Title: The Legends Of Jesse Dark
Publication Date: 1984
Edition: 1st Edition.
New York. 1984. Knopf. 1st American Edition. Very Good In Slightly Worn Dustjacket. 1st Book. 359 pages. October 1984. hardcover. Front-of-jacket art by Scott Reynolds. Signed by The Author. 0394537483. keywords: Literature America. inventory # 23751. FROM THE PUBLISHER - South Dakota - the land where in the nineteenth century some of the most cherished legends about the Old West were made: the Deadwood Stage, mining claims in the Black Hills, Wild Bill Hickok. But in the early 1970s it’s a different West: one where Indians ride Harleys and cowboys roll joints and no one knows the difference any longer between an outlaw and a criminal. And it’s in this new West, in the town of Yankton, that Jesse Dark has become a legend for his time. Son of a violent, drunken father and a mute mother, brother of catatonic Rose, lover of a gifted and ambitious photographer, best friend of the notorious Dark Angel of Rock, and, until recently, at the top of the local police’s Most Wanted list Jesse is in jail as the book opens. It’s got something to do with stealing a baby, and although he isn’t denying the deed he’s saying he was just trying to take back what he’d lost. What brought Jesse there and how it happened are the questions that propel this lyrical and touching first novel. Michael Doane rearranges the classic Western—a good outlaw, a bad sheriff - to examine some contemporary myths about home and family in middle America at mid-century. This is done in four flashbacks that follow Jesse in a series of flights, each taking him farther from, yet closer to, home. The first is to an abandoned farmhouse where he and his sister hide out one winter from their brutal father; the next, to the nearby college town where he is the mysterious pot dealer and confidant of crippled rock idol Dusken Lowe. A year or so later, his safety endangered by love and the Law, he is in the bitter North End of St. Paul, managing a porn shop and scratching out a life among pimps, derelicts, drunken Indians, and the rest of the urban flotsam and jetsam. Until, having touched bottom, he finds himself heading West again, ‘home’ to claim his final, unexpected inheritance. With a finely rendered irony Michael Doane illuminates a generation’s misplaced nostalgia for our legends: of fathers and sons, of home where the heart is, and of outlaws - free and glorified - on the American frontier, before it was distorted, violated, and finally lost. Very Good In Slightly Worn Dustjacket. Bookseller Inventory # 23751
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