Synopses & Reviews
With praise coming from critics and readers alike, Tim Sandlin is clearly a name to watch. In addition to rave literary reviews, Drew Barrymore, Tom Arnold, and Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon are all big fans of this Wyoming writer, who turns the mundane into high comedy.
With Lana Sue's name tattooed on his back, Loren is determined to win his love's affection. He got the tattoo during his high school years, but Lana Sue's affections did not come until nearly 18 years later, after both had been married and divorced. While Loren is on a mission to discover himself high above the mountains of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Lana Sue decides she has had enough and takes off for parts unknown, equipped with the shirt on her back, a pair of jeans, and a $20 bill.
A frustrated country singer with hopes of someday becoming the next Patsy Cline, Lana Sue has had enough of Loren's odd behavior. To make matters even worse, Lana Sue's daughter Cassie is sleeping with Lana Sue's ex-boyfriend. But when Lana Sue bumps into a suicidal rancher who takes her home to meet his dysfunctional family, she begins to realize that her family situation is really not so bad.
Meanwhile, Loren's trip to the woods has taken a turn for the worse, as a crazed gunman stalks him among the flora and fauna. Recalling episodes from the life he is trying to save, Loren is headed into a showdown with his past, and only Lana Sue can help him. Filled with a crew of off-kilter characters, Western Swing is a country song funny, sad, and unbelievably true come to life.
"[A] droll and high-spirited novel....There is something of the loopy invention and drollery of Tom Robbins in Sandlin's voice....[O]nce the narrative gets underway he reveals solid storytelling talent and the ability to create two vividly sympathetic characters whose adventures have something of the grit and pathos of a funky country-and-western ballad." Publishers Weekly
"Mr. Sandlin brilliantly and knowingly captures the spirit of the Wyoming wilderness." The New York Times Book Review
"A celebration of tenacious spirits...about running into the sun and keeping on, with humor, passion, and faith." Los Angeles Times Book Review
"Tim Sandlin writes about crazy people. Not scary crazies, but the kind of interesting, funny eccentrics with whom the reader would like to spend an evening drinking beer....Western Swing is funny, wise and a bubbling joy to read." Kansas City Star
"Tim Sandlin never forgets that he is a storyteller, and an exceptionally entertaining one. He writes with humor, and a cheerful energy that keeps the narrative going at breakneck speed....Western Swing is a spirited novel of love and loss, and Loren and Lana Sue are genuine modern-day folk heroes." The Toronto Globe & Mail
"Ongoing life is what this book is all about....Sandlin's voice is a wry mix of cynicism and innocence. Add to that a well developed sense of the bizarre, and you have a book that's fun to read, brimming with high-spirited zaniness." St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"This is a Western in the most modern sense, and humor is definitely 'black.' The dialogue is snappy, the characters richly drawn, and the detail such that we know not only the kind of gum but how many sticks." Library Journal
From the acclaimed author of Sorrow Floats, Social Blunders, and Skipped Parts, comes a wickedly funny novel about love, marriage, and life. When Loren Paul spends too much time contemplating the meaning of life, his gorgeous, headstrong wife Lana Sue drives South to meet some cowboys. While Lana Sue drinks and flirts in country bars, Loren soul searches and starves in the Wyoming mountains. Loren and Lana Sue couldn't be on more different paths, but they're both steering toward the same surprising truth: maybe they deserve each other.
About the Author
Tim Sandlin is the author of the GroVont trilogy—Skipped Parts, Sorrow Floats, and Social Blunders—as well as Western Swing, Sex and Sunsets, and Honey Don't. He is also the author of a collection of columns from the Jackson Hole News called The Pyms: Unauthorized Tales of Jackson Hole.