Vintage, Paperback, 9781400075188, 240pp.
Publication Date: June 12, 2007
Place exerts the power of destiny in these tales: a boy makes a surprising discovery skating at night on Lake Michigan; an Irish clan in Massachusetts gather around their dying matriarch; a battered survivor of the glory days of Key West washes up on other shores. Several of the stories unfold in Big Sky country: a father tries to buy his adult son's way out of virginity; a convict turns cowhand on a ranch; a couple makes a fateful drive through a perilous gorge. McGuane's people are seekers, beguiled by the land's beauty and myth, compelled by the fantasy of what a locale can offer, forced to reconcile dream and truth.
"Tremendous. . . . [McGuane] evokes characters so vivid and universally pained that they'll keep you up at night." —The Philadelphia Inquirer“Astonishing. . . . [McGuane] knows something about writing, real writing–which is to say, words as access to the soul. . . . McGuane has driven so hard into the heart of a received wisdom concerning American manhood . . . that he has broken through to the other side.” —The New York Times Book Review"McGuane is a master. . . . To see the world through the eyes of his characters . . . is to feel unsettled, precarious, and yet certain . . . of one thing: change. . . . [He] turns each story into a kind of pressure cooker." —Los Angeles Times