Diana Abu-Jaber reading canceled -- But don't miss our next reading on 10/13 with Bruce Holbert

For those of you planning to attend Diana Abu-Jaber's reading on October 8, the author has had a family emergency and had to cancel. We are looking at possible future dates, so don't despair. Fortunately, we had two readings planned for the month of October, so please join us at Darvill's Bookstore on Sunday, October 13, 6:00 pm to hear the talented Bruce Holbert read from his stunning debut novel, Lonesome Animals. The reading will be followed by wine & hors d'oeuvres and an open mic. The event is free and open to the public.

Description of Lonesome Animals:
In Lonesome Animals, Russell Strawl, a tormented former lawman, is called out of retirement to hunt a serial killer with a sense of the macabre who has been leaving elaborately carved bodies of Native Americans across three counties. As the pursuit ensues, Strawl’s own dark and violent history weaves itself into the hunt, shedding light on the remains of his broken family: one wife taken by the river, one by his own hand; an adopted Native American son who fancies himself a Catholic prophet; and a daughter, whose temerity and stoicism contrast against the romantic notions of how the west was won.

In the vein of True Grit and Blood Meridian, Lonesome Animals is a western novel reinvented, a detective story inverted for the west. It contemplates the nature of story and heroism in the face of a collapsing ethos –not only of Native American culture, but also of the first wave of white men who, through the battle against the geography and its indigenous people, guaranteed their own destruction. But it is also about one man’s urgent, elegiac search for justice amidst the craven acts committed on the edges of civilization.

Praise for Lonesome Animals:
"From the opening sentence of Holbert's remarkable debut, it is obvious that we are in the hands of a master storyteller . . . Holbert's prose is simultaneously roughly hewn and elegant, and recalls Cormac McCarthy at his best, as do his insights into the relationship between predator and prey. Call it literary fiction, classic western realism, or historical noir, Holbert is a writer of formidable skill and this auspicious debut should have considerable crossover appeal." —Publishers Weekly

“Holbert’s unsettling book demands a strong stomach… At the end the reader will feel relief or satisfaction or some combination, and tip a sweat-stained hat to Holbert for raising the stakes of the Western genre… Holbert’s sympathies seem to align with the quality of his prose: the land is rendered in loving, even exquisite detail, so too the crimes… Holbert has gone all-in: This book is audacious.” —Kirkus

"Lonesome Animals is an impure marvel. Ths cowboy noir is loaded with lyrical detail, black humor, and a kind of antic despair. At its center is the compromised lawman Russell Strawl, a pilgrim making slow progress through the blasted ruins of Western myth. He turns violence into a kind of brutal music and provides the weary, stubborn heart of this astonishing debut."
—Max Phillips, Shamus-winning author of Fade to Blonde


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