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Letting Loose the Hounds

Udall, Brady

489 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0393335542 / ISBN 13: 9780393335545
Published by Norton, NY, 1997
Condition: Very Good Hardcover
From Monroe Street Books (Middlebury, VT, U.S.A.)

AbeBooks Seller Since December 5, 1997

Quantity Available: 1

About this Item

221 pages, hardcover with dust jacket. Dust jacket lightly rubbed, minor soiling to front wrapper. Unmarked. A bright and tight copy. Record # 70161. Bookseller Inventory # 70161

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Letting Loose the Hounds

Publisher: Norton, NY

Publication Date: 1997

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Very Good

Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


“Funny, unpredictable, and abounding with strange beauty . . . a fierce new voice of the American West.”―Outside

Exploding with an unsettling exuberance, Brady Udall’s stories traverse a geography of lost love, fragmented lives, and satisfying revenge. From the night a six-foot-three Apache Indian holding a goat steps into a moonlit Arizona backyard in "Midnight Raid" to the pivotal moment when a man, delirious from a dental extraction, gets rescued by a stranger in the title story, Udall injects his stories and characters with equal parts darkness and humor. These are sad and sweet stories, moving from the familiar to surprising destinations. But even when disaster looms, Udall's fine comic sense sustains his men and women in their sometimes extravagant efforts to connect and cope. Plunged in the moment, these stories have velocity; they spray gravel as they take off.


The West is a pretty grim place to live, judging by the characters who populate Brady Udall's collection of short stories, Letting Loose the Hounds. Misfits, miscreants and outcasts all, his heroes stumble miserably through a desert landscape of "petrified wood and dinosaur bones," of failed marriages, dysfunctional families and their own aching loneliness in search of reconnection to the world they've lost.

What redeems this collection, and often the characters as well, is Mr. Udall's trenchant humor and sharp appreciation for the ridiculous. No one is more aware of the absurdity of his situation than the main character of "Midnight Raid" who is caught red-handed breaking into his ex-wife's house with a pygmy goat under his arm. In "Vernon" the narrator sees the irony in returning to his dead-end hometown after a semester of college: "I liked college . . . Just the idea made me ridiculously happy . . . But I had this nervous feeling I couldn't get rid of, like something in the bottom of my gut slowly eating at my insides . . . I came back to Vernon to stay." The only recourse for these lost souls are small, often funny, always sad acts of rebellion. Mr. Udall's West might not be a great place to live, but in Letting Loose the Hounds it makes for a compelling visit.

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