Everything I Found on the Beach

Cynan Jones. Coffee House (Consortium, dist.), $15.95 trade paper (248p) ISBN 978-1-56689-436-4
Disenfranchised men desperate to improve their lot populate this lyrical novel by Jones. Adopting the diptychlike structure he used in his previous novel, The Dig, Jones presents two central characters with divergent backgrounds but a shared sense of desperation. Grzegorz is a Polish migrant worker trying to make a better life for his wife and two sons in their adopted Wales; Hold is a Welsh fisherman looking after the family of his deceased best friend. “He wanted very much to have... the sense that he had done something complete, and turned someone’s life around,” Hold thinks at one point, echoing Grzegorz’s aspirations. The two men’s narratives come together when Grzegorz, facing penury, takes a job transporting drugs for a band of gangsters. After the job goes disastrously wrong, Hold finds himself in possession of the drugs and hatches a plan to turn them to his advantage. In places, Jones’s recriminations against modern life—slaughterhouses, chain stores, consumer culture—become repetitive. But with this thriller-like plot in place, Jones is free to exercise his considerable gifts as a stylist, and breathtaking descriptions of landscape and animal life abound. Describing a beach, Jones writes, “Here, the bluish rock was igneous and looked liquefied, twisted under geology’s great pain.” (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/08/2016
Release date: 04/01/2016
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 200 pages - 978-1-906998-49-3
Open Ebook - 978-1-78378-043-3
Open Ebook - 249 pages - 978-1-908069-69-6
Open Ebook - 248 pages - 978-1-56689-437-1
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