0 0 1 I IN a book­store — I know a rec­om­men­da­tion . “You’ll love it. It’s so smart/​funny/​suspenseful/​well writ­ten. The end­ing will break your heart.” That’s not any­body talks about Jesús Carrasco’s run­away hit, Out in the . When I  start­ed to hear about this book, I felt like I was lis­ten­ing to descrip­tions of some tran­scen­dent expe­ri­ence, maybe talk­ing to a friend ’d just returned from a com­mune or got­ten inter­est­ed in psy­che­delics. “You have to expe­ri­ence it. It’ll swal­low you up. I had no idea where I was when I fin­ished it. I can’t describe it, but you’ll see.” Out in the Open is a nov­el about a boy flees abuse in his drought-strick­en home­town. He him­self liv­ing on a scorch­ing-hot plain, trav­el­ing with a deeply reli­gious goatherd teach­es him skills both phys­i­cal and spir­i­tu­al. They are hunt­ed, threat­ened, vic­tim­ized over and over, but they have no way to turn back. is no “back”; ’s just dan­ger, drought, and God. Con­tem­po­rary nov­els rarely engage so plain­ly with faith and phys­i­cal suf­fer­ing. Its are obser­vant because to be unob­ser­vant, even for a moment, would be fatal. […]