"A harrowing, humane, and very beautiful book.” —Garth Greenwell, author of What Belongs to You
A searing dystopian vision of a young boy's flight through an unnamed, savaged country, searching for sanctuary and redemption—a debut novel from one of Europe's bestselling literary stars.
A young boy has fled his home. He’s pursued by dangerous forces. What lies before him is an infinite, arid plain, one he must cross in order to escape those from whom he’s fleeing. One night on the road, he meets an old goatherd, a man who lives simply but righteously, and from that moment on, their paths intertwine.
Out in the Open tells the story of this journey through a drought-stricken country ruled by violence. A world where names and dates don’t matter, where morals have drained away with the water. In this landscape the boy—not yet a lost cause—has the chance to choose hope and bravery, or to live forever mired in the cycle of violence in which he was raised. Carrasco has masterfully created a high stakes world, a dystopian tale of life and death, right and wrong, terror and salvation.
Carrasco's debut novel offers a vague, terrifying, and violent tale told in sparse, taut prose reminiscent of Cormac McCarthy. An unnamed boy is on the run from his harsh father and a sadistic bailiff. He flees into a vast, drought-riddled expanse in his unnamed country with a vague plan to simply get as far from home as possible. After he bumps into an old man with a small herd of goats and an overly friendly dog, the two become travelling companions, heading north to the mountains, where water is supposedly more prevalent. They endure sunstroke, dehydration, and the shocking cruelty of local authorities while slowly growing fond of each other despite their stoic reservations. Details are hazy, and although there are hints of a collapsed civilization barely hanging on after catastrophic climate change, the lack of specificity leaves little to focus on but brutality and survival. The boy's traumatic history appears as rapid, disconnected flashes, blunting the emotional impact. The violence will make some readers balk, but passages of lovely writing coupled with the jaw-clenching tension and moments of hope make this a welcome introduction a new voice.