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Ancient Oceans of Central Kentucky

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UPC: 9781937512200
Author: David Connerley Nahm
  • Paperback: 222 pages
  • Publisher: Two Dollar Radio (August 26, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781937512200
  • ISBN-13: 978-1937512200
  • ASIN: 1937512207
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 7.5 inches

Leah’s little brother, Jacob, disappeared when the pair were younger, a tragedy that haunts her still. When a grown man arrives at the non-profit Leah directs claiming to be Jacob, she is wrenched back to her childhood, an iridescent tableau of family joy and strife, swimming at the lake, sneaking candy, late-night fears and the stories told to quell them.

Ancient Oceans of Central Kentucky is a wrecking-ball of a novel that attempts to give meaning and poetry to everything that comprises small-town life in central Kentucky. Listen: they are the ghost stories that children tell one another, the litter that skirts the gulley, the lines at department stores. A gorgeous, haunting, prismatic jewel of a book.

Reviews

*One of the Best Books of 2014  —NPRFlavorwire 
*A Top-10 Independently-Published Title Overlooked by the National Book Foundation  —Electric Literature

"Wonderful. While this isn't a thriller, at least in any traditional sense of the word, it's deeply suspenseful. More than anything, it's Nahm's deep sense of place that's most apparent in his novel. His descriptions of rural Kentucky are gorgeous, but he digs far below the surface to portray the real soul of the town. Remarkable... it's impossible to stop reading until you've gone through each beautiful line, a beauty that infuses the whole novel, even in its darkest moments."
NPR

"In 2014, Two Dollar Radio emerged as one of the one of the small presses to beat, and one of their flagship books was David Connerley Nahm’s Ancient Oceans of Central Kentucky. Nahm is one of the more impressive writers out of a growing group who are reclaiming the region as a literary hotbed. Measured, poetic, and propelled forward by its own logic, this novel should have a long life."
Flavorwire

"This haunting debut novel explores small-town life in the middle of Kentucky and the ties—however frayed—that bind." 
Chicago Tribune

 "Magnificent. Ancient Oceans of Central Kentucky stands out from much of recent American writing."
Bookslut

 "A dreamy, creative, and carefully crafted tale. [A] haunting book which will cause the lump in your throat to rise quickly and stay with you as you fall asleep."
Charleston Gazette

 "A book as dazzling and unsettling as a lone firework suddenly bursting—then just as quickly vanishing—on an otherwise dark, quiet night. [Ancient Oceans] nestles itself nicely alongside Winesburg, Ohio and Our Town in the modest but magnificent tradition of small-town chronicles in American literature. If my own soul-plunging experience is any indication, Ancient Oceans is an electrical storm."
Full Stop

"Wonderful. While this isn't a thriller, at least in any traditional sense of the word, it's deeply suspenseful. More than anything, it's Nahm's deep sense of place that's most apparent in his novel. His descriptions of rural Kentucky are gorgeous, but he digs far below the surface to portray the real soul of the town. Remarkable... it's impossible to stop reading until you've gone through each beautiful line, a beauty that infuses the whole novel, even in its darkest moments." 
NPR

 "Absorbing. There's an arch beauty to Nahm's prose. One feels to be discovering the story rather than just receiving it."
Star Tribune

"A young woman whose brother disappeared when they were children is increasingly anxious about a stranger in town, and the result is 'a powerful first novel, the kind that makes you want to stop people in the street to tell them about it.' Kudos to an upcoming small press." 
Library Journal's best summer debuts

 "A quietly profound and lyrical novel, one of the year's strongest debuts." 
Largehearted Boy

"...pulls off a beautiful merging of genres and delivers a creepy, playful, and superbly-written novel that bravely ignores the line between past and present and explores how memories can subdue current events and become all-consuming leviathans... David Connerley Nahm is the kind of author who understands that the way a story is told is as crucial as the story itself... a thrilling, valiantly bizarre debut, and it should place its author on the radar of everyone who’s interested in unique fiction that celebrates language and isn’t afraid to break new ground when it comes to rhythm and time." 
Atticus Review

 "Ancient Oceans is full of the hidden richness of a small town childhood, and it’s that immersion in the innocence, naïveté, and wonder of children that makes this ghost story work."
Fiction Advocate

"Each page of Nahm’s writing is absolutely infectious. With a subtle cadence, he paints his story with brilliant familiarity; from the freedom of childhood summers to the confining restrictions of adulthood. Nahm’s handle on language alone would make for a novel well beyond most debuts, but when blended with the book’s unique structure, Ancient Oceans of Central Kentucky moves into a league of its own."
—River City Reading

 "It's the prose that makes this suspenseful first novel unforgettable. Like a pointillist painting, Nahm's writing daubs image upon image to construct an impressionistic view of life in a small town. A powerful first novel, the kind that makes you want to stop people in the street to tell them about it." 
Library Journal (Starred)

 "Intriguing... Nahm has braided [Ancient Oceans of Central Kentucky] together artfully."
Publishers Weekly

 "David Connerley Nahm's Ancient Oceans of Central Kentucky knows that all true stories are ghost stories, full of horror and want, distance and loss—the lasting specters of the tales we tell ourselves to mask the long truths that refuse to let us go."
—Matt Bell

"We anticipate a haunting and riveting read." 
Time Out Chicago's list of 'Books to read in 2014.'

Author

David Connerley Nahm was born and raised in Kentucky. Currently, he lives in Virginia where he practices law and teaches college. His short stories have appeared in Little FictionPithead ChapelLady Churchill's Rosebud WristletTrunk StoriesEyeshot, and on McSweeney's Internet TendencyAncient Oceans of Central Kentucky is his first novel.