“Wow! I started it today, and he’s knocked my socks off already. Christopher Cook’s writing is lush and deep and evocative and relentlessly forward-driving.”
“…a master of setting, characterization, dialogue and narrative.”
—The Dallas Morning News
How does a boy become a man in the Deep South?
Not without a struggle.
This powerful novella of a young boy and his extended family in rural East Texas is reminiscent of Flannery O’Connor and William Faulkner both in the psychological complexity of its storytelling and in the music of its language. There is the boy and the stoic grandfather he worships, the vivacious mother he loves, the emotionally distant unemployed father he both admires and aches for, and the two violent uncles (“half man and half beast”) he fears. In that conflicted setting, the boy wonders what it means to be a man, if he can ever become one, or even if he wants to. After an unexpected killing occurs, the undercurrent of suspense builds to a climactic ending that is both highly dramatic and emotionally charged.
“…a lyric voice that sings itself raw.”
—The New York Times