The new novel from the award-winning author of The End of Vandalism is a wry and sophisticated heist drama. Set in the rugged region of the Midwest that gives the novel its title, The Driftless Area is the story of Pierre Hunter, a young bartender with unfailing optimism, a fondness for coin tricks, and an uncanny capacity for finding trouble. When he falls in love, with the mysterious and isolated Stella Rosmarin, Pierre becomes the central player in a revenge drama he must unravel and bring to its shocking conclusion. Along the way he will liberate 77 thousand dollars from a murderous thief, summon the resources that have eluded him all his life, and come to question the very meaning of chance and mortality. For nothing is as it seems in The Driftless Area. Identities shift, violent secrets lie in wait, the future can cause the past, and love becomes a mission that can take you beyond this world.
In its tender, cool irony, The Driftless Area recalls the best of neonoir, and its cast of bonafide small-town eccentrics adrift in the American Midwest make for a clever and deeply pleasurable read from one of our most beloved authors.
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Tom Drury is the author of several novels, including The End of Vandalism, Hunts in Dreams, The Driftless Area, and The Black Brook. His fiction has appeared in the New Yorker, Harper's, and the Mississippi Review, and he has been named one of Granta's Best Young American Novelists.
Blasé 24-year-old Pierre Hunter is the unlikely hero of Drury's fourth novel, set in the isolated region of the Midwest that gives the book its title. Newly orphaned and bartending in a small town, Pierre is just coasting through life"until a near-fatal ice-skating accident introduces him to beautiful Stella Rosmarin, a mysterious girl who lives alone in an abandoned house. That too-lucky-to-be-chance rescue is the first of a string of strange incidents that fill Pierre's life as he begins an affair with Stella. When, on a cross-country hitchhiking trek, he unwittingly steals $77,000 from a dangerous character named Shane by landing a chance blow, the novel's tone shifts from absurd to surreal as Shane plots to get the money back. Meanwhile, Stella has been keeping a spooky secret that will be the undoing of everyone's plans. Though the Coen brothers-meet-David Lynch characters can seem stylized and two-dimensional, Drury (Hunts in Dreams) has a knack for entertainingly weird detail that shines throughout. (Aug.)
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