Breath Like the Wind at Dawn by Devin Jacobsen: Obscure When not Vile. A book that Simply Didn’t Work for Me.

 Breath Like the Wind at Dawn

Breath Like the Wind at Dawn

by Devin Jacobsen

eARC, 208 pg.
Sagging Meniscus Press, 2020

Read: May 18-19, 2020

Let’s keep this short for everyone’s sake by kicking things off with the Publisher’s blurb

Spanning two decades, Breath Like the Wind at Dawn tells the epic story of the Tamplin family—of outlaw-twins Quinn and Irving; their brother Edward, who is on the run from a dark past; and their mother Annora, who has been left to defend their haunted Minnesota homestead. Yet at the center of the novel is Les, patriarch of the Tamplins, Civil War veteran, and sheriff of Utica, who is possessed by an indelible lust to strangle his victims. Only when the brothers set about to rob Utica’s bank will the family at last converge in an unforgettable finale when blood will be met with blood.

Combining the multi-perspective family drama of As I Lay Dying with the violent lyricism of Blood Meridian, Breath Like the Wind at Dawn brings a brave new voice to American fiction.

Of the 208 pages in this book, I’m going to estimate that maybe 15 worked for me. I didn’t connect with the prose, the characters, the story, or anything. I thought Jacobsen’s style got in his way, that attempts to be artistic rendered the text obscure; word choice (particularly when attempts were made at a vernacular) was off-putting; and the characters were lifeless (when they weren’t vile or abhorrent).

I’m just not up for enumerating my problems with the novel beyond that. I didn’t see the appeal to any of it. I’m not saying that no one will or could, but it’s incomprehensible to me that anyone would.

Disclaimer: I received this eARC from the author via Lori @ TNBBC Publicity in exchange for this post—thanks to both for this, I do appreciate the opportunity (despite what it may read like).

One thought on “Breath Like the Wind at Dawn by Devin Jacobsen: Obscure When not Vile. A book that Simply Didn’t Work for Me.

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