THE CADENCE OF GRASS.

McGuane, Thomas.

ISBN 10: 0679446745 / ISBN 13: 9780679446743
Published by New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2002. dj
Used Hardcover
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About this Item

SIGNED hardcover first edition - First printing. A novel described as "at once a masterpiece of savage comedy and an elegy for what has been lost" by this Montana writer. SIGNED on the title page. 237 pp. Fine in fine dust jacket. Bookseller Inventory # 52181

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Bibliographic Details

Title: THE CADENCE OF GRASS.

Publisher: New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2002. dj

Binding: Hardcover

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

In his first novel since his best-selling Nothing but Blue Skies, and thirty-three years after The Sporting Club established his reputation, Thomas McGuane’s trademark combination of high wit, low behavior, and hard-won wisdom has never been on sharper—or, ultimately, more moving—display. This is the story of the Whitelaws, a family whose values are as far-flung as the territory they helped settle, and whose most recent generations have pioneered the landscape of dysfunction.

The patriarch, Sunny Jim, exerts his perverse control even posthumously, by means of a last will and testament that binds the family fortune (a bottling franchise) to a marriage that ought, by general assent, to be rent asunder. The charms of this particular son-in-law, lately released from prison, are potent if short-lived; Evelyn Whitelaw, his estranged wife, is quite literally bedeviled by them. And as her mother and sister court this twisted inheritance, her own yearnings point toward a way of life once habitual on these western plains but now embodied only by Bill Champion, the family’s ranch foreman and Evelyn’s one true compass.

A novel charged with the relentless and often contradictory claims of blood, money, history, and love, The Cadence of Grass is at once a masterpiece of savage comedy and an elegy for what has been lost. Long one of our most compelling novelists, Thomas McGuane has written the most ambitious book of his singularly distinguished career.

Review:

Thomas McGuane's The Cadence of Grass is a brawling, barrel-chested novel full of irreverent humor and outrageous characters and situations. Set in Montana, the story begins with the funeral of Jim Whitelaw, the family patriarch, who has cunningly crafted a will that ties up the assets of his bottling company until his older daughter reconciles with her estranged rogue of a husband. With Jim's ditzy yet determined widow; his wild younger daughter and her sweet but unbalanced husband; a cross-dressing rancher; a missing kidney; and a mysterious Bengali, it all adds up to a wild ride. But it's Bill Champion, Jim Whitelaw's old ranching partner, who wins our hearts. A throwback to the old days, Bill is full of Western wisdom and pungent sayings--he defines a "coyote breakfast" as "a piss and a look around." Eventually, Bill reveals a surprising secret as well as the identity of Red Wolf. Like his previous novels, including Nothing but Blue Skies, Panama, Ninety-Two in the Shade, and The Bushwhacked Piano, McGuane's The Cadence of Grass is a ripsnorting read indeed. --Susan Biskeborn

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