Travelling through Shadow Country

Florida, Peter Matthiessen, Shadow Country

Peter Matthiessen’s magnificent book, the epic saga about Florida

We’re reading ‘Shadow Country’ as we travel through the land Peter Matthiessen conceived (or more truthfully, captured) to great acclaim. Michael first read it when it was three books – the giant whole chopped up into three books, the Watson Trilogy published in the 1990s.

All three- ‘Killing Mr Watson, ‘Lost Man’s River’, ‘Bone by Bone’ – were considered a great triumph, a shocking, gripping, bare-knuckle epic story of the racism, prejudice and frontier justice that was the norm in Florida in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

But a few years ago, Mr Matthiessen decided to rework his magnum opus and pull the three books together into the one (as originally conceived). He says he planned to spend a year doing this; it took seven or eight instead.

The result is ‘Shadow Country’ and it is extraordinarily powerful.

Jack Kerouac

“Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life”
– Jack Kerouac