“Now maybe he won’t feel like a piece of lettuce stuck in the towns teeth that nobody has the guts to mention.”
Oh dear. Oh my. Dear sweet bleedin’ jeebus, this book was so many kinds of awful I just don’t know where to start. First off I want to emphasize that under no circumstances should you seek this out, you know, if you wanted to read it ironically or something. Don’t. Just. Don’t.
Set in the resort town of Gunnison, Colorado, the story begins with the aftermath of Wile Long’s suicide. Wile and his wife run the Sad Cafe (yes, seriously) and have two kids, teenaged daughter Georgie and on the cusp of 13 Mattias. One day Mattias finds his father hanging from a noose in his office and his world and that of the town changes. The story goes through many changes in narration, drifting in and out of the minds of a seemingly disparate group of (damaged, natch) citizens and newcomers. But of course we’ve got a Crash situation on our hands, as the Big Black Crayon of Foreshadowing and Other Clumsy Devices draw these characters together. We have bat-shit crazy Holy Rollers of shifting and indeterminate denomination, scarred Vietnam war veterans who channel their grief and pain into chainsaw sculptures, infidelity, coyotes (get it, Wile?…..wink, wink, nudge, nudge), and enough dead daddy and children issues to keep a fleet of psychiatrists busy for years, not to mention painfully shoe-horned in Scrabble references. Good lord, it was a trainwreck. I did this for you, double Cannonball (shakes tiny fist).