long listed for the Mann Booker 2017 it is a spare story about Thomas McNulty an Irish emigrant from the great hunger making his way in the American frontier. Every sentence is astonishing, not a wasted word. In some ways its cometmplates the same theme as Pauline' Jilette's News of the World, i.e. what makes a family, how does one make a life after horrific experiences. Two men and an orphan Indian child travel through the American west and the American civil war.