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Kemp Battle Nye, Author
Kemp Battle Nye, Author Signal Books $0 (0p) ISBN 978-0-930095-13-0
Reviewed on: 11/02/1992
Release date: 11/01/1992
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Nye's promising tale of the effects of rapacious turn-of-the-century carpetbagging on the citizens of a North Carolina town and their peaceful valley falls shy of its ambitious mark. World-weary writer Tad happens upon the charming hamlet of Troutdale and quickly becomes devoted to ``old Doc,'' sharing with him both a feeling for the valley's natural beauty (described in a lyrical prose verging on the florid) and a love of the tenacious, independent and prideful mountain folk. When Douglas Land Company arrives to log the hardwoods, the citizens are factionalized--and their unique mountain life altered forever. While not entirely predictable, the plot is tiresomely lopsided in favor of the conservationists. And though based on real persons, Doc and Tad seem improbably modern. Several small successes do make the book worthwhile: the plotline following fiery town beauty Lucy Gray, the undeniable passion behind the environmental message and the consistency of the dialect used. But Nye doesn't avoid enough problems to make his debut novel of more than minor interest. (Dec.)
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