Davis, Claire.

ISBN 10: 0312261403 / ISBN 13: 9780312261405
Published by New York: Picador, (2000) dj, 2000
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SIGNED hardcover first edition - First printing. The author's first novel, set in the remote ranching country of Montana, "a portrayal of a town in crisis, as tautly paced as a thriller." SIGNED on the title page, 262 pp. Fine in fine dust jacket. Bookseller Inventory # 64889

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Bibliographic Details


Publisher: New York: Picador, (2000) dj

Publication Date: 2000

Binding: Hardcover

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


When Ike Parsons, a fair-minded Montana sheriff, must humanely destroy the starving livestock of failing rancher Chas Stubblefield, the rancher plots a grim revenge centering around Ike's wife Pattiann, who shares past secrets with Stubblefield.


To say Winter Range is a Montana book is to understate the matter entirely. Winter Range is in fact a perfect reflection of the state itself: big and empty. Claire Davis's ultimately unsatisfying story has a nugget of plot at its center that's plenty fascinating. Good old boy Chas Stubblefield can't seem to make a go of it on the ranch his daddy left to him. He's gone bust, it's the dead of winter, and the starving cattle are dropping in the field like great big flies. Which, as it happens, is a crime in the state of Montana. The novel's protagonist, Sheriff Ike Parsons, has to figure out how to handle this potentially explosive situation. The problem is, Chas is a local, and Ike is a newcomer: neighboring ranchers are likely to close ranks. Another problem is that Chas loves Ike's wife, Pattiann. And the third problem is that the author doesn't trust her material. What could have been a taut thriller of cows and unrequited love has become a meditative snooze as endless as the Montanan winter. Davis constantly delves into her characters' family histories to explain their actions: these are details best left in an author's notebooks. It's admirable that Davis has dreamed up how Pattiann's grandparents met and fell in love. But she doesn't convey their story with any liveliness--these background checks feel like Davis's rote enactment of character motivation. She doubts (rightly) that she's brought Pattiann to life, so she throws a lot of information at us to prove Pattiann's existence.

Which is too bad, because Davis is capable of very nice sentences. About a spring dawn: "Everything about this morning said soon." And Ike is a genuinely appealing character: his position as an outsider subverts a lot of sheriff mythology. As his wife, Pattiann, muses, "He was too human for his job. But of course, that's what made him right for it." If only Davis would trust her readers to believe it, rather than trotting out Ike's family tree to convince us. --Claire Dederer

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Store Description - the name used by Volk and Iiams, Booksellers- specializes in first editions of twentieth century literature, with an emphasis on women authors, African American, Native American and Latin American authors - plus mystery & detective fiction, science fiction & fantasy, poetry and children's & illustrated books. We try to offer many uncommon books, and have a large selection of first books, and books by authors who are less frequently collected. Of the approximately 50,000 volumes in stock, the majority are hardcover first editions, although we also stock vintage science fiction paperbacks as well as sf digests and pulps. We also have a large selection of books signed by the author and uncorrected proof copies. Less than 50% of our stock is catalogued, so please inquire if you are searching for specific titles. Selling books by mail order and on the internet since 1993. We have a large booth dedicated to books (called Books Upstairs) at the Antiques Upstairs Mall, 5 Main Street, Jackson, CA. (open every day from 10-5) The emphasis there is on Western Americana, children¿s books and inexpensive reading copies. In 1998 we relocated our main business from Sacramento to the Sierra foothills of Amador County, about 35 miles east of downtown Sacramento and between Ione & Sutter Creek. There, on 10 acres of rolling oak-covered hills, we built a ¿bookhouse¿ for our books. When we are there, we welcome visitors by appointment (call 209-274-6960 or, in the US only, toll free at 1-877-bookfev or contact us by email Our web page is Traditional bookseller grading used - fine is our highest grade (an "A"), very good is above average (a "B), good is average (a "C"). All significant flaws are described; dust jackets are protected by archival covers, and books are packed carefully for shipping. We welcome questions by email or phone.

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Terms of Sale: is a partnership between Christine Volk and Eugene Iiams, Booksellers. Our mailing address is PO Box 696, Ione CA 95640 USA. Our store is located at 5 Main Street, Jackson, CA 95642 USA. Email: Phone: 209-274-6960. We accept Mastercard, Visa AMEX, Discover, checks or Paypal, whichever is most convenient for customers. Please contact us if you have any questions, or want to confirm availability. All dustjackets are in archival mylar covers, and books are packed ...

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