*** 1/2 Gallatin Canyon Stories By Thomas McGuane
Middle-aged men getting a grip on life.
In ten stories set in Michigan, Florida, and Thomas McGuane's trademark Big Sky Country, ordinary men light out in search of themselves and their destinies. In the title story, a businessman travels with his girlfriend down western Montana's Gallatin River canyon until things go awry. "Cowboy" features an ex-con who becomes the object of a woman's peculiar affections. The lonely widower in "Zombie" hires a prostitute to try to connect with his son. And in the novella "The Refugee," a guilt-ridden man in Key West attempts to rid himself of traumatic memories. The protagonists of each story, affected by the myth and reality of the landscape, try desperately to wrest control of their lives.
Knopf. 240 pages. $24. ISBN: 1400041562
NY Times Book Review **** 1/2
"Bravura aside, a writer knows something about writing, real writing--which is to say, words as access to the soul posited as a binding reality--when the most devastating line in his book is 'Are you with the termite people?' ... (Here, may I please break with reviewerly decorum and insist that you buy this book?)" STEPHEN METCALF
"Gallatin Canyon ... is a corker, full of the emotional depth and love of language that makes McGuane stand out.... He's always been a sharp observer of how America lives and works, precise in his observations and subtle in his ironies." JEFF BAKER
San Francisco Chronicle ****
"'The Refugee' is a great sea story, and also a great 'see' story, because of its landscapes and seascapes, both inner and outer, with an ending that would make Conrad flinch. It will not warm your heart, but then if that's what you wanted you wouldn't have even begun reading a notice about a writer as gifted and acerbic as Thomas McGuane." ALAN CHEUSE
Houston Chronicle *** 1/2
"Though the tone of the stories in Gallatin Canyon is bleak, there is still plenty of room for McGuane's trademark sarcasm and general zaniness.... Gallatin Canyon is not prize-winning fiction, but...