SHORTLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2018
A noir narrative written with the intensity and power of poetry, The Long Take is one of the most remarkable - and unclassifiable - books of recent years.
Walker is a D-Day veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder; he can't return home to rural Nova Scotia, and looks instead to the city for freedom, anonymity and repair. As he moves from New York to Los Angeles and San Francisco we witness a crucial period of fracture in American history, one that also allowed film noir to flourish. The Dream had gone sour but - as those dark, classic movies made clear - the country needed outsiders to study and dramatise its new anxieties.
While Walker tries to piece his life together, America is beginning to come apart: deeply paranoid, doubting its own certainties, riven by social and racial division, spiralling corruption and the collapse of the inner cities. The Long Take is about a good man, brutalised by war, haunted by violence and apparently doomed to return to it - yet resolved to find kindness again, in the world and in himself.
Watching beauty and disintegration through the lens of the film camera and the eye of the poet, Robin Robertson's The Long Take is a work of thrilling originality.
WINNER OF THE WALTER SCOTT PRIZE FOR HISTORICAL FICTION 2019
WINNER OF THE ROEHAMPTON POETRY PRIZE 2018
SHORTLISTED FOR THE GOLDSMITHS PRIZE 2018
PRAISE FOR THE LONG TAKE
'A propulsive verbal tour de force . . . A hymn to destruction that exposes our country's betrayal of the American Dream in the years following World War II... When was the last time you said of a book of poetry, "I couldn't put it down?" Well, now's your chance.' The Washington Post
'Superlative.' Justine Jordan, The Guardian 'Books of the Year'
'The wondrous story of a Canadian veteran of the second world war who washes up in New York and then Los Angeles - told mostly in verse... Probably the best novel of the year.' The Economist 'Books of the Year'
'Hypnotic and wrenching... Robertson transforms the long take into an epic taking of life, liberty, reason, and hope in this saga of a good man broken by war and a city savaged by greed, an arresting and gorgeously lyrical and disquieting tale of brutal authenticity, hard-won compassion, and stygian splendor.' Donna Seaman, Booklist (starred review)