Tucker is returning home to Kentucky after serving in the Korean War. He is a man of few words but impressive survival skills, fluent in the binary local codes of right and wrong. He meets and marries Rhonda, and as they pursue the American dream on their land and terms, Tucker defends their independence, turning selectively violent when he considers it necessary and just.
Author Chris Offutt’s moody slice of country noir depicts a vision of the American man, an archetype who served his country, is strong and silent in his expertise with nature and building, and does what a man must do. The villainous other for Tucker is the meddling outside world, whose flawed priorities and fundamental corruption pose an existential threat to Tucker’s quiet, private way of life.
Is there such a South, where mythic men of action pass down oral wisdom and physical skills through generations, where institutional justice takes a backseat to regional mores, where nirvana glows in the gentle rocking of an old porch swing? In Offutt’s arresting novel, it is easy to believe that deep in the woods lives a hero capable of cold-blooded violence, practical problem-solving, and breathtaking tenderness.
This page was created by an City Book Review staff member.
|Page Count||240 pages|
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