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Improbable Fortunes: A Novel by [Price, Jeffrey]
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4.8 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Length: 400 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled Page Flip: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Price, a screenwriter who co-wrote Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and How the Grinch Stole Christmas, makes his fiction debut with an exuberant tale of a foundling cowboy—think Tom Jones set in the still-Wild West. Vanadium is a moribund Colorado mining town populated by the "direct descendants of Butch Cassidy's Hole-in-the-Wall Gang, a naturally suspicious and xenophobic lot." An abandoned child, Buster McCaffrey, is rescued by the kindly town sheriff and shuttled among various Vanadium households when each of his foster fathers meet unfortunate ends. The seemingly cursed Buster is slow-witted, ingenuous, romantic, and fundamentally good-natured, a central character around whom the town's entertaining eccentrics, grotesques, benefactors, and love interests revolve. His picaresque travels from adoptive family to family, during which time he undergoes mini-apprenticeships as a tile-maker, concrete mixer, rodeo cowboy, and rancher, are briskly recounted until Buster falls in with a new father figure, Marvin Mallomar, a vacationing multimillionaire so taken with the refreshingly rustic Vanadium that he decides to build a luxurious compound there. As Mallomar uses Vanadium "as a palette for his frustrated creativity," his money floods the town, disastrously and somewhat literally. (The novel begins with a mudslide descending on Vanadium from his estate.) Some comic characters are more unconvincingly drawn than others, and Prince awkwardly shoehorns the mortgage crisis into the story, but on the whole the novel winningly animates a remote boomtown whose inhabitants have never had to struggle to keep it weird. (Mar.)

Review

Winner of the 2016 Laramie Awards for Western Fiction
Longlisted for a Reading the West Book Award
Nominated for a Colorado Book Award

"Tom Jones set in the still-Wild West." —Publishers Weekly

"Jeffrey Price has written one of the most hilarious, ridiculous and ultimately believable, books on life in the modern west." —Mark Billingsley, Time Out Book Critic (Aspen Daily News)

Product details

  • File Size: 861 KB
  • Print Length: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Archer (February 22, 2016)
  • Publication Date: February 22, 2016
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01AR51Q32
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,008,797 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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