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November 23 , 2010

In the Loyal Mountains



Rick Bass's recent trio of novellas, Platte River, was hailed by the San Francisco Chronicle as "a major step in [his] climb to the top echelon of American fiction writers." Now, with this dazzling new collection, Bass establishes himself as a master of the short story. These tales embrace vibrant images of human life and exuberant explorations of the natural world. In the title story, a man remembers his youth in the Texas hill country when he participated in his uncle's raucous escapades, which have taken new shape and meaning by what has happened since. Although his work is grounded in reality, Bass's stories acquire fantastic proportions: enormous pigs charge through the streets and root beneath houses; a narrator meets a woman who runs up and down mountains; two wild boys converge deep in the woods to joust. Each of these ten stories is a mythical narrative celebrating the tentative, moving relationship between people and their environment.

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