The Clearing

The Clearing

by Tim Gautreaux
4.6 3


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The Clearing by Tim Gautreaux

In his critically acclaimed new novel, Tim Gautreaux fashions a classic and unforgettable tale of two brothers struggling in a hostile world.
In a lumber camp in the Louisiana cypress forest, a world of mud and stifling heat where men labor under back-breaking conditions, the Aldridge brothers try to repair a broken bond. Randolph Aldridge is the mill’s manager, sent by his father—the mill owner—to reform both the damaged mill and his damaged older brother. Byron Aldridge is the mill's lawman, a shell-shocked World War I veteran given to stunned silences and sudden explosions of violence that make him a mystery to Randolph and a danger to himself. Deep in the swamp, in this place of water moccasins, whiskey, and wild card games, these brothers become embroiled in a lethal feud with a powerful gangster. In a tale full of raw emotion as supple as a saw blade, The Clearing is a mesmerizing journey into the trials that define men’s souls.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781400030538
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/11/2004
Series: Vintage Contemporaries Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 312,333
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Born and raised in Louisiana, Tim Gautreaux is Writer-in-Residence at Southeastern Louisiana University. His work has appeared in Harper's, The Atlantic Monthly, GQ, and Zoetrope, as well as the O. Henry and Best American short-story annuals. His first novel, The Next Step in the Dance, won the 1999 Southeastern Booksellers Award, and he has also published two collections of short fiction.

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The Clearing 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
pjwoodcarver More than 1 year ago
With all the poetry and eloquence of James Lee Burke's best novels, Tim Gautreaux's The Clearing tells a tale of south Louisiana; the story of Yankees who came from the north, denuded the stands of old growth cypress, and left. He paints them as human if not humane, comprehensible if not sympathetic. Like some polluters today, they could not perceive the iniquity of their actions. It's a tale about the effects of war. The First World War has turned some of Gautreaux's characters to violence that's incomprehensible to those who haven't seen and felt and smelled it. Byron, the sad, bad brother most severely impacted, asks, "Why did we do it?" One feels he has asked himself that question for a long time. And, as with most wars, we have no good answers for him. For those of us who make our home in south Louisiana it is a history lesson and a leçon de vie not to be passed up. For those not from the bayou, it's a lumber train to an unforgettable Cajun hinterland. In Gautreaux's clearly wrought morass one feels the weather, swats mosquitoes, slogs through mud, sweats, and dodges bullets. It's a compelling experience; a historical, allegorical triumph.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BrianJ More than 1 year ago
Lots of "value added" in Mr. Gautreaux' novel. Interesting descriptions of life in a different time and place. Great build-up of plot and characters lead to a rousing page-turning climax. (It kept me up last night, the first time that's happened in a long, long time!)