Bad Land

Jonathan Raban

14 September 2023
352 pages


Jonathan Raban's enthralling journey into the history of the Great Plains of Montana – the least populated, most uncharted region of the United States – to uncover the heart and soul of the country.

Bringing to life the extraordinary landscape of the prairie and the homesteaders whose dreams foundered there, and reaching through history to the present day, Bad Land uncovers the dangerous legacy of American innocence gone sour. Reissued with a new introduction from Jane Smiley, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning A Thousand Acres, this is Jonathan Raban at his finest.

'Bad Land should be recognized as a blazing classic' – Sunday Telegraph

Raban’s journey, made through empty landscapes that once brimmed with optimism, reveals what happens when American innocence begins to curdle. The tale, borne along by its superlative writing, is a riveting one
A blazing classic
There is a temperateness, a patience, here that makes Bad Land quite unlike anything else that Mr Raban has written . . . an affectionate reasonableness about this perplexing nation that reminds the reader how much America ha always been nourished by the optimism of its immigrants