“Like the late, great Larry Brown and the late, great William Gay, Chris Offutt delivers a hardscrabble, mythic South with a laconic voice that turns sly to describe the follies of Man . . .”

 

NO MAJOR SPOILERS

This book is the story of Tucker, an underage boy who lies his way into the army to go fight in Korea. When he returns, he is still just short of 18. He is hitch-hiking and walking his way back to his home in the hills of Kentucky.

On his way home he intercedes in an attack on a young girl by her uncle, rescues her and takes her home with him. They will Marry. They will have 4 children initially, three are severely handicapped physically or emotionally and one daughter will be born perfectly normal. Tucker runs moonshine for a living for a local guy named Beanpole to make ends meet. At this time the State of Kentucky wants to take the three handicapped children away from Tucker and Rhonda, his wife. This will result in Tucker doing something that will result in his need to disappear for awhile.

Beanpole needs to give up someone to the local police so they can make an arrest. He makes a deal with Tucker to get arrested, go away for six months or so, and when he gets out, he will get $10,000 In cash for his troubles. Tucker takes the deal. But things like this don’t always go as planned and Tucker will end up spending five years in prison.

The rest of the story will circle around Tucker’s release from a Prison, and what the situation will be when he gets home.

Written in a minimalist style, this book reads very fast. Things happen quickly, and time moves ahead by a decade more than once in the book. I was surprised how the story move along so quickly in such a short time.

But the author gets it all in, and his style is perfect for those who like to read a story that is told without the usual padded writing, in depth descriptions of everything, and plot lines that really don’t go anywhere. Recommended.

 

Reviewed by:

Richard Franco

Added 30th July 2018

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Richard Franco