has named The Rope Eater one of the Top Ten First Novels of 2004. (no
to the Leonard Lopate interview on WNYC>
to the VPR interview>
Jones's extraordinary first novel is a gripping arctic adventure that
is transformed by his dazzling prose into something much more...It deserves
to be one of the most admired novels of the new year." Full
Arctic voyage explores dark recesses of men's souls
story of an Arctic journey, set in the 1860s, provides plenty of realistic
chill. But what sets this novel apart from its many adventuring cousins
is the stark insight with which debut author Ben Jones charts the emotional
journey of his narrator, Brendan Kane....Under
this guise of an adventure story, Jones leads his readers on an exploration
of the dark corners of men's souls."
heady mix of Melville's Moby Dick and Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49,
The Rope Eater melds breathtaking lyricism with gripping realism, producing
a page-turning adventure that navigates that heart of darkness hidden
within men's souls. " Full review >
the elements, and one's self
with Robin Dougherty
is the meaning of Dr. Architeuthis's name?
A: It means giant squid. They are masters of the hidden realm
the full interview >
WEEKLY, October 13, 2003
HAUNTING, GORGEOUS DEBUT chronicles the
travels and travails of Brendan Kane... harshly beautiful... astonishing."
starred review indicates a book of outstanding quality
dark, poetic epic of adventure and the permutating strangeness of survival.
Ben Jones descends from the Beowulf poet via Melville and his voice and
vision are beautifully haunted by their bloody ghosts."
Watson, National Book Award Finalist and author of The Heaven of
is a mesmerizing novel that is exciting, brutal, and often gruesome. Providing
fascinating glimpses of each man's backstory as well as breathtaking descriptions
of the frozen landscape, Jones illuminates both the beauty and the darkness
of the quest." Full review>
The Rope Eater, Ben Jones has produced not simply a novel
but an entire world both fabulous and mythic, a world rendered in prose
both stark and lovely as the landscape and the characters within. Although
set in the not-so distant past, this account of the dreams and harsh realities
serves as a clearly distinct fable for our times. I cannot recommend The
Rope Eater more stronglyBen Jones enters the ranks as a
storyteller of first note.
Lent, author of In the Fall and Lost Nation
Debut Generating Buzz...
from the Union Army during the Civil War, a feckless young New Englander
encounters something worse. He signs on as a crew member of the Narthex,
which unbeknownst to him is heading for the Arctic in search of a mythic
valley said to be lush and temperate. Penned by the Dean of Admissions
at Bennington College, this debut is generating buzz."
50 Greatest Adventure Books of All Time
"What makes a
great adventure book? Need there be pirates? Long walks through icy arctic
landscapes? Grueling desert sojourns? A great white whale? Battles against
the elements? One thing's certain: The Hours doesn't qualify. We assembled
some of the greatest experts on adventure writing to vote for the 50 Greatest
Adventure Books of All Time..." Click
for the complete story>