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Arkansas Hardcover – March 1, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
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Brandon’s premier novel is a must for those who love the criminal and the stern yet dark optimism of the existential. His vision of Arkansas is unique, his wit is sharp, and the sympathy he has for his characters is genuine. For all the dark alleys Brandon explores, both physically and psychologically, Arkansas’s power rests in its redefining and restructuring of the criminal’s only hope: family.” PopMatters
Add novelist John Brandon to your list of hipster-sanctioned must-reads . . . Brandon’s writing is so sparse it sometimes feels blasé, but the tension between his hard-boiled prose and his characters’ appealing naiveté makes the novel work.” The Portland Mercury
Top Customer Reviews
It's gritty storytelling, somewhere between Larry Brown, Harry Crews, and William Gay. You won't see any exciting car chases, but there is death. $50K may not seem like a lot to a Kenneth Lay or a John Gotti, but here it can be a major temptation. As you read the book you get the feeling that there is not going to be a nice happy ending: this is not the kind of life that fairy tales are made of.
Brandon does not--as of yet--have the lyrical writing of a William Gay or a Cormac McCarthy, as in Gay's Provinces of Night or McCarthy's Child of God. He does not--as of yet--have the fine sense of pace as you'll see in Crews' brilliant Feast of Snakes. But he certainly has the grit right, and that puts him in the Crews/Brown school. So this is a very good debut.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Do not bother with this book if you don't want to read about the lower side of life. Also I found it superficial and downright dull.Published on July 19, 2014 by C. Royal
Extremely interesting. You come to like these children living on the buttom of everything. Amazing story from a vast countryPublished on March 24, 2013 by Erik
that made it entertaining. But I won't be reading Citrus County, as Arkansas didn't have somethin' enough. Read morePublished on December 27, 2011 by HRD
Unfortunately Amazon forces you to give a minimum of 1 star. I read this book before Citrus County, and although it was better than CC, that's not saying much.Published on September 1, 2011 by Red
Pretty much unreadable for me. Read Citrus County by same author first and found that very odd. Started this one and decided not to waste my time.Published on July 6, 2011 by Amazon Customer
I plan to read everything Brandon writes, even if I have to be selective about recommending him to others. Read morePublished on January 10, 2011 by Deborah Limerick
There is a wonderful kind of irony in reading about characters that believe they are far more clever than they are, and feeling clever for having taken note of it. Read morePublished on December 1, 2010 by Jon K
I need someone to root for. Even the good guys in this novel weren't admirable. Yes, they were much sinned against. But that doesn't give them the right to waste their lives. Read morePublished on August 31, 2010 by Cecile Farber