To call Days Without End “Blood Meridian lite” might sound dismissive, but it’s not. (In fact, for many readers, it might be just right.) You can’t get any darker than Cormac McCarthy’s Western hellscape, and while Barry’s novel encounters much of the same arbitrary mass slaughter as it makes its own way around the 19th-century West, it also embraces, almost pointedly, the possibility of human loyalty and love. Thomas McNulty has fled the horrors of starving Ireland for poverty and chance in America, and he brings to his travels, and to his love for a fellow soldier, a rough eloquence that sees beauty and profundity in the most troubled of places.
—Tom Nissley, Phinney Books, Seattle, WA