Thursday, April 1, 2010

Day Out of Days.



Just picked this up, and it's stellar so far.

"Highways, rundown motels, Muzak-plagued franchises, bars, and beaches, snowstorms and blistering heat, these are the settings and circumstances in Shepard’s hypnotic new book of entwined short stories. As in Cruising Paradise (1996) and Great Dream of Heaven (2004), strands of autobiography infuse Shepard’s magnetic and beautifully tooled stories with their potent intimacy, wry humor, and tightrope tension. Shepard’s central narrator is a restless man with a thousand-mile stare who prowls America’s interstates and back roads with no particular purpose except to catch the buzz of forward motion through scrolling landscapes. As much as he roams, he can’t escape his past, even as age plays havoc with his memories, and the ordinary collides with the inexplicable. A man comes across a severed head that speaks to him. A mercenary is annoyed over the terms of his latest assassination. Exploded meth labs, an abandoned church, traces of the Indian genocide, the horrors of Katrina, paeans to musicians––Shepard’s acerbic and haunting stories and lyric yet piercing musings give voice to the longings and paradoxes of our days and nights as we try to follow the directive Shepard’s harried traveler gives himself: “Just stay between the lines.” "
--Donna Seaman

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