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The Last Fair Deal Going Down Paperback – October 19, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
The Sledge family, a truly bizarre group of outlaws and misfits live at the dead end of a run-down neighborhood in Des Moines. Behind their house are the gates to an underground city. Anyone who approaches the gate is swallowed up and not seen again. Everyone in town knows about this, but no one mentions it. Now this might make it seem that this is some kind of horror story, but that is really only a sub-theme. The real story concerns the disintegration of the family into criminality and destructiveness, a disintegration which is opposed by the only sister, a blind girl and to some extent by the narrator, one of the younger brothers. I am a little vague because I have not read the book in a couple of years, although I intend to start my sixth reading shortly.
The Last Fair Deal Going Down is is richly plotted, superbly written and will remain with you for life. Please read and review it. I would love to hear others' comments on this extraordinary book.
(P.S. I have asked anyone I have ever met from Des Moines is they have ever heard of this book. I would have thought it might have achieved some fame or notoriety there since the city is really one of the main characters. So far no one I have asked had heard of it.)
(As a warning, this review contains some spoilers, although in my opinion they are fairly minor, vague, and unsurprising ones.)
The Last Fair Deal Going Down is the story of the hardscrabble Sledge clan of Des Moines, Iowa. It is written as a first-person narration by Reuben Sledge, the youngest of the family's several children, ostensibly the text of a book-within-a-book which Reuben composes for his sister Nellie. Through one externally-imposed misfortune or self-inflicted tragedy after another, the Sledge clan is slowly diminished in number. Their standard means of committing their deceased family members' remains to the earth is to place the body in one of the junk cars which son Paul Sledge spends his time repairing and push the automotive coffin down into the underworld known as the City - a two-mile wide, miasma-enshrouded portal to which is conveniently located in the back yard of the Sledge family home.
The Last Fair Deal Going Down is thoroughly engrossing, and at times - such as the section depicting Reuben's older brother Will's obsessive stalking of a young woman from whom he rents a room, or the one recounting Reuben's terrified efforts to stave off autistic memory loss after suffering a head injury in a farming accident - Rhodes' writing is deeply, disturbingly effecting.
The problem with it is that it never reconciles the seeming incongruity of its premise as part Midwestern human interest hard-luck tale and part surrealist horror fable.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good in part but lacks the general quality that I expect from D. Rhodes.Published 3 months ago by Mike Mathers
Rhodes is always an interesting read, although I find his recent books more accessible. If you read this, also read Easter House.Published on May 18, 2014 by Patricia Jones