Synopses & Reviews
Set in the small towns of Utah and Arizona, most of these stories deal with letting loose'"or wanting to'"in all its forms. For the family hero in "Buckeye the Elder," this means reverting to a more raucous past. In the title story, under a galaxy-filled sky, there is the eerie thrill of possible revenge. Ansie, in "The Opposite of Loneliness," risks joining a distinctly eccentric family unit despite five failed marriages (her "Purple Hearts"). The young men of "Vernon," home to 800 souls, dream of leaving but settle for the macho euphoria that comes from making loud noises and destroying things. And in "Junk Court," a handyman, not so handy with love, finds himself considering some breakout decisions.
These are sad/sweet stories, moving from the familiar to surprising destinations. But even when disaster looms, Brady Udall's fine comic sense keeps bubbling up, sustaining his men and women in their sometimes extravagant efforts to connect and cope. Plunged in the moment, these stories have velocity; they spray gravel as they take off.
Exploding with an unsettling exuberance, Brady Udall's stories traverse a geography of lost love, fragmented lives, and satisfying revenge. From the night a six-foot-three Apache Indian holding a goat steps into a moonlit Arizona backyard in "Midnight Raid" to the pivotal moment when a man, delirious from a dental extraction, gets rescued by a stranger in the title story, Udall injects his stories and characters with equal parts darkness and humor. These are sad and sweet stories, moving from the familiar to surprising destinations. But even when disaster looms, Udall's fine comic sense sustains his men and women in their sometimes extravagant efforts to connect and cope. Plunged in the moment, these stories have velocity; they spray gravel as they take off.
Shimmering with life and the irresistible pull of the heart, Brady Udall"s stories traverse a geography of lost love and fragmented lives, leaving us sated with a raw yet romantic vision of the men and women in today"s still-wild West.
Ten quirky, bighearted tales from the contemporary West by an inspired storyteller at the beginning of his career. Think Rick Bass. Think Pam Houston. Think Walter Kirn.
"Funny, unpredictable, and abounding with strange beauty . . . a fierce new voice of the American West."--
About the Author
Brady Udall is the author of Letting Loose the Hounds, The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint, and The Lonely Polygamist. His work has appeared in The Paris Review, Esquire, Playboy, and elsewhere. He lives in Boise, Idaho.