The Ballad of Trenchmouth Taggart
By M. Glenn Taylor
(Ecco Press, Paperback, 9780061922978, 276pp.)
Publication Date: June 2009
List Price: $13.99*
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Meet Trenchmouth Taggart, a man born and orphaned in 1903, a man nicknamed for his lifelong oral affliction. His boyhood is shaped by the Widow Dorsett, a strong mountain woman who teaches him to hunt and to survive the taunts of others. In the hills of southern West Virginia, a boy grows up fast. Trenchmouth sips moonshine, handles snakes, pleases women, and masters the riflea skill that lands him in the middle of the West Virginia coal wars. A teenaged union sniper, Trenchmouth is exiled to the back-woods of Appalachia's foothills, where he spends his years running from the past. But trouble will sniff a man down, and an outlaw will eventually run home. Here Trenchmouth Taggart's story, like the best ballads, etches its mark deep upon the memory.
“I was hooked immediately by the narrative voice, which I would describe as utterly kickass, take-no-prisoners in tone. The combination of hyperbole & hilarity throughout is what I would call High Hillbilly in the purest form.”
-Chuck Kinder, Author of Snakehunter and Last Mountain Dancer
“A stunning, fully realized, unique and ambitious book that proves there’s still passion, fire and brilliance in the American novel.”