Book - 1997
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Wade Whitehouse, divorced, estranged from his young daughter, spends his days as a well-driller, snow-plow operator, and policeman, his nights in a wind-swept trailer park. But when a union boss is killed in an apparent hunting accident near Wade's home, and he is convinced that it is murder, he seizes the event as a chance to right many wrongs - unaware that as he unravels the mystery he himself will become unravelled. Soon his hunger for justice and self-respect become inseparable from a desperate violence.
Publisher: Toronto : Vintage Canada, 1997.
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780676970951
Branch Call Number: FIC Banks h7ga 01
Characteristics: 355 pages ; 25 cm.


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Feb 10, 2015

"The great enigma of human life is not suffering but affliction."-Simone Weil
From the author of "The Sweet Hereafter" and "Cloudsplitter," an intense and powerful novel about small town life, fathers and sons, and the violence inherent in men. Narrated by the protagonist's brother, it plays about like a mystery; Wade Whitehouse has disappeared and his story, involving his abusive, alcoholic father, his ex-wife and daughter, and a hunting accident that he thinks is murder, is related. The rural poverty of a small New England town is a setting that Banks has in common with Richard Russo, but Russo finds the humor amidst the defeat, while Banks finds tragedy. Made into a film with Nick Nolte, James Coburn, and Willem Defoe.

Chapel_Hill_KenMc Dec 20, 2014

Banks is a masterful writer, and this is a powerful, though bleak, exposition of economic frustration and masculine repression in a world of blue-collar work in rural New Hampshire. Banks' empathy can create sympathetic characters out of virtually anyone. My only criticism is his use of the narrative voice--a character in the novel, who is not actually present for 99% of the story.

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