American Salvage (Paperback)
Everybody should read Bonnie Jo Campbell. She's graced with a beautiful sort of wretched prose—much like Cormac McCarthy but from Michigan. This story is a great place to start. About once a month I think about the detail she wrote where a man had been shot in the head (or struck by an object?) and he fell onto a snow packed ground and wasn't found for a couple of days, but the snow was so cold that it preserved the man's brains. I think he lived too. It was remarkable and believable. There's another story I think about sometimes too, where this extended family had split up and lived on opposite sides of a lake because of some incident that happened surrounding a child in the family.— From Sam
American Salvage is rich with local color and peopled with rural characters who love and hate extravagantly. They know how to fix cars and washing machines, how to shoot and clean game, and how to cook up methamphetamine, but they have not figured out how to prosper in the twenty-first century. Through the complex inner lives of working-class characters, Bonnie Jo Campbell illustrates the desperation of post-industrial America, where wildlife, jobs, and whole ways of life go extinct and the people have no choice but to live off what is left behind.