[A] booming, bighearted epic
An enjoyable, meaty read - a vision of a place told through the people who find themselves at the edge of America's idea of itself
This book is a living, breathing testament to Evison's singular talent for creating portraits of people who may be fictional, but nevertheless are so vital that one is certain their names must be in a historic register somewhere. Like the people in his book, Evison's grand ambition seems to have been snatched out of thin air and made real in a way that is simply undeniable
...irreverent humor, lustrous prose, and unexpected moments animate a tale as vast as the land it inhabits.
Evison does a terrific job at creating a sense of place as he skips back and forth across the century, cutting between short chapters to sustain a propulsive momentum while juggling a sprawling network of plots and a massive cast of characters real enough to walk off the page. A big novel about the discovery and rediscovery of nature, starting over, and the sometimes piercing reverberations of history, this is a damn fine book.
Any one of Evison's numerous major characters could have owned his or her own novel; that they coexist perfectly in this one, undiminished but without overwhelming one another, is testament to the book's greatness.
Sprightly and enthusiastic.
[A] big booming ruckus of a novel ... Evison is a tremendously gifted storyteller.
West of Here is a tale of a journey, where humans are made heroic by circumstance and by often accidental choices. Not all the choices are right or good, these people aren't superheroes ... this is a novel that a reader can settle into, a work that is, most of all, a darned good story.
Big and unforgettable ... West of Here is a sprawling tragicomic novel about identity - national and personal - that's as entertaining as it is insightful.
Evison deserves a reader's respect for lunging in the direction of this kind of old-fashioned sweeping saga, and he earns a reader's indulgence by keeping so many disparate elements in play with surprising skill. The heart of West of Here comes from the characters and settings you'd least expect.
Though its themes are weighty, West of Here is an electrifying epic and never bogs down despite its 500 pages - irreverent humour, lustrous prose, and unexpected moments animate a tale as vast as the land it inhabits.
Riotously funny...wonderfully charming
[An] expansive, century-spanning novel...West of Here is the kind of work that begs to be called sweeping, with its large cast of characters encompassing multiple eras, sturdy American themes of community and nature, and a style that could be called cinematic...the big picture is pretty impressive