...a fascinating, ambivalent look at a trade that has both its noble and troublesome sides ... In Just’s hands, the ambiguous motives behind the paper’s pursuit of the story are riveting ... The novel stands on Just’s memorable study of Ned. Your heart goes out to this kindly, complex man.
...questions of storytelling and truth are at the center of The Eastern Shore. What makes a story true? What means of storytelling best capture reality? Are facts a path to truth or a finely constructed gate? ... Just tells this story with a dispassionate remove and an economy of dialogue that make one wonder what might have happened if he’d directed his writing to the stage ... There are plenty of painfully incisive exchanges in The Eastern Shore, along with the genuine pleasure of Just’s sure hand as he guides us through Ned’s career. But the novel is scented with an air of nostalgia that, while truthful, is less than compelling.
The Eastern Shore, has an elegiac, almost funereal tone ... An old-school journalist himself, he’s mastered the art of intimately understanding institutions without being impressed by them ... The Eastern Shore has an episodic shape and loose style that amble around these issues rather than attack them, often digressing into Ned’s musings on old jobs and past girlfriends. But if it’s lesser Just, its nostalgic, autumnal tone is also fitting.