by Mike I, May 25, 2005 12:38 PM
Deep immersion into rambunctious lives and a hostile locale makes The Clearing a top contender for summer's best escapist reading. Fresh in paperback, this gritty, post-WWI swamp epic (not to be confused with the recently released Robert Redford film) tosses tough, heroic Louisiana loggers into a quagmire of environmental and social ills. Mud, snakes, humidity, whores, guns, gangsters — it's a slick ooze of sweat, honor, violence and blood. This richly-written tale ranks with Lonesome Dove and Cold Mountain as adventure lit of the highest caliber.