The Long Dry

The Long Dry Waking up early to check the cattle Gareth notices one of the calving cows is missing and sets off to find her before the sun gets too strong What follows is a search through memory and anxiety about

  • Title: The Long Dry
  • Author: Cynan Jones Gwen Davies
  • ISBN: 9781905762583
  • Page: 317
  • Format: Paperback
  • Waking up early to check the cattle, Gareth notices one of the calving cows is missing and sets off to find her before the sun gets too strong What follows is a search through memory and anxiety about losing what he has as Gareth walks the land looking for the missing cow Increasingly, the narrative is disturbed by arresting and often brutal imagery as things chip away aWaking up early to check the cattle, Gareth notices one of the calving cows is missing and sets off to find her before the sun gets too strong What follows is a search through memory and anxiety about losing what he has as Gareth walks the land looking for the missing cow Increasingly, the narrative is disturbed by arresting and often brutal imagery as things chip away at Gareth s patience and the need to find the cow becomes pressing The day unfolds, and the cow s behaviour emerges as a metaphor for the relationship between Gareth and his wife Kate as they stumble on desperately in their changing care for each other Only the reader is aware of the tragedy that awaits the family a few days down the line, throwing the story into shadow with a terrible poignancy.

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    About “Cynan Jones Gwen Davies

    • Cynan Jones Gwen Davies

      Cynan Jones lives and works near Aberaeron on the west coast of Wales His first novel, The Long Dry , won a 2007 Betty Trask Award and led to his nomination as the Hay Festival Scritture Giovani Fellow in 2008.His second novel Everything I Found on the Beach was published by Parthian in 2011.Both books were re released by Granta in Summer 2014, in partnership with Parthian,.His work has been translated into a number of languages, and short fiction has appeared on BBC Radio 4 and in various magazines and anthologies, including Granta and New Welsh Review.A third book, Bird, Blood, Snow one of Seren s New Stories From the Mabinogion came out in October 2012 His latest book, The Dig , was published by Granta in 2014 A chapter of the novel was shortlisted for the 2013 Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award, and the novel won a 2014 Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize and the Wales Book of the Year Fiction Prize 2015.Coffee House Press published The Dig in the States in 2015, and Everything I Found on the Beach in 2016 The Long Dry will follow in 2017.His new book, Cove , will be published in the UK by Granta in Autumn 2016.He is also responsible for The Fart.

    245 thoughts on “The Long Dry

    • What a beautiful, beautiful novel this is. I am certain I shan't read a better one this year, or maybe for many a year. I am quite stingy when giving out five stars, but The Long Dry certainly deserves every praise. I have read this book in two sittings today, and I am so looking forward to reading it again to refix the richness of the symbolism in the context of what I have learned in coming to the end.When reading The Long Dry, I was reminded of Le Grand Meaulnes, and The Heart is a Lonely Hun [...]


    • Earlier this year I read Cynan Jones’ extraordinarily powerful novel The Dig and was so impressed I quickly sought out his first book, The Long Dry, which was published in 2006 and won a Betty Trask Award the following year. Cut from similar cloth as The Dig, it depicts a world that is earthy, rough and rugged but it is written in such lyrical pared-back language it practically sings with the beauty of the rural landscape in which it is set.Set over the course of a single day, it tells the tal [...]



    • A (hot) day in the life of a welsh farmer. So much is going on - and so little. The descriptions are so realistic that you can step onto the farm, feel the heat and see the sea. Jones paints the picture drops an emotional 'bomb' and before you know it you are back in the farmyard. To talk about these events would spoil the effect.


    • Absolutely loved it. I wish writers like this got more notice. It's a sad story, yet it also holds hope. Deceptively simple, beautiful writing. Very real characters. I plan to read everything written by this author. I'm so glad I stumbled on him!


    • Cynan Jones, 'The long dry': 105 pages of  distilled language, not a single excessive word and still so much life in this book. A real gem. Book of the year? Could very well be.


    • When I started this book I thought at first it was based somewhere foreign, what with the drought and the heat I didn't think it would be a local book. Also, the style of writing came across to me as a little stunted as if English wasn't the first language of the character who was narrating it. As it turned out the book is set in Wales many years ago! I loved this book and the style in which it is written, I can't exactly put a finger on a specific word or phrase to describe it but it just works [...]


    • Outside rack, Cecil Square.Dedication: For Charm and Mum, and in memory of D LL WOpening: He tastes to her of coffee. In the morning, when he comes to wake her up.'The cow's gone,' he says.Chit-chat first: Having lent my phone out, I found the the auto-correct installed was a severe breed and in another language; now all fixed. *le sigh*Also am not keen on seeing authors rate their own books with 5*. Cynan Jones has rated this 5* twice, ostensibly for the work of the translators, however it stil [...]


    • This is one of my all time favourites, beautifully written and totally absorbing. I read it one sitting and I am not sure if this makes sense to other readers, but it actually made me glow! It's such a realistic series of events, some saddening, then some uplifting and positive. I don't think it's giving anything away when I say that one of my favourite characters is a cow. I will definitely read this book again and again.


    • A small book with great heft. At times the book is a painful read as it dissects the anatomy of a relationship. Don't let its sparse muscularity deceive you. You will cry. That is, if you are not a robot.


    • THE LONG DRY. (2006). Cynan Jones. ***.This was this author’s first novel, although there were apparently some volumes of short stories somewhere ahead of this one. It is set in one day on a farm/ranch and tells the story of Gareth, the owner and husband of the piece. He’s up early in the morning and discovers that a cow has gone missing. He spends a lot of time looking for the lost cow and thinking. His thoughts are not very uplifting, although they are lyrical in expression. It’s kind of [...]


    • Simply, this is a magnificent novel. It's a gem of compression and poetic focus, cramming so much life — family life, human life, animal life, plant life, the life of an abandoned car in a field and a rickety van still on the road — into barely over one hundred pages. More astounding is the deep care and respect paid to each of those lives: nothing is slighted, however slight it might seem beside the "big" events of the novel, and nothing is shied away from either in the birth and death and [...]


    • This is an Italian translation of The Long Dry - thanks for the brilliant work Gioia Guerzoni did on the translation.


    • I literally stumbled upon this book in the library, a happy accident. I was looking for some short books to finish up my reading year, 2017. Of course, I checked the review consensus on , and it had gotten terrific reviews. This can be read in one or two sittings, a very spare novella.But what a punch this novella packs! I would rate it 4.5/5 stars. The prose is spare, lyrical and beautiful. A farmer (in Wales), searches for his missing pregnant cow during a long, very hot dry spell. This search [...]


    • yaaaaass,more like The Dig again, which I loved.Oh how it aches in all the right places and the way memories are triggered during the story and oh yes the cows language, yesyesyesyesyesssss!


    • That Jones so deftly manifested the voices of Ernest Hemingway and John Steinbeck in a contemporary fashion marked my first impression. Jones's writing is sparse, his sentences simple yet lush with beauty and bitter sweetness. The fragmented structure pulls forward to tell a story from an omniscient POV. Though why the author used the first person when writing from the wife/mother's perspective is something to savor and contemplate well after completing the book. This is one of the best CHP titl [...]


    • Lo stile è asciutto nella forma, intimo nella sostanza, e la storia scorre con naturalezza; la narrazione a più voci e la presenza di capoversi liberi, più incline alla poesia che alla prosa, è originale ma volte può lasciare un po' disorientati. E' il romanzo di una famiglia che vive in una fattoria, delle parole non dette, dei silenzi, del passato che pesa come un macigno nella quotidianità. Ma è anche e soprattutto il romanzo della natura, ostile e meravigliosa, generatrice di vita e d [...]


    • I picked this book up on a whim from the clearance section and it's fair to say that it surpassed my expectations. Whilst there was no 'solid plot line' the book focuses on a farmer, his wife (and a missing cow) revealing, as the book goes on, details about their lives, surroundings and most importantly their relationship which despite their love for each other is wrought with insecurity. Cynan Jones has written a novel which allows the reader to develop a resounding connection with each and eve [...]


    • poche parole basterebbero per uno scrittore come Cynan Jones. nei suoi romanzi brevi, asciutti, intimi, minimalisti ma non troppo, non c'è mai niente fuori posto, mai neanche una singola virgola lunga siccità è la storia di una famiglia che abita una fattoria. una famiglia con i suoi silenzi, i suoi problemi, i non detti estremi che pesano come macigni ma non appaiono in superficie. uno spaccato di vita quotidiana, diapositive che si susseguono come in un album di fotografie.Gareth (il padre [...]


    • As a debut novel, this is nothing short of a masterpiece. The story itself is relatively simple, that of a farmer trying to locate one of his herd after they have gone walkabout overnight. However the execution is as complex as the human nature it reflects. During his travels, Gareth's (our intrepid farmer) mind begins to wander taking the reader back over his years of marriage in all its happiness, grief and familarity. These reminisces are accentuated by those of his nearest and dearest and hi [...]


    • This is a French translation of The Long Dry - the ratings are in thanks for the brilliant work Mona de Pracontal did on the translation. I'm looking forward to working with her on Everything I Found on the Beach, also to be translated by Paris publishers Joelle Losfeld.



    • A man takes a bride she has one son and then has several miscarragesThen she has a daughter that may or may not be her husbandsShe gets headaches.They are miserable most the time with the exception ofthe little girl. in the endCows Diea bunny gets murderedThe girl diesThe dog dies any one can die in a book with the exception of the dogRIP Curly I'm no expert but I never heard of a man handling sheep, then being intimate with his wife, and from that the wife getting chlamyidiaund like a perfect h [...]


    • Tonally a companion piece to The Dig, this book is almost as good and that's high praise from where I sit. The apparently simple story of a (hot and dry) day in the life of a farmer contains such wisdom and heartbreaking humanity as a multitude of other stories. There are mild diversions, when the tone slips slightly into another, slightly less intimate voice but when we are with the husband or wife, knowing what they don't yet know, knowing what they are unable to tell each other, even though t [...]


    • Gripping and gut wrenching. I was unsettled for a few hours after finishing - I believe it is because the author is so incredibly empathetic and understanding of these characters it makes the reader care, deeply. Because it's such a concentrated dose - almost a novella but broken into sections - it's also super strong. Incredible talent.



    • The descriptive, almost lyrical-feeling language flows beautifully as the author takes the reader inside the heads of the main characters. Intriguing.


    • It had the feel of Cormac McCarthy and the descriptive nature of Steinbeck. I felt this book and was moved by it.



    • Hard English prose on a Welsh farm. The Long Dry might refer to: a drought afflicting the land; the daylong thirsty wandering of a lost cow about to calve; the sexual and emotional difficulties of Gareth and his wife Kate. Set during the Cow's Day of Wandering, with peeks forward and back. Jones beats the reader over the head with Death. Of a calf, cows, parent, rabbit, dog, child. Of romantic desire, intimacy, the ideal self. At the last he tries to make up for it, fresh rain and rekindled visi [...]


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