Close cookie details

This site uses cookies. Learn more about cookies.

OverDrive would like to use cookies to store information on your computer to improve your user experience at our Website. One of the cookies we use is critical for certain aspects of the site to operate and has already been set. You may delete and block all cookies from this site, but this could affect certain features or services of the site. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, click here to see our Privacy Policy.

If you do not wish to continue, please click here to exit this site.

Hide notification

  Main Nav
Days Without End
Cover of Days Without End
Days Without End
A Novel
Borrow Borrow
COSTA BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD WINNER

LONGLISTED FOR THE 2017 MAN BOOKER PRIZE

"A true leftfield wonder: Days Without End is a violent, superbly lyrical western offering a sweeping vision of America in the making."—Kazuo Ishiguro, Booker Prize winning author of The Remains of the Day and The Buried Giant


From the two-time Man Booker Prize finalist Sebastian Barry, “a master storyteller” (Wall Street Journal), comes a powerful new novel of duty and family set against the American Indian and Civil Wars

Thomas McNulty, aged barely seventeen and having fled the Great Famine in Ireland, signs up for the U.S. Army in the 1850s. With his brother in arms, John Cole, Thomas goes on to fight in the Indian Wars—against the Sioux and the Yurok—and, ultimately, the Civil War. Orphans of terrible hardships themselves, the men find these days to be vivid and alive, despite the horrors they see and are complicit in.

Moving from the plains of Wyoming to Tennessee, Sebastian Barry’s latest work is a masterpiece of atmosphere and language. An intensely poignant story of two men and the makeshift family they create with a young Sioux girl, Winona, Days Without End is a fresh and haunting portrait of the most fateful years in American history and is a novel never to be forgotten.
COSTA BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD WINNER

LONGLISTED FOR THE 2017 MAN BOOKER PRIZE

"A true leftfield wonder: Days Without End is a violent, superbly lyrical western offering a sweeping vision of America in the making."—Kazuo Ishiguro, Booker Prize winning author of The Remains of the Day and The Buried Giant


From the two-time Man Booker Prize finalist Sebastian Barry, “a master storyteller” (Wall Street Journal), comes a powerful new novel of duty and family set against the American Indian and Civil Wars

Thomas McNulty, aged barely seventeen and having fled the Great Famine in Ireland, signs up for the U.S. Army in the 1850s. With his brother in arms, John Cole, Thomas goes on to fight in the Indian Wars—against the Sioux and the Yurok—and, ultimately, the Civil War. Orphans of terrible hardships themselves, the men find these days to be vivid and alive, despite the horrors they see and are complicit in.

Moving from the plains of Wyoming to Tennessee, Sebastian Barry’s latest work is a masterpiece of atmosphere and language. An intensely poignant story of two men and the makeshift family they create with a young Sioux girl, Winona, Days Without End is a fresh and haunting portrait of the most fateful years in American history and is a novel never to be forgotten.
Available formats-
  • OverDrive Read
  • EPUB eBook
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
  • Lexile:
  • Interest Level:
  • Text Difficulty:

Recommended for you

 
Awards-
Excerpts-
  • From the book Chapter One

    The method of laying out a corpse in Missouri sure took the proverbial cake. Like decking out our poor lost troopers for marriage rather than death. All their uniforms brushed down with lamp-oil into a state never seen when they were alive. Their faces clean shaved, as if the embalmer sure didn’t like no whiskers showing. No one that knew him could have recognised Trooper Watchorn because those famous Dundrearies was gone. Anyway Death likes to make a stranger of your face. True enough their boxes weren’t but cheap wood but that was not the point. You lift one of those boxes and the body makes a big sag in it. Wood cut so thin at the mill it was more a wafer than a plank. But dead boys don’t mind things like that. The point was, we were glad to see them so well turned out, considering.

    I am talking now about the finale of my first engagement in the business of war. 1851 it was most likely. Since the bloom was gone off me, I had volunteered  aged seventeen in Missouri. If you had all your limbs they took you. If you were a one-eyed boy they might take you too even so. The only pay worse than the worst pay in America was army pay. And they fed you queer stuff till your shit just stank. But you were glad to get work because if you didn’t work for the few dollars in America you hungered, I had learned that lesson. Well, I was sick of hungering.

    Believe me when I say there is a certain type of man loves soldiering, no matter how mean the pay. First thing, you got a horse. He might be a spavined nag, he might be plagued by colic, he might show a goitre in his neck the size of a globe, but he was a horse. Second place, you got a uniform. It might have certain shortcomings in the stitching department, but it was a uniform. Blue as a bluebottle’s hide.

    Swear to God, army was a good life. I was seventeen or there- abouts beginning, I could not say for certain. I will not say the years going up to my army days was easy. But all that dancing put muscle on me, in a wiry sort of way. I’m not speaking against my customers, I’m speaking for them. If you pay a dollar for a dance you like a good few sweeps of the floor for that, God knows.

    Yes, the army took me, I’m proud to say. Thank God John Cole was my first friend in America and so in the army too and the last friend for that matter. He was with me nearly all through this exceeding surprising Yankee sort of life which was good going in every way. No more than a boy like me but even at six- teen years old he looked like a man right enough. I first saw him when he was fourteen or so, very different. That’s what the saloon owner said too. Time’s up, fellas, you ain’t kids no more, he says. Dark face, black eyes, Indian eyes they called them that time. Glittering. Older fellas in the platoon said Indians were just evil boys, blank-faced evil boys fit to kill you soon as look at you. Said Indians were to be cleared off the face of the earth, most like that would be the best policy. Soldiers like to talk high. That’s how courage is made most like, said John Cole, being an understanding man.

    John Cole and me we came to the volunteering point together of course. We was offering ourselves in a joint sale I guess and the same look of the arse out of his trousers that I had he had too. Like twins. Well when we finished up at the saloon we didn’t leave in no dresses. We must have looked like beggar boys. He was born in New England where the strength died out of his father’s earth. John Cole was only twelve when he lit out a-wandering. First moment I saw him I thought, there’s a pal. That’s...
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    October 31, 2016
    Barry’s (The Secret Scripture) latest novel features Irish orphan boy Thomas McNulty, who departs Sligo during the potato famine to make his way to America. On the Missouri frontier, Thomas and best buddy John Cole work in a saloon dressing up as female dancing partners for local miners. When the boys mature enough to look more like men, they enlist in the Army, ending up as soldiers in the brutal Indian Wars while secret lovers at night. After their tour of duty ends, they head to Grand Rapids, where they perform onstage in drag, accompanied by Winona, a nine-year-old Sioux they care for like a daughter. With the Civil War looming, Thomas and John Cole join the Union Army, only to encounter more suffering and senseless violence fighting in the Valley of Virginia, then as prisoners of war at Andersonville. Eventually they are freed, but the past catches up: Winona’s uncle, Catch-His-Horse-First
    , wants her back. Barry’s description of Thomas’s courageous effort to protect Winona achieves the drama and pathos of the author’s best fiction. Other parts of the novel prove erratic. Despite moments of humor and colorful metaphors, Thomas’s inconsistent, occasionally unconvincing narrative voice wavers between lyricism and earthiness. Thomas’s
    trail of woe, though historically accurate, makes for onerous reading. The explicit battle scenes may also be difficult to take, but they have energy and intensity, in contrast with Thomas and John’s love story, which traces without much drama how Thomas comes to realize he prefers dresses to a uniform.

  • Kirkus

    November 15, 2016
    A lively, richly detailed story of one slice of the Irish immigrant experience in America.Orphaned in the famine--"all that was left in Ireland was the potato for eating and when the potato was lost there was nothing left in old Ireland"--Thomas McNulty is fresh off the boat in the U.S. when he finds himself wearing blue, packed off to the West to fight Indians. He's fortunate to have a friend in young John Cole, of a loving if potentially lethal bent. Other of his soldier friends are to varying degrees bloodthirsty, psychotic, or crazy brave, and they work evil on every Indian encampment they find until, sickened by it all, the two soldiers find themselves caring for a young Sioux girl they call Winona. It is perfectly in keeping with McNulty's dark view of a world in which people are angels and devils in equal measure: "I seen killer Irishmen and gentle souls but they're both the same," he reflects, "they both have an awful fire burning inside them, like they were just the carapace of a furnace." Protecting Winona means putting themselves in the path of their comrades, those among whom they have fought from one end of the country to the other against Indians and secessionists. Extending the McNulty saga from books such as The Temporary Gentleman (2014) and The Secret Scripture (2008), Barry writes with a gloomy gloriousness: everyone that crosses his pages is in mortal danger, but there's an elegant beauty even in the most fraught moments ("By Jesus he just drives the knife into the chief's side"). The story is full of casual, spectacular violence, but none of it gratuitous, and with a fine closing moral: everyone will try to kill you in America, but those who don't are your friends, and, as Thomas says, "the ones that don't try to rob me will feed me." A pleasure for fans of Barry and his McNulty stories and a contribution not just to Irish literature in English, but also the literature of the American West.

    COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Library Journal

    Starred review from January 1, 2017

    An unlikely love story between Irish immigrant Thomas McNulty and his younger friend John Cole, this new work is set on the American frontier in the mid 1800s, and its depth and beauty bring to mind the great prairie novels of Willa Cather. Thomas and John meet when they join the army together in 1851, and they soon are sent to fight Native Americans in Missouri. During the course of the novel, they witness massacres, participate in grisly Civil War battles, and end up adopting an orphaned Native girl as their daughter. Thomas is the narrator, and his voice sings from the page in an appealing blend of gritty vernacular, unschooled syntax, and rough-hewn poetry as he bears witness to the awesome beauty of the American landscape and the savagery in the hearts of men. Barry, twice short-listed for the Man Booker Prize (A Long Long Way; The Secret Scripture), offers a meditation on the nature of what it means to be an American, and his conclusions are both complex and fearless. VERDICT A beautifully realized historical novel; enthusiastically recommended for all fans of literary fiction.--Patrick Sullivan, Manchester Community Coll., CT

    Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Title Information+
  • Publisher
    Penguin Publishing Group
  • OverDrive Read
    Release date:
  • EPUB eBook
    Release date:
Digital Rights Information+
  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

Status bar:

You've reached your checkout limit.

Visit your Checkouts page to manage your titles.

Close

You already have this title checked out.

Want to go to your Checkouts?

Close

Recommendation Limit Reached.

You've reached the maximum number of titles you can recommend at this time. You can recommend up to 99 titles every 1 day(s).

Close

Sign in to recommend this title.

Recommend your library consider adding this title to the Digital Collection.

Close

Enhanced Details

Close
Close

Limited availability

Availability can change throughout the month based on the library's budget.

is available for days.

Once playback starts, you have hours to view the title.

Close

Permissions

Close

The OverDrive Read format of this eBook has professional narration that plays while you read in your browser. Learn more here.

Close

Holds

Total holds:


Close

Restricted

Some format options have been disabled. You may see additional download options outside of this network.

Close

MP3 audiobooks are only supported on macOS 10.6 (Snow Leopard) through 10.14 (Mojave). Learn more about MP3 audiobook support on Macs.

Close

Please update to the latest version of the OverDrive app to stream videos.

Close

Device Compatibility Notice

The OverDrive app is required for this format on your current device.

Close

Bahrain, Egypt, Hong Kong, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the Sudan, the Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen

Close

You've reached your library's checkout limit for digital titles.

To make room for more checkouts, you may be able to return titles from your Checkouts page.

Close

Excessive Checkout Limit Reached.

There have been too many titles checked out and returned by your account within a short period of time.

Try again in several days. If you are still not able to check out titles after 7 days, please contact Support.

Close

You have already checked out this title. To access it, return to your Checkouts page.

Close

This title is not available for your card type. If you think this is an error contact support.

Close

An unexpected error has occurred.

If this problem persists, please contact support.

Close

Close

NOTE: Barnes and Noble® may change this list of devices at any time.

Close
Buy it now
and help our library WIN!
Days Without End
Days Without End
A Novel
Sebastian Barry
Choose a retail partner below to buy this title for yourself.
A portion of this purchase goes to support your library.
Close
Close

There are no copies of this issue left to borrow. Please try to borrow this title again when a new issue is released.

Close
Barnes & Noble Sign In |   Sign In

You will be prompted to sign into your library account on the next page.

If this is your first time selecting “Send to NOOK,” you will then be taken to a Barnes & Noble page to sign into (or create) your NOOK account. You should only have to sign into your NOOK account once to link it to your library account. After this one-time step, periodicals will be automatically sent to your NOOK account when you select "Send to NOOK."

The first time you select “Send to NOOK,” you will be taken to a Barnes & Noble page to sign into (or create) your NOOK account. You should only have to sign into your NOOK account once to link it to your library account. After this one-time step, periodicals will be automatically sent to your NOOK account when you select "Send to NOOK."

You can read periodicals on any NOOK tablet or in the free NOOK reading app for iOS, Android or Windows 8.

Accept to ContinueCancel