A Long Long Way by Sebastian Barry

By Sebastian Barry

In 1914, Willie Dunne, slightly eighteen years previous, leaves in the back of Dublin, his kinfolk, and the woman he plans to marry so that it will enlist within the Allied forces and face the Germans at the Western entrance. as soon as there, he encounters a horror of violence and gore he couldn't have imagined and sustains his spirit with basically the phrases at the pages from domestic and the camaraderie of the mud-covered Irish boys who struggle and die by means of his aspect. Dimly conscious of the political tensions that experience grown in eire in his absence, Willie returns on depart to discover a global break up and ravaged by means of forces in the direction of domestic. regardless of the relaxation he reveals along with his kinfolk, he is familiar with he needs to rejoin his regiment and struggle till the top. With grace and gear, Sebastian Barry vividly renders Willie's own fight in addition to the overpowering effects of warfare.

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About these newcomers there could be no doubt, and black dread settled on his heart. For these were Fireheads. One of the newcomers turned and looked directly toward him. This one was shorter than the others, with a broad, plump belly that glistened with grease. He sniffed loudly, his small, straight nose twitching. He was, thought Longtusk, like a fat, overgrown lemming, walking comically upright on two hind legs. He knows I'm here, Longtusk thought, hidden as I am among these trees. Or he suspects so, anyhow.

At first he produced scraps of meat, dried and salted. The stench was horrifying, and Longtusk shied back. After that Willow brought him dried grass. There was a lot of grass in the cave; the Dreamers scattered it over the cave floor and pulled it into rough pallets to sleep on. The grass was stale and stank of the Dreamers and their fire, but it rapidly filled up his belly. After a few days he noticed the Dreamers going out, wrapped in their furs, bringing back loads of his dung. During his brief glimpses through the parted skins, Longtusk saw that they burned the dried dung in their wide, flat hearth—along with grass, wood, bone and even bat guano, scraped from great dry heaps at the back of the cave.

As the trees wash over the land, the mastodonts must follow. And now, as the Fireheads wash over the land, the mastodonts must follow again. That is what Mammut said. " "Well, I'm sorry. I was trying to make a point. " Thunder growled irritably. "The point is that the Fireheads feed us, as the trees do. They even care for us—when they choose. And we cannot be rid of them, little grazer. Any more than the land can rid itself of the trees. Accept them. " Once again, Longtusk saw blearily, the Firehead, Lemming, was before him.

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