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4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"The Pale Light of Sunset features Maynard’s most lyric and elegant prose and his most complex vision. Miniature masterpieces like “Arrow in the Light” and “A Death in the Mountains” chilled my skin in awe. Throughout the novel, Maynard’s trademark outrageousness is deepened by a tender vulnerability. I was moved by the poignancy and gentleness of the childhood chapters; I was breathless during the suspense and hard violence of those recounting the protagonist’s prime. But the novel is at its most rare and its most profound when it climaxes in the perspective of maturity and its celebration of the beauty and fragility of life."
Ann Pancake, author Strange as this Weather Has Been

"That old outlaw author Lee Maynard has really gone and done it this time. His new Tall Tale of a memoir/novel, The Pale Light of Sunset, is jam-packed with more action and adventure, more outlandish characters and bizarre events, more outrageous behavior, more laughs and tears, not to mention more pure poetry and heartfelt emotion than any book I have read in recent memory. And it is all rendered in language often so luminous that whole paragraphs seem to simply lift up off the page. Maynard says somewhere in here that we search all of our lives, some of us, for that one great thing that makes us who we are. Let me tell you folks, for Maynard that great thing is this deeply spiritual journey of a book, which is basically a roadmap of his never-ending quest for that elusive place in the heart we call home."
Chuck Kinder, author Honeymooners: A Cautionary Tale and Last Mountain Dancer: Hard-Earned Lessons in Love, Loss, and Honky-Tonk Outlaw Life

"If the slices of life Lee Maynard offers in this book have been lived by the writer, well bless his heart, as we West Virginians are wont to say. If they are a product of his extraordinary imagination and perspicacity, well bless his heart even more. In any event, you can't go wrong reading these servings of pure genius from a native writer who will remain a West Virginian no matter where he goes."
Dave Peyton, The Charleston Daily Mail

"Lee Maynard's vivid and heart-wrenching writing packs a wallop that left me reeling. In The Pale Light of Sunset, Maynard's stories take us on his sometimes harrowing journey from the hills of West Virginia to a mountaintop in Santa Fe, New Mexico where we learn along with him his life lessons. Seldom have I come across a book of short stories that read like such a compelling novel. I couldn’t put it down."
Sandy Johnson, author The Book of Elders, The Book of Tibetan Elders, The Brazilian Healer with the Kitchen Knife and most recently, The Thirteenth Moon

"A superb book. These stories of a lifetime are infused with a wanderer’s soul, a seeker no less spiritual than what we see in the accounts of itinerant Zen monks from medieval Japan. Indeed, The Pale Light of Sunset is just such a narrative of the mind and spirit for our own time. If rural West Virginia is the point of departure and emotional keystone throughout the book, Maynard's internal and external geography is the Great Wide Open of both the planet and the human heart. This book is filled with surprise, humor (sometimes riotous, at other times wry and sly), full-bore old fashioned adventure, violence, mystery, and, finally, tenderness. Lee Maynard is teaching us to pay attention, to live the moments when they come, and savor them forever as the reasons that we are here."
Richard Currey, author Fatal Light and Lost Highway

"Lee Maynard writes better than anyone else I know about how a boy is infused with the rules of American manhood. This new book The Pale Light of Sunset is a fictional memoir– a kind of heightened and imagined life that Maynard describes in the subtitle as Scattershots and Hallucinations in an Imagined Life."
Meredith Sue Willis, author Oradell at Sea

"This memoir is earthy in the best sense. It's haunting. It has miracles. It also has earnest and honest questions and moments of grace."
Marie Manilla, author of Shrapnel

"Lee Maynard's latest book is his best yet."
Dory Adams, author and blogger

"There's nothing pale about Pale Light. It is a powerful work from a mature writer with an uncanny talent. His full-throttle style an powers of description propel you into and along with the story. He raises the bar for future writers sure to be influenced and inspired by his body of work."
Phyllis Wilson Moore, Appalachian Heritage

"...just as scatological, just as punchy (literally), just as colorfully told as Crum."
Douglas Imbrogno, The Charleston Gazette

"...incisive vignettes of a life journey strung together in novel form."
Norman JulianThe Dominion Post

", a combination of tall tale and action movie."
Edwina PendarvisNow & Then

"Maynard's short, descriptive sentences and his journalist's eye for details link readers closely to the experiences and the emotions of the Appalachian protagonist. . . . Not for the squeamish, this story of a boy's journey from birth to maturity is told by an eloquent writer steeped in place and in the mountain tradition of storytelling."
Phyllis Wilson MooreJournal of Appalachian Studies

From the Back Cover

Real people don’t run away from. . .But real people can run away to. . .
In 1936, a child is born in the mountains of West Virginia. In 2005, he scatters his past into a deep canyon of rock. The Pale Light of Sunset: Scattershots and Hallucinations in an Imagined Life illuminates the journey of this boy, a constant tourist and visitor, who travels everywhere, yet belongs nowhere. Through tales of swarming hornets and swinging bullies, love affairs with the land and its people, and near death by frostbite and heat stroke, the absurd hilarity and clear, tender voice found within this story navigates a surreal road paved by the experiences of one man.
Author of nationally acclaimed and locally banned novels Crum and Screaming with the Cannibals, Lee Maynard details an imaginative account of his journey through seventy years of hard living—from West Virginia, to Mexico, the Arctic Circle, and beyond. Scattered and hallucinated, The Pale Light of Sunset grants a long-awaited glimpse into the bent condition of the Maynard brain.



Product Details

  • File Size: 1575 KB
  • Print Length: 348 pages
  • Publisher: Vandalia Press; 1st Edition edition (October 1, 2012)
  • Publication Date: October 1, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004Z16WZ2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,389,254 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Lee Maynard was born and raised in the hardscrabble ridges and hard-packed mountains of West Virginia, an upbringing that darkens and shapes much of his writing

Maynard's novel, Crum, was the first original fiction published by Washington Square Press, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. In its first month of publication, the novel rose to No. 8 on the Doubleday Best Seller List. The novel has been taught in English literature classes in a score of prestigious universities. Sometimes called "the book that wouldn't die", Crum was republished by Vandalia Press (a commercial imprint of West Virginia University Press) in the summer of 2001. It was the first book published by Vandalia and within a year became the best selling book in the history of the university.

Lee has two books being released in Spring 2015; Magnetic North and Cinco Becknell.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Wow! Lee Maynard has blown me away with this book of related short stories that carry the reader through a life before unimagined. I laughed, I smiled, I felt my throat tighten and my eyes puddle. Maynard paints his childhood in sepia tones with unexpected splashes of breathtaking color. I love these characters. Yet some of them, I despise. But all of them feel real to me, and I think I once knew them.

Writing can't get much better than what Maynard has put on these pages. Every sentence is tight, weighted with meaning, and nothing herein is wasted. Lee Maynard is the Appalachian Hemingway.

Highly recommended! This is a novel I will read again and again.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I had read Maynard's "Crum Trilogy" prior to reading "The Pale Light of Sunset" and expected more of the same....which is to say, really good writing. This book exceeded my high expectations in every way, even though (to me anyway) it had nothing in common with the three prior books. Lee really pulled me into this book quickly and I didn't want to get out. Because I couldn't stop reading, the story lasted only a short time, leaving me wanting more. However, assuming that some (or all) of this was "real", if the end piece is true, well....
Buy it, read it, enjoy it!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This gave a journal-like look into the Crum trilogy. It also gave readers a sneak peek into the final book (Scummers) of the trilogy before it came out. I enjoy all of Lee Maynard's writings.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Good condition. Great author.
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