The Short Day Dying

It has been many years since I read a book in a day. It is not my usual practice, as I read slowly and with distracted thoughts. Never has my attention been focused on a book in quite this way: I returned to it again and again throughout the day not because I wanted to know what happened next, but because I wanted to listen to the voice of the narrator. I did wonder whether the narrator's own death would be the end of the story, yet I wasn't just reading to find out. (I won't spoil the ending for those yet to discover it.)
Peter Hobbs, the author of this beautiful novel, has a rare and amazing gift, I think. The endorsements compare him to Faulkner and Hardy. I see the resemblance to both, but was never drawn in by their prose the way I was by his. Perhaps he lacks their genius, which I failed to grasp, and that is why I was so captivated by his story and the way he tells it. So be it: I delighted in it and was moved by it all the same. You will have to judge for yourself.

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