The Good Brother / Chris Offutt
Just finished this book last night and I'm impressed. I read Offutt's memoir, 'The Same River Twice' years ago. I never read memoirs, but a friend recommended it so highly I had to take a peek and I was hooked.
This is my first read of a novel by him. Having read the memoir, I can kind of see where he draws on autobiography, but that's not a defect.
Setup: Virgil, an educated hillbilly in rural Kentucky, is in a total catch-22. His brother was murdered, everyone knows who did it but nobody will cooperate with the law because the expectation is that Virgil will avenge the death himself. If he doesn't do it, he has no place in the community. If he does, do it, even if he doesn't go to jail, he'll have become someone he doesn't want to be.
Keep in mind, this is all first act stuff. It's quit the epic narrative for being barely over 300 pages, involving traveling by paper, revenge, gun nuts in Montana and the subtleties of racism and class warfare.
Anyone else dig this book? I know Vigorous Puppy is family with the author, though I don't know if he's read this.
When we call soccer 'football' the terrorists have won.