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PEN/Faulkner Award finalist and New York Times best-selling author Ron Rash turns again to Appalachia to capture lives haunted by violence and tenderness, hope and fear, in unforgettable stories that span from the Civil War to the present day.
In the title story, two drug-addicted friends return to the farm where they worked as boys to steal their former boss' gruesomely unusual war trophies. In "The Trusty", which first appeared in The New Yorker, a prisoner sent to fetch water for his chain gang tries to sweet-talk a farmer's young wife into helping him escape, only to find that she is as trapped as he is. In "Something Rich and Strange", a diver is called upon to pull a drowned girl's body free from under a falls, but he finds her eerily at peace below the surface.
The violence of Rash's characters and their raw settings are matched only by their resonance and stark beauty, a masterful combination that has earned Rash an avalanche of praise.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By FanB14 on 03-07-13
24 Karat Collection
The title pays homage to Robert Frost and each story has a reference to gold therein. Characters from all age ranges tied to the Appalachian landscape fill this raw, real collection of tragic short stories. Trapped physically or mentally, each person navigates their ineffectual circumstances in hopes of reaching for sunlight only to realize the futility of their dreams. For example, in "Cherokee", a man and wife win big at a casino only to realize their victory is fleeting. I don't want to give away anymore details so you can enjoy each story as you go.
Rash is a master story teller placing you in the middle of each story, connecting quickly with the characters, standing in their rough landscape, and facing the consequences of their choices some ending with dark consequences.
Don't forget to press pause after each story; the next one begins quickly and you'll want to mull over the details from the last.
If you enjoyed this, check out "The Cove," and "Serena," also by Rash and "Winter's Bone," by Danny Woodrell.
25 of 25 people found this review helpful
By Jay on 06-04-13
And then depression set it...
Any additional comments?
I'm on the fourth story and looking forward to an uplifting one. I don't think I'll get it, but I can't help but listen on to characters in the real / surreal life. Well written and well narrated. nuff said!