I'd still pick up whatever else Wilson writes.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
D.W. Wilson writes very evocative, quite poetic prose and generates an excellent sense of place, especially as a colossal forest fire begins to take control of events. There is fairly constant tension between characters which sometimes spills over into violence and keeps the book exciting. What makes this book special for me, though, is the characterisation and especially Wilson's deep understanding of the minds of tough, seemingly self-sufficient men and the way they relate to (and fail to relate to) one another and to women. There are scenes of great tenderness and of crackling tension, and I was gripped pretty well all the way through.
I have seen the words macho and even super-macho used to describe this book, but this is no Hemingway-like celebration of macho manhood. It is a tragic, regretful, almost compassionate portrait of how such men can damage their own and others' lives and how festering enmity can eventually lead to isolation, loneliness and destruction. I found it remarkably insightful and honest, and often very, very sad.
The book isn't perfect. It gets a bit rambling at times and could do with a little cutting in places, I thought, and it's not always easy to tell whose voice we're hearing which can be a distraction when the narration switches, but I still thought it worthy of five stars. Something this well-written and this insightful doesn't come along often, and I would recommend this very warmly to anyone looking for a thoughtful and haunting novel.