I devoured this novel by Gerard Donovan in two days. Before I send it, certain combinations of words struck me so that I underlined them with a pen, and I wouldto preserve them here:
Such men ... have run out of country they can't live in.
... and it was from hin I learned how to be still.
... a punctuation mark... a crutch for a weak word.
... the cruelty of small towns was so sharp it might be a pencil and you could write with it...
You don't throw a million men away like that.
... walking in and out of the shade like a man in parts...
That was my reading of him...
... because this man was done with shooting ...
I missed my friend.
...the war had bred all the gunnery out of him.
I was of sound mind and an otherwise principled man.
You sit well in that chair, I said.
People come together, people part.
... I lost her in that second.
And she was gone from me.
Perhaps things don't happen for a reason, they happen because people do them.
Sharing my own sadness would not make it less, only double it.
Here, only short sentences and long thoughts can survive...
... the grave is the end of us...
You never say how you feel, but I feel affection everywhere in you.
... people can sometimes come close enough to discover that they are strangers.
... it started with long glances and silence and arrived fully only after she was gone.
They knew me now.
... You came to shoot in the woods, but the woods shot back.
I learned the shape of loss...
... such learning and experience could be switched off like a light.
I was done with shooting.
Such soft skin, such a hard memory.