Set in Valencia, a poverty stricken city on the coast of Spain, this novel portrays the struggle of the common man against his environment. Based on the author's first hand experience in this area, the story centres around three generations of a poor Valencian family (circa 1900) who are as divided in their views on how to get along in this hostile world as any three individuals can be. The old grandfather, pampered by the villagers and extremely pig-headed, sees fishing, along with a little illegal hunting on the side, as the only means of maintaining one's dignity. His son, on the other hand, who is blessed with high intelligence, as well as with a powerful physique, looks upon fishing and especially upon illegal hunting as degrading, and sees emancipation only in land cultivation. But land is more easily yearned for than acquired. The grandson, strong, handsome, and brash, looks upon fishing with loathing and upon cultivation as unrewarding labour. This, however leaves him with nothing, causing him to become involved where he can bring pain not only to others, but also to himself.
Used availability for Vicente Blasco Ibanez's Reeds and Mud
December 1966 : USA Paperback