Summary and book reviews of In the Country of the Blind by Edward Hoagland

In the Country of the Blind

by Edward Hoagland

In the Country of the Blind by Edward Hoagland X
In the Country of the Blind by Edward Hoagland
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Published:
    Nov 2016, 204 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Gary Presley
Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

Sixty years after the publication of his first novel, Cat Man, Edward Hogland is publishing his twenty-fifth book at the age of eighty-three.

This capstone novel, set in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom, introduces Press, a stockbroker going blind. Press has lost his job and his wife and is trying to figure out his next move, holed up in his Vermont cabin surrounded by a hippy commune, drug runners, farmers-gone-bust, blood-thirsty auctioneers, and general ne'er-do-wells. Solace and purpose come from the unlikeliest sources as he learns to navigate his new landscape without sight. Hoagland, himself, is going blind, and through this evocative, unsentimental novel, we experience the world closing in around Press, the rising panic of uncertainty, the isolation of exile, the increasing dependence upon the kindness of strangers, and a whole new appreciation of the world just beyond sight.

Chapter 2

Dorothy and Karl took him to the evening auction sales. At 8 p.m., with no movie house in town, people congregated Tuesday on the short set of bleachers facing a wooden ring in which aging dairy cows were sold, mainly for hamburger, and vealer calves, also for slaughter, if not singled out by a farmer rebuilding his herd. Rival buyers from meat companies in Massachusetts bid against each other for the frightened cows, mooing instead of lowing—old matrons who might have been leading a barn full of milkers out to pasture every day and back but had outlived their peak productivity and now were being disposed of. Crammed into an unfamiliar pen with strangers of their ilk, dominant till this morning but milling, terrified, they were in pain as well from not having been milked.

Press couldn't see this, but heard all of it once Dorothy interpreted. The calves bleating, a few weeks old, and Rog, Rupert's son the auctioneer, peremptory as a sergeant keeping order. Both ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Hoagland's fans will want In the Country of the Blind, perhaps the nearest he will come to confronting his own deteriorating eyesight. His protagonist's reaction to loss of vision is nuanced and carries the weight of worldly experience, making for an intensely personal, almost elegiac, novel.   (Reviewed by Gary Presley).

Full Review (740 words).

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access, become a member today.

Media Reviews

Booklist
Hoagland, who is himself blind , employs a precise rendering of the senses in service to crafting a masterful work. For readers of Thomas McGuane and Jim Harrison.

Kirkus Reviews
Starred Review. The incomparable Hoagland's 25th book is not only one of the most rewarding novels of the year, it's also one of the sexiest.

Author Blurb Phillip Lopate
Does anyone write better than Edward Hoagland? I doubt it, and this is one of his best novels - taut, tender, and true.

Reader Reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book

Prohibition in Vermont

ProtestPress, the protagonist of In the Country of the Blind, lives in Vermont near a forgotten trail that rum-runners used to smuggle alcohol into the United States during Prohibition. "The Nobel Experiment," as the 18th Amendment to the Constitution was called, was an attempt at social engineering lasting from 1920 to 1933.

Section 1 provides the heart of the 18th Amendment:

After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.

ConfiscationNote that it didn't forbid the drinking of alcohol. ...

This "beyond the book" feature is available to non-members for a limited time. Join today for full access.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked In the Country of the Blind, try these:

  • Anything Is Possible jacket

    Anything Is Possible

    by Elizabeth Strout

    Published 2018

    About this book

    More books by this author

    An unforgettable cast of small-town characters copes with love and loss in this new work of fiction by #1 bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout.

  • Harmony jacket

    Harmony

    by Carolyn Parkhurst

    Published 2017

    About this book

    More books by this author

    From the New York Times bestselling author of The Dogs of Babel, a taut, emotionally wrenching story of how a seemingly "normal" family could become desperate enough to leave everything behind and move to a "family camp" in New Hampshire - a life-changing experience that alters them forever.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Let's Call It a Doomsday
    Let's Call It a Doomsday
    by Katie Henry
    However the world will end, Ellis Kimball is ready for it. Her obsessive stash of survivalist ...
  • Book Jacket: The Winemaker's Wife
    The Winemaker's Wife
    by Kristin Harmel
    Liv Kent's world is falling apart. After 12 years of marriage, her husband has decided he's done, ...
  • Book Jacket: On the Clock
    On the Clock
    by Emily Guendelsberger
    In her excellent debut, On The Clock, journalist Emily Guendelsberger thoughtfully examines the ...
  • Book Jacket
    America for Beginners
    by Leah Franqui
    Leah Franqui's first novel America for Beginners was well-reviewed by our First Impression readers; ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Yale Needs Women
    by Anne Gardiner Perkins


    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Secrets We Kept
    by Lara Prescott

    Reese Witherspoon's Sept Book Club Pick!
    "This is the rare page-turner with prose that’s as wily as its plot."—EW
    Reader Reviews

Book Club
Book Jacket
The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek
by Kim Michele Richardson

A story of raw courage, fierce strength, and one woman's belief that books can carry us anywhere.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win The Red Address Book

The Red Address Book
by Sofia Lundberg

"Wise and captivating, Lundberg's novel offers clear-eyed insights into old age and the solace of memory."--People

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

A Place F E A E I I P

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.