Published by Algonquin Books

At the foot of the Elwha River, the muddy outpost of Port Bonita is about to boom, fueled by a ragtag band of dizzyingly disparate men and women unified only in their visions of a more prosperous future. A failed accountant by the name of Ethan Thornburgh has just arrived in Port Bonita to reclaim the woman he loves and start a family. Ethan’s obsession with a brighter future impels the damming of the mighty Elwha to harness its power and put Port Bonita on the map.

More than a century later, his great-great grandson, a middle manager at a failing fish- packing plant, is destined to oversee the undoing of that vision, as the great Thornburgh dam is marked for demolition, having blocked the very lifeline that could have sustained the town. West of Here is a grand and playful odyssey, a multilayered saga of destiny and greed, adventure and passion, that chronicles the life of one small town, turning America’s history into myth, and myth into a nation’s shared experience.

$15.95 (US)

Product Details
Categories
Number of pages
512
Publication date
January 31, 2012
ISBN
9781616200824
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Jonathan Evison

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Review quotes
A "booming, bighearted epic." --Vanity Fair
"A big novel about the discovery and rediscovery of nature, starting over, and the sometimes piercing reverberations of history, this is a damn fine book." --Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Evison switches easily between 19th-century vernacular and contemporary lingo, and the tenderly funny result is both pioneer story and social commentary. You'll want to reread it to catch cross-references between the parallel stories." --American Way
"Evison, author of this audacious historical novel, manages a near-impossible feat: first, he creates an almost absurdly complex narrative structure, bridging more than 100 years of life in Washington State and encompassing multiple points of view, and then he grounds the sublime architechtonic whole in the vividly realized daily lives of characters who exist completely in their individual moments but whose actions reverberate back and forth across time . . . [This] is a testament to the books' greatness." --Booklist, starred review
“An enjoyable, meaty read—a vision of a place told through the people who find themselves at the edge of America’s idea of itself.” —Los Angeles Times
“[A] booming, bighearted epic.” —Vanity Fair
“[A] booming, bighearted epic.” —Vanity Fair
“Riotously funny . . . Wonderfully charming.”
The New York Times Book Review
“Riotously funny . . . Wonderfully charming.”
The New York Times Book Review
“[A] big, booming ruckus of a novel . . . Evison [is] a tremendously gifted storyteller.”
San Francisco Chronicle
“[A] big, booming ruckus of a novel . . . Evison [is] a tremendously gifted storyteller.”
San Francisco Chronicle
“Evison gives us a jaunty, rain-slicked quest story . . . Its ending is clever and satisfying, and its arrival could signal the breakout of a promising career.”
Cleveland Plain Dealer