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Reid, Elwood

58 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0385497369 / ISBN 13: 9780385497367
Published by Doubleday, New York, 2000
Condition: Very Good Hardcover
From First Edition ,too Inc Bookstore (Moran, MI, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

Letter I in Midnight blacked out and has leaked through to dedication page. ; 8vo; 271 pages; Signed by Author. Bookseller Inventory # 3771

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Bibliographic Details


Publisher: Doubleday, New York

Publication Date: 2000

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Very Good

Dust Jacket Condition: No Dust Jacket

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: First Edition.

About this title


Elwood Reid's ferocious story of two tough-talking drifters forced to confront their vulnerability in the Alaskan wilderness cements his reputation as the bard of the working man.

Looking for thrills and some easy money, two itinerant construction workers, Jack and Burke, agree to help a desperate father rescue his daughter from a strange millennial cult for a fee of ten thousand dollars.  Their quest takes them into the most dangerous territory on the continent--the dark woods of Alaska.  Woefully unprepared for the deadly harshness of the land, and dreadfully uninformed as to the pervasiveness of the cult's hold on its members, they quickly descend into a violent struggle for their lives.

Jack and Burke swiftly and excruciatingly learn that their rescue-the-girl mission is anything but a walk in the woods for a large chunk of money.  Face to face with the disfigured cult leader, they discover that the stakes are much higher, involving a deadly grizzly bear and large amounts of newly mined gold.  Jack, initially less confident than the hard-ass Burke, finds himself assuming control of the expedition as they move deeper and deeper into the bush and every decision becomes a question of life or death.

A relentless yet complex tale, Midnight Sun explores how men react to the most extreme conditions and the basest of human behavior--the choices they make when the rules of civilization no longer apply and what, in a world steeped in darkness and isolation, they discover about themselves and one another.

Reviews for his previous books trumpeted Reid's extraordinary ability to portray the lives of working-class men.  In this new novel, Reid takes on a much larger canvas and demonstrates the full extent of his artistic powers.


Penzler Pick, September 2000: When the Alaska oil boom was in full swing in the late '60s and early '70s, everyone from college students to drifters found their way up north with dreams of working on the pipeline. The work was grueling, but it was a great way to get rich quick. The boom has ended, but the way of life lingers on for the few unable to give up the life of working for six months before heading south for the rest of the year.

In Midnight Sun, Jack and his buddy, Burke, are two of the guys for whom Alaska still exerts a strong pull. When the book opens, they are building houses on an army base. Jack has worked hauling lumber and honing his carpentry skills to get to the point of what he calls "underwhelming mediocrity." On the weekends he and Burke drive north on roads owned by oil companies or the government and fish for salmon and grayling.

Before Jack heads south to Texas, Burke has one more adventure to propose. An acquaintance of his, Duke, is seriously ill and would like to see his daughter Penny again. She was wooed away by a cult some years before, and Duke will pay Jack and Burke $10,000 to rescue her, but they must trek into the interior to bring her out. Jack reluctantly agrees, and the two men battle the Alaskan wilderness, quite unprepared for the harsh conditions and the wildlife they encounter along the way. When they finally reach the camp and locate Penny, they find that their troubles are just beginning. The group she is with is much more than a new millennium cult, and it will take all of Jack and Burke's mediocre skills to survive and bring Penny home.

Elwood Reid has crafted an adventure thriller that explores a unique aspect of American life. He is a master at conveying a way of life in its death throes, the rootlessness of Jack and Burke, and the tawdriness of a boomtown gone flat. --Otto Penzler

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The First Edition, too , is a small,seasonal, cabin bookstore located between a state forest and a national forest in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I have been in business for 30 years and specialize in Great Lakes and Michigan history. There also is a room of modern first editions, a room of juvenile books , a room of craft books, gardening and a large selection of natural history . There is a small collection of used paperbacks for beach reading , just down the dune on beautiful Lake Michigan ( when it's warm enough )

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