Robert Grainer is a poor day labourer in the American west at the start of the twentieth century. Robert is a relentlessly ordinary main living through an extraordinary time. The novella is gorgeous, lush, and evocative of a man, seeking a simple life of pleasure who struggles through and gives us a lens via which we can see the majesty and loss of American history through this time. Johnson’s lush prose gives us insight into ageing, shifting seasons, and becoming a man out of time. This novella appeared on a rake of best-of lists for 2011 – and deservedly so.