A Novel of the New South
W. W. Norton & Company, Hardcover, 9780393068023, 480pp.
Publication Date: January 7, 2009
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Meet the Cole brothers, charismatic country boys with more money than God half moonshine and half martini. Roland, the younger, is running for governor of Tennessee, while J.T. maneuvers to bring a full-fledged world's fair to the small city of Glennville. To the dismay of the old guard, the fair succeeds, making the Coles among the most important men in the state. All that stands between them and grander ambitions is an investigation into how their bank made all that money so damn fast.Life in the fast lane has taken its toll on the Coles' families; their wives and mistresses are among the sharpest, sassiest creations of recent fiction. The quiet center of the story is Mike Teague, the Coles' advisor, who knows one of those women too well, and also where all the bodies are buried. Here is a portrait, raucous yet nuanced, of what the South has been, and what it will become.