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The Land Breakers

Best Seller
The Land Breakers by John Ehle
  • Paperback $17.95

    Nov 25, 2014 | 368 Pages

  • Ebook $11.99

    Nov 25, 2014 | 368 Pages

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The Land Breakers is a great American novel, way beyond anything most New York literary icons have produced.” —Michael Ondaatje, from “My Book of the Decade,” The Globe and Mail
The Land Breakers is one of the best recreations of our pioneer past that we have had in years, honest and compassionate, rich and true…In a time of dreamless heroes, of long-winded whimpers that pass as novels, The Land Breakers has a rare degree of greatness.” —The New York Times
“John Ehle’s meld of historical fact with ineluctable plot-weaving makes The Land Breakers an exciting example of masterful storytelling. He is our foremost writer of historical fiction.” —Harper Lee
“It’s what every novel should aspire to be: Red-blooded, broad, thrilling, and full of life and wisdom.” —Pinckney Benedict
“Sometimes raw as winter wind, sometimes gentle as a summer night, Ehle has made his land breakers a believable group of individuals driven by ancient hungers into a new country.” —Chicago Tribune
“Some of the best portrayal of eighteenth-century mountain settlement I’ve ever read. The book reads like living history, and I can only wonder how I’ve missed this author all these years…I could recommend this book simply for Ehle’s vivid portrayal of the purely practical struggle of pioneering life, both its hardships and its frolics, its triumphs and tragedies—but it’s also a riveting story, with scenes that will remain alive for me for a long time…more harrowing than anything I’ve read in a long while.” —Lori Benton
“It is raw and full of fine detail and fresh language, even if it is the language of doing, not reflecting, and man’s true nature remains as opaque and violent as nature…In addition to being a damn good story, The Land Breakers is, for me, like finding the source material for countless articles in Mother Earth News.” —Don Silver
“Ehle’s people, all of them, are splendid…Ehle’s prose is exactly suited to his subject and setting. His people talk the way North Carolina mountain people talk; there is nothing stilted or artificial about his dialogue. And his descriptive prose is quite marvelous; it has an air of country formality and mannerliness that is thoroughly distinctive.” —The Washington Post

“Ehle is as scrupulous and effective in bringing to vigorous life the minutiae of daily events, the physical ordeal of mud-stained animals and men blasting, cutting and bleeding the mountainside, the sensuous lust and glow of a woman’s body in the firelight, the delicate tracery of a mountain fern by a rushing brook, as he is in shaping his tale to a larger legend of man’s spiritual quest, of building a road to Xanadu and to Zion.” —Chicago Tribune
The Land Breakers broke fresh ground and opened a new world for Southern and Appalachian fiction when it was first published in 1964. A complex, compelling story of settlement and discovery, it introduced readers to Blue Ridge past, to explorers, families, the land. The land that is broken is itself a major, unforgettable character in this vivid, memorable story. Now, four decades later, John Ehle’s novel still delights, still inspires, still leaves its spell on the reader.” —Robert Morgan

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