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Snaketown Paperback – April 6, 2010
The Amazon Book Review
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Snaketown is a shocking achievement. It's a vision carved in jagged, searing, native prose from the bleak landscape of the American psyche. This story of a crumbling community clinging to a rock, its people flawed and haunted and kin to us all, is an experience so vivid, so terrifying, and so compelling that I fear part of me will be stuck there forever. A work of rare beauty, it's art and storytelling of the highest order. --Steve Lattimore, author of Circumnavigation
In venomous lyricism, Kathleen Wakefield captures the sweltering emptiness at the rim of the high desert in another, woebegone time, where the rustling behind you may be angels' wings or diamondback scales. This scathing novella will remain with you long after you have put it away. A searing triumph. You must read this book! --Rita Williams, author of If The Creek Don't Rise
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Top Customer Reviews
Set in a Southwestern mining town, the novel re-imagines the region with language and images that are at once lyrical and primal, mythic and immediate. The mountains, the mine, the valley, the town, and the key family never become fantastical, but they take on an aura that's just surreal enough to lift the regional to the universal, as happens in the work of Morrison, Marquez, and Faulkner. Indeed, the hard-scrabble, insulated Sibel family sometimes seems distantly related to Faulkner's Snopes clan but is more wretched. The novel opens with a note of doom and builds toward a dark symphony.
SNAKETOWN is an ambitious but unpretentious meditation on evil--how it arises, is cultivated, and overwhelms. Wakefield renders the tale in brief, carefully sculpted chapters. The character Orin Sibel, among others, is unforgettable.
For someone like me, it's hard to imagine what is going through the head of a man who commits a heinous crime. Hard to imagine what bizarre and twisted forces have been at work on the person's psyche to have brought him to such a point of horror. What strange genetic mix, what convoluted relationship with parents, what hideous merging of God and Satan, what confusion of love, sexuality, hunger, violence, and death had occurred in the person's life to bring him to do the unspeakable.
In Snaketown, Kathleen Wakefield was able to enter into at least one possible alternative reality in which the answers to these questions gradually unfold - in a land that's foreign, yet strangely familiar, she tells the story of people who are dark, disturbed, ignorant and distasteful in every way. There is very little that's light in Snaketown - and the one little "sunbeam" who still dreams innocent dreams is relentlessly and unmercifully stalked on every page. It is a hard book to read. I didn't want to know these wretched people in this dry and desolate no-man's-land - and yet the way she tells the story, it is haunting and compelling - so much so that I couldn't put the book down. A small masterpiece.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
When I began reading SNAKETOWN, I found it difficult to follow. I first thought Buddy was a man's name, then I got lost in the characters---the style somewhat alien to me--a bit... Read morePublished on January 21, 2011 by Michelle
Snaketown is a haunting tale of evil in the desert, so poetic and lyrical that the very rocks seem to speak of something elemental, ancient and dangerous. Read morePublished on December 17, 2010 by Birute Putrius
Snaketown goes down like 20 year old scotch smuggled into a shotgun shack. Enough said. Buy. Read. Be carried away.Published on November 4, 2010 by Amazon Customer
With every stroke, Kathleen Wakefield's, SNAKETOWN carries us in heartbreaking yet unnerving razor edge exposure to an exquisite, dual interior/exterior excursion encompassing all... Read morePublished on October 1, 2010 by Sondra Kerr Blake
Snaketown is a literary manifesto on the lineage of abuse, culminating in a meditation on death. It's a visceral foray into a compelling universe, gifting the reader with an "out... Read morePublished on June 28, 2010 by A.M.