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These eight stories are a good companion for a long drive. They make you grateful for a full tank of gas, a bottle of water and a cell phone with a least a single bar.
"The Sagebrush Kid" is a sad, sweet tale of childless parents. "Deep-Blood-Greasy-Bowl" chronicles an ancient Indian tribe whose future relies on slaughtering a herd of bison. "I've Always Loved This Place" and "Swamp Mischief" are satirical pieces set in Hell. The remaining four stories are family tales, ranging from the days before statehood to the present. They are stories of loss, coping, continuity, legacy and erasure which anchor the others.
This is not a loose collection swept together by an author looking for a quick buck. “Fine, Just the Way It Is” is about the land, not the people. Even the Devil can’t homestead in Wyoming.
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Will Patton, as usual, is terrific. My only fault with the collection is the lack of a pause between the stories. They just run up on each other. The effect of a half page of white space at the end of a story is not rendered, and that's a flaw in the production.
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5 of 5 people found this review helpful
It took me a couple of tries to get into this book. The stories are harsh and bare and gritty, like the Western landscape. Life is extremely hard, mistakes cost dearly, and nobody lives happily ever after. Having said that, I did not find the stories depressing. Lifelike would be a better word. Once I caught on, I found the book compelling.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful