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Author: Peter Hobbs
ISBN13: 978-0156032414
Title: The Short Day Dying
Format: lit rtf lrf txt
ePUB size: 1688 kb
FB2 size: 1443 kb
DJVU size: 1943 kb
Language: English
Category: Genre Fiction
Publisher: Mariner Books; First edition (March 20, 2006)
Pages: 195

The Short Day Dying by Peter Hobbs

Peter Hobbs grew up in Cornwall and North Yorkshire and was educated at New College, Oxford. He began writing during a prolonged illness that cut short a potential diplomatic career. He is the author of two novels: The Short Day Dying (2005) and In the Orchard, the Swallows (2012), and of I Could Ride All Day in my Cool Blue Train (2006), a book of short stories. He is also published in New Writing Peter Hobbs grew up in Cornwall and North Yorkshire and was educated at New College, Oxford. The Short Day Dying was short listed for the 2005 Whitbread First Book Award (known now as the Costa Book Awards), the 2005 John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, the 2007 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and won a 2006 Betty Trask Award. Books by Peter Hobbs. Mor. rivia About The Short Day Dying.

Peter Hobbs's debut, The Short Day Dying, is a masterclass in less is more, says Kirsty Gunn. There is little in the way of punctuation, phrases slide out in chunks and impressions are wholly subjective, bypassing the more usual intellectual devices of simile and allusion. Reading this wonderful book is to be similarly submerged.

Charles Wenmouth, the narrator of Peter Hobbs's first novel, is a Methodist lay preacher and an apprentice blacksmith. Set in the wild country around St Germans in the far east of Cornwall, the book tells of Wenmouth's friendship with a dying blind girl called Harriet French. There were times reading The Short Day Dying when I was reminded of one of the great 20th-century comic novels, Augustus Carp by Himself, a parody of the Victorian spiritual autobiography, and I'm not sure that this was the author's intention. The novel is constrained by ultrarealism and necessarily unleavened with moments of light; perhaps some playfulness with the genre on Hobbs's part might have gone some way to making this a more lovable book.

Is there a God? This questions burns through the mind of Charles Wenmouth, a Methodist lay preacher. Throughout the novel, I feel he is constantly in conflict with his faith. He admonishes those who do not observe the Sabbath, yet he wonders why he works so hard to make others believe just what he himself is struggling to believe in. For me the crux comes when he loses, through death, someone very close to his heart. In this day and age, we'd call it depression, as the signs are so obvious. This book is not an easy read, in that it lacks some punctuation

The Short Day Dying is a remarkably fine first novel by English writer Peter Hobbs. Hobbs gifts us with the personal journal of Charles Wenmoth for the year 1870. Charles is a man called by God to preach and minister to the people in his corner of Cornwall. He works for the blacksmith six days a week, fitting his ministerial duties into spare moments during the week and on the Sabbath

byHobbs, Peter, 1973-. Publication date 2006. Topics Lay ministry, Blacksmiths, Methodists.

The Short Day Dying (2005).

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English Gloriously redemptive, powerful and compassionate, The Short Day Dying is a love story of great power and imaginative richness. English Fiction (2000-.

The Short Day Dying by Peter Hobbs - This debut effort by British novelist Hobbes was nominated by a single library in Bergen, NorwayNo Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy - With The Road getting all the praise these days, some might forget that McCarthy's previous.

This is the story of four seasons in the life of Charles Wenmoth, a twenty-seven-year-old apprentice blacksmith and Methodist lay preacher in Cornwall in 1870. Life is at its hardest; poverty is everywhere. Charles crosses and recrosses the raw, beautiful landscape, attending to the sick and helping the poor, preaching in chapels with ever-dwindling congregations. He questions his faith along the way but never quite loses it, balancing it with the pleasure he takes in nature, the light in the skies, the colors of the earth, and in his attachment to a girl to whom he is drawn by the piety and patience she maintains despite her long illness. Inspired by the language of his great-great-grandfather's diaries and the Bible, influenced by authors as diverse as Hardy, Blake, and Faulkner, Peter Hobbs has created a first novel of breathtaking ambition and stylistic innovation, and of enormous emotional power.
Reviews: 7
This was a book I chose for personal reasons. Its setting of Cornwall, England, was the birthplace of my grandfather, whose own father worked in the tin mines and became a circuit preacher, much like the book's narrator. The book is a fine respresentation of the life of the miners and townspeople; and, if you're a fan of the PBS series, Doc Martin, you will have a ready-made picture of many of the seaside towns of Cornwall. This story, however, is a broader and darker picture of hardships endured, and the discoveries made through honest toil and devotion to humanity. It is told in the first person, which makes the story all the more haunting.
By the end of the 4th chapter, I had to restart the book at the beginning. It took me that long to get used to the writing style that was akin to what should have been a paragraph laid out as one long sentence. However, once you got used to the style, it really, really, made a big difference in putting you back in the time of the story. Engrossing and hard to put down once you got pulled into the story. We re read it every autumn.
I really enjoyed reading this story about a lay preacher in the 1800s in Cornwall. It's written like a journal, describing the people he encounters as he travels to the local villages, and his struggle with his faith. I really liked this authors writing style, almost poetic at times, the way he describes things. This one will go on my favorites shelf.
Set in 1875, The Short Day Dying is reminiscent of a mellifluous tone poem, a spiritual ode to one man's hard driven life has he struggles to come to terms with his faith and the glorious natural beauty of the world around him. Narrated in the first person, author Peter Hobbs stunningly emerges us into the world of Charles Wenmoth, a poor and solitary Methodist lay-priest who spends his days preaching to townsfolk and attending to the sick, whilst working as a blacksmith at the local forge.

Life for Charles is tough; he's a lonely and somewhat tortured soul, who throughout the course of the novel is forced to question his faith. A simple man "unfit for beauty and grace," he admits he has an untutored mind and often he struggles in his sermons to get to the truth of things. It is only when he is wondering through the bucolic beauty of the Cornwall countryside that he manages to feel rejuvenated and at peace.

When Charles visits Harriet French, a young local woman who is dying, her deep illness acts as a catalyst and he begins to question much of what he sees around him. There's much anger here - anger at his people who have turned away from faith and who now have so little love for "the Lord," abandoning their search for the "pearl of great price," determined to satisfy themselves with worldly ambitions.

There's also anger at the men who once came and opened up the land with mines and quarries, extracting its wealth. For this is an area of England where villages that were once prosperous with farming have now decayed, becoming cracked and grimy; the mining does not seem to have bought riches to these communities. Over the years, families that Charles has loved, preached to and cared for, have fallen on hard times.

The mortal sins of drink have also struck the land, causing a terrible curse, with people destroying themselves, and there are those who have invited it to the family's table as though it were food to live from. A reunion with James, a childhood friend, causes Charles to reflect and remember, but his memories cannot bring back happiness and every delight he has in them seems but a form of sadness and loss. It's "where the past is a small domain, it's boundaries are thin and close."

Throughout the course of the novel, Charles's faith is constantly tested. He's beleaguered by regret and melancholy, and often feels quite downcast - there's "a darkness to his soul and he wonders what spirit or sadness possesses him" - and he even becomes conscious that God himself and the holy savior are perhaps testing him. It is only through his relationship with the land that he realizes "heaven resides at our feet as well as over our heads."

The text ignites as the author contrasts the struggles of Charles as seeks to offer the ailing Harriet spiritual solace, whilst enduring the aloofness of her younger brother and her lonely mother. He also must contend with the constant antipathy of his landlady who seems to resent his obvious poverty. Only with patience does he manage to keep his faith a hard stone, "a small thing but powerful and not easily crushed."

Told almost in a stream-of-consciousness style with very little punctuation, The Short Day Dying takes us into the very heart of one man's journey towards redemption. Hobb's theme is one of healing, no matter the damage and empathy for a world that often seems careless of human feelings and their place in the universal scheme of things. Totally encapsulated in a world of faith and belief, we see "how God and the world are one, the land a proper representation of his order." Mike Leonard July 06.
This is Peter Hobbs' first book and one of the most touching works of fiction adressing the purpose of life, search of faith and reliance on family I have read recently. Set in late 1800s, it is written in the language of that time, having young apprentice priest for a narrator. This young priest ministers in the area where poor people live, working in fields or mines. Misery is all around it with illness, deathly accidents in mines, inhabitants' affinity for drinking and gambling, lack of hope that leads people in disarray both spiritually and physically. In the process of ministering to his parish's needs, young priest comes in contact with dying Harriet French who is blind and has difficulty breathing. In spite of her illness, Harriet is faithful and believes that she is going to a better place, full of light and love. She surrenders to her fate without any resistance or regret and just observing her in her process of dying sends young priest for a quest of search for the Grace of God. For he is a decent man, honest and sensitive, too poor himself to help his parishiners financially. Upon Harriet's death, young priest is on the crossroads of his own life, his professional calling, his desire to go to Australia. He wishes to be able to experience the grace of God, but that will be no easy task for him. We can feel that life itself is a burden to him. In spite of his love for his family and his brothers, he is lonely and troubled. We can only wonder what life will push in front of him before he can make a choice himself; a choice long lasting with real consequences that he alone will have to bear all alone, on his own terms. I am looking forward to reading Mr. Hobbs' future published works. He is a great talent.