Title: The Fruit of Stone
Publisher: Putnam Publishing Group, The, New York, NY, U.S.A.
Publication Date: 2002
Binding: Hard Cover
Book Condition: Fine
Dust Jacket Condition: Fine
Edition: First Edition.
FINE/NEAR FINE copy protected by Archival Brodart Cover. This book is an oddity. The book cover has been put on upsidedown. The correction is easy. Turn the DJ upside down, then the pages are in order. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 000796
Synopsis: Mark Spragg's fiction debut is the story of the lifelong friendship between two men and their love for the woman who eludes them. Though Gretchen is married to his best friend, McEban has been in love with her since they were children growing up on adjacent ranches in Wyoming. When she leaves her husband for a new life, the two men follow her on an odyssey across the American West that forces truths and tests the ultimate, mystical extremes of love and loyalty.
Muscular, vivid, wise, tender, funny, and true: Mark Spragg's much-anticipated first novel is entirely unforgettable.
Review: Mark Spragg, author of the widely praised memoir Where Rivers Change Direction, sets off his first novel, The Fruit of Stone, with a cacophony of twittering birds. Starlings, sparrows, and magpies punctuate Barnum McEban's glorious morning-after with his best friend's wife, Gretchen. When Gretchen leaves town and her marriage behind, McEban and his bereft friend Bennett follow her letters from post-office boxes in Wyoming to Montana and back. Cutting through the road-trip action and Bennett's tenuous control over his temper and his rifle is the story of McEban's own family. His emotionally closed father, his migraine-riddled mother, the brusque but paternal ranch foreman Ansel, and his grandmother form a parallel tale of life on the ranch: hard work, hard living, and hard times. Spragg spins a good Western yarn and infuses every natural landscape with poetic intention, but the writing drags in these transcendent descriptions. The story reads at its most authentic in the terse dialogue between the two hardened friends; their inability to speak poetically to each other brings out more emotion than a flock of pretty birds. --Emily Russin
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