Reviews

Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Loneliness and fantasy bend reality in Drury's thin new work (after The Driftless Area), which returns readers to the world and characters of his much-celebrated 1994 novel The End of Vandalism. In the opening pages, Micah Darling, the son of casual thief Tiny, is taken by his TV actress mother Joan out of his small Midwestern town to live in Los Angeles. He soon makes friends with a set of privileged teenage drug enthusiasts and falls in love, like everybody else, with the beautiful but anguished Charlotte. "It's like a law of nature. Gravity, then Charlotte," says one, sardonically. Back in the Midwest, meanwhile, PI Dan Norman is on the trail of conman Jack Snow, whose forgeries of Celtic artifacts have led him to a thousand-year-old stone found in a dead man's hand in a bog in Ireland. As the investigation wears on, the lives of local residents are roiled when a mysterious and unhinged young woman arrives on a mission to recover the ancient Celtic stone. Cutting between decadent Los Angeles teenagers and weary smalltown men and women, all of whom struggle with loneliness and aimless desire, the two disjointed plot lines never really intersect. Still, uncanny dialogue, deadpan humor, a few morbid twists, and a considerable amount of quirk make for an engaging read. Agent: The Wylie Agency. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Loneliness and fantasy bend reality in Drury's thin new work (after The Driftless Area), which returns readers to the world and characters of his much-celebrated 1994 novel The End of Vandalism. In the opening pages, Micah Darling, the son of casual thief Tiny, is taken by his TV actress mother Joan out of his small Midwestern town to live in Los Angeles. He soon makes friends with a set of privileged teenage drug enthusiasts and falls in love, like everybody else, with the beautiful but anguished Charlotte. "It's like a law of nature. Gravity, then Charlotte," says one, sardonically. Back in the Midwest, meanwhile, PI Dan Norman is on the trail of conman Jack Snow, whose forgeries of Celtic artifacts have led him to a thousand-year-old stone found in a dead man's hand in a bog in Ireland. As the investigation wears on, the lives of local residents are roiled when a mysterious and unhinged young woman arrives on a mission to recover the ancient Celtic stone. Cutting between decadent Los Angeles teenagers and weary smalltown men and women, all of whom struggle with loneliness and aimless desire, the two disjointed plot lines never really intersect. Still, uncanny dialogue, deadpan humor, a few morbid twists, and a considerable amount of quirk make for an engaging read. Agent: The Wylie Agency. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

In his acclaimed debut, The End of Vandalism (1994), Drury introduced readers to an offbeat cast of lovers, cheaters, and criminals from Grouse County, Iowa. Set partly in the same town, his fifth and latest book reinstates some of his inaugural characters, including former sheriff Dan Norman, now an undercover detective investigating an ex-con's scam selling forged Celtic relics; Tiny Darling, a small-time crook and unsuccessful plumber; Tiny's ex-wife, Joan, who lives in L.A. and stars in a forensic TV show; and her stepdaughter, Lyris, a former foster child, who has recently moved to town. The fragmented, multiperspective story line begins when Joan returns to Grouse County to reclaim her 14-year-old son, Micah, whose new West Coast lifestyle finds him dabbling in drugs and sex. All the jumping around and the lack of a lead role result in a spotty overall plotline, which is at times dizzying. But as in his previous masterful novels, Drury weaves carefully metered sentences, deeply felt scenes, and struggling characters into an endlessly entertaining tapestry of human comedy and small-town living.--Fullmer, Jonathan Copyright 2010 Booklist