Everything I Found on the Beach

A novel by Cynan Jones

April 5, 2016 • 5 x 7.75 • 248 pages • 978-1-56689-436-4

Three men, each trying to break free from desperate circumstances, tied together by one kilo of cocaine and the sea.

When a net is set, and that’s the way you choose, you’ll hit it. Hold, a Welsh fisherman, Grzegorz, a Polish migrant worker, and Stringer, an Irish gangster, all want the chance to make their lives better. One kilo of cocaine and the sea tie them together in a fatal series of decisions and reactions.

About the Author

Cynan Jones was born near Aberaeron on the west coast of Wales in 1975. He is the author of four short novels, most recently The Dig (Coffee House Press, 2014), which won a Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize in 2014 and the Wales Book of the Year Fiction Prize in 2015. His work has been translated into several languages, and his short stories have aired on BBC Radio and appeared in a number of anthologies and publications including Granta. Everything I Found on the Beach is the second of three US releases of his work by Coffee House Press.

Thanks to a 2013 ADA Access Improvement Grant administered by VSA Minnesota for the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, this title is also formatted for screen readers which make text accessible to the blind and visually impaired. To purchase this title for use with a screen reader please call (612) 338-0125 or email us at info@coffeehousepress.org.


“Jones’ somber tone and damp, overcast setting help make the novel a kind of critique of the new economy that put both men in such desperate straits. . . . A striking and careful portrait of ambition crashing against reality.” Kirkus, starred review

“With this thriller-like plot in place, Jones is free to exercise his considerable gifts as a stylist, and breathtaking descriptions of landscape and animal life abound.” Publishers Weekly

“Jones is a Welsh writer who has been compared to Cormac McCarthy, but his sparse style also recalls Ernest Hemingway.” Kirkus

“As a novel full of skewed moral judgments and reckless acts, it has plenty of emotional clout and immense narrative pull. . . . There are brief spurts of bloody, visceral prose—fish gutted, rabbits skinned, cattle stunned—along with moments of striking lyricism.” Star Tribune

“When it comes to the act of writing itself, you just have to forget labels exist and listen to the demands of the story.” —Publishers Weekly

“The novel as a whole illuminates the inner, fragile struggles of men and the dangerous visible struggles that result when certain paths are chosen.” —NewPages

“Jones’ book is a blunt fable about desperation, and unlike the shadow comedy it depicts, it’s built to last.” —Star Tribune

“Jones offers gorgeous observation of nature’s indifference to human intervention, and juxtaposes it with characters who define themselves by their inability to influence the manmade systems by which they are held in check. There is no hope—until there is.” Heavy Feather

“Jones strips his prose to the heartbeat minimum. Its plaintive nudity is like the sea itself, so present in this novel, ‘like some broken metronome for the earth.’” Cleaver Magazine

Everything I Found on the Beach, a compact but powerful novel by Cynan Jones, might just be one of the rawest and honest interpretations of what the sea is to us.” Summerset Review

“For those of us who write, tell and read stories to make sense of the world, I feel this short novel is a work of great insight. It does that all-too-rare thing which is to spool on in your mind after you’ve read it.” —Electric Literature

“Raw, abrasive, and compact, Jones’ short novels carry a muscular, confident tone.” —Hazel & Wren

“A heartbreakingly relatable narrative.” —Cultured Vultures

“Cynan Jones’s Everything I Found on the Beach is a remarkable novel, quiet but powerful. . . . Thought-provoking and somehow uplifting, in its beautiful, artistic consideration of life itself.” Shelf Awareness

“Filled with poverty, heartbreak, and danger, Jones’ novel poses some very simple but timeless questions.” —Vol. 1 Brooklyn

“My old grandmother had a pressure cooker built of fine and heavy metal that would hop and bang on the stove as it worked but only slowly, reluctantly, it seemed, offer itself the relief of a strong, composed scream. In the work of Cynan Jones—never more so than in Everything I Found on the Beach—we find a similar mechanism at play, except that it is the pages, full of sturdily encased fury, that hop and bang, and it is us at the book’s end who turn to wall or pillow or wide, empty world and scream. This is powerful writing. Let there be no doubt about it.” —Laird Hunt