Beasts of the Earth : A Novel

James Wade

Roger Clark (Narrator)

10-11-22

7hrs 20min

Abridgement

Unabridged

Genre

Fiction/Literary

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10-11-22

7hrs 20min

Abridgement

Unabridged

Genre

Fiction/Literary

Description

“Wade’s pitch-perfect, personality-driven dialogue sings in the voice of life, and his ability to meld existential thought, situational metaphor, and cinematic setting is a full-bodied experience…A soul-deep exploration of a wounded man in crisis, James Wade’s Beasts of the Earth…secures his position as an author of extraordinary merit.” New York Journal of Books

A Deep South Magazine of Best Fall/Winter Reading
A Richland County Library South Carolina Pick of the Month

James Wade, whose first two novels were praised as “rhapsodic” and “haunting,” delivers his most powerful work to date—a chilling parable about the impossible demands of hate and love, trauma and goodness, vividly set in the landscapes of Texas and Louisiana.

Beasts of the Earth tells the story of Harlen LeBlanc, a dependable if quiet employee of the Carter Hills High School’s grounds department, whose carefully maintained routine is overthrown by an act of violence. As the town searches for answers, LeBlanc strikes out on his own to exonerate a friend, while drawing the eyes of the law to himself and fending off unwelcome voices that call for a sterner form of justice.

Twenty years earlier, young Michael Fischer dreads the return of his father from prison. He spends his days stealing from trap lines in the Louisiana bayou to feed his fanatically religious mother and his cherished younger sister, Doreen. When his father eventually returns, an evil arrives in Michael’s life that sends him running from everything he has ever known. He is rescued by a dying poet and his lover, who extract from him a promise: to be a good man, whatever that may require.

Beasts of the Earth deftly intertwines these stories, exploring themes of time, fate, and free will, to produce a revelatory conclusion that is both beautiful and heartbreaking.

Praise

“Wade’s pitch-perfect, personality-driven dialogue sings in the voice of life, and his ability to meld existential thought, situational metaphor, and cinematic setting is a full-bodied experience…A soul-deep exploration of a wounded man in crisis, James Wade’s Beasts of the Earth…secures his position as an author of extraordinary merit.” New York Journal of Books

“James Wade’s Beasts of the Earth delivers on the promise of his first two novels with this scorched-earth tale of a solitary innocent struggling against the unrelenting misery of a rural community in the American South who believe him to be a degenerate criminal. Reminiscent of early McCarthy, Larry Brown, or the great Tom Franklin, Wade uses two timelines to weave this intricate story that culminates in a most satisfying crescendo of honor, violence, and the only kind of justice some folks ever get. It’s his depictions of noble suffering that strike deepest—I’ll be thinking about young Michael Fischer, a boy struggling to hold together that last fragments of his humanity, for a long time. James Wade has all the tools, imagination, and more than enough passion to be at the vanguard of the best Grit-Lit writers of his generation, and I’ll be reading whatever he puts out.” Matt Bondurant, bestselling author of Oleander City and Lawless

“James Wade writes a terrific story, but that isn’t what makes him so good. Wade is a craftsman. His books should be read slowly, to luxuriate in his word choices, his sentence structure, his character revelation. That is why he is a joy to read.” James L. Haley, Spur Award–winning author of the Bliven Putnam Naval Adventures

“Wade returns with another stark and chilling tale…From reptiles in the swamp hunting prey, to reptilian men, cold and calculating, beasts feature in this disturbing novel…The prose is beautiful. Library Journal

“All Things Left Wild was one of my favorite novels of the last two years, as was River, Sing Out. But neither of those novels could have prepared me for the dark and compelling vision of Beasts of the Earth. I found myself rooting for the characters throughout their near-Biblical tribulations, and the storyline kept me turning the pages, desperate to find out what would happen next. Here we have a novel that blends realism with existentialist philosophy to redefine contemporary Southern fiction. Don’t miss this tour de force of modern literature.” David Heska Wanbli Weiden, Spur and Anthony Award–winning author of Winter Counts

“Like Flannery O’Connor, James Wade explores what it means to be human—our capacity for good rivaled only by our capacity for evil, our weakness alongside our urge for redemption and grace—with gloriously complex characters and gorgeous prose. Beasts of the Earth is a beautiful gut-punch of a novel.” Stacey Swann, author of Olympus, Texas

“James Wade is a writer of exceptional talent and this novel is his latest entry toward his path to greatness.” Scott Semegran, award-winning author of The Benevolent Lords of Sometimes Island and host of Austin Liti Limits

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Details
More Information
Release Date October 11, 2022
Language English
Genre Coming of Age, Crime, Fiction, General, Literary, Small Town & Rural
Author Bio
James Wade

James Wade lives and writes in the Texas Hill Country with his wife and daughter. He is the author of River, Sing Out and All Things Left Wild, a winner of the prestigious MPIBA Reading the West Award for Debut Fiction, and a recipient of the Spur Award for Best Historical Novel from the Western Writers of America.

Narrator Bio
Roger Clark

Roger Clark is a professional actor and voiceover artist who lives in New York City. He is best known for his award-winning portrayal of Arthur Morgan in the 2018 video game Red Dead Redemption 2. He has performed in over forty-five countries.

Overview

A Deep South Magazine of Best Fall/Winter Reading
A Richland County Library South Carolina Pick of the Month

James Wade, whose first two novels were praised as “rhapsodic” and “haunting,” delivers his most powerful work to date—a chilling parable about the impossible demands of hate and love, trauma and goodness, vividly set in the landscapes of Texas and Louisiana.

Beasts of the Earth tells the story of Harlen LeBlanc, a dependable if quiet employee of the Carter Hills High School’s grounds department, whose carefully maintained routine is overthrown by an act of violence. As the town searches for answers, LeBlanc strikes out on his own to exonerate a friend, while drawing the eyes of the law to himself and fending off unwelcome voices that call for a sterner form of justice.

Twenty years earlier, young Michael Fischer dreads the return of his father from prison. He spends his days stealing from trap lines in the Louisiana bayou to feed his fanatically religious mother and his cherished younger sister, Doreen. When his father eventually returns, an evil arrives in Michael’s life that sends him running from everything he has ever known. He is rescued by a dying poet and his lover, who extract from him a promise: to be a good man, whatever that may require.

Beasts of the Earth deftly intertwines these stories, exploring themes of time, fate, and free will, to produce a revelatory conclusion that is both beautiful and heartbreaking.