The Soujorn

Here is a book worth reading —  The Sojourn by Andrew Krivak.  I think it’s his first published book, which is quite amazing, considering the beauty of the writing.

An excerpt .. “The Northwest Carpathians, in which I was raised, were a hard place, as unforgiving as the people who lived there, but the Alpine landscape into which Zlee and I were sent that early winter seemed a glimpse of what the surface of the earth looked and felt and acted like when there were no maps or borders, no rifles or artillery, no men or wars to claim possession of land, and snow and rock alone parried in  match of millennial slowness so that time meant nothing, and death meant nothing, for what life there was gave into the forces of nature surrounding and accepted its fate to play what role was handed down in the sidereal march of seasons capable of crushing in an instant what armies might — millennia later — be foolish enough to assemble on it heights.”

This is the story of a man’s life, starting out as an immigrant in American West and then back to the homeland in Europe just before the First World War, and the time spent in that War as sniper, a specialist trained by his father no to kill in wartime, but to survive as a simple shepherd.  I am not finished yet, but like The People’s Act of Love, this is a book that takes one away into a past that has been largely forgotten, but shouldn’t be.

The way we can consume books these days is pretty remarkable.  A cheap Kindle (the PaperWhite is the way to go), and Overdrive, plus a library card in a county that has some books (Orange has over 100K – not bad …), and you don’t have to leave your house to find what amounts to an endless supply of books.  Of course, with over 400,000 books published a year in the U.S. alone, it can be a bit of toss.  But it doesn’t have to be.  Stick with the awards.  This book I’m writing about today was a National Book Award finalist.  Deservedly so.  Congratulations, Mr. Krivak.