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The Ploughmen

3.8 based on 1058 ratings & 240 reviews on

14 August 14


John Gload is a seventy-seven-year-old murderer. He has been killing for over half a century before he is caught for the first time.
Valentine Millimaki is the young man in the Copper County sheriff's department who draws the overnight shift after Gload's arrest. He is tasked with getting the killer to confess to a string of unsolved murders.
Gload and Millimaki sit across from each other in the dark, swapping stories and secrets. As sheriff and criminal talk through the bars night after night, Millimaki's safety is threatened within his own department. Then a brazen act of violence leads to a manhunt and a stunning revelation that ensures Gload's past and Millimaki's future are for ever entwined.
Set against the extraordinary landscape of Montana, The Ploughmen is a tense, compelling and powerfully moving novel that announces the arrival of a major American talent.

In the media

Passionately arresting . . . Even though Zupan's novel deals with grim topics, he plows the depths of grief and numbness with such a concentrated dedication that the prose is a character in itself. His sentences are unleashed in a furious splendour . . . bleak and brilliant - the best kind of book
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Mr. Zupan has created a remarkable character in John Gload . . . The expansive, indifferent and lonely landscapes that populate the book are as vital as the two main characters and elevate Mr Zupan's work from a story about an unlikely friendship to a solemn exploration of the human soul - and how it is formed by the space that surrounds it
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
This memorable debut is at times strikingly beautiful, while at others quite bleak, but it is always poignant

About Kim Zupan

Kim Zupan is a native Montanan who grew up in and around Great Falls, where much of The Ploughmen is set. For twenty-five years Zupan made his living as a carpenter while pursuing his writing. He was a collegiate and professional bareback rider and has worked as a ranch hand, smelterman and salmon purse seine fisherman. He holds an MFA from the University of Montana. At present he teaches carpentry at Missoula College University of Montana.