Tall Uncut

Pete Fromm, Author John Daniel & Company Books $9.95 (163p) ISBN 978-0-936784-95-3
For a few of the characters in Fromm's expert first collection of stories, the American West is a region of the imagination, a place of myths born from storytelling and old photographs. A grandmother in the title piece longs to see the virgin forests--forests destroyed 15 years before she was even born. For others the West is a hard place where myth and reality violently collide, sometimes leaving broken bodies or spirits in the aftermath. These characters are eccentrics with ``get-rich-quick'' schemes and people who reach the ends of their tethers and blow their own heads off with shotguns. Other stories deal with love and family. The broad expanse of open country is not the only distance two newly met lovers need to traverse on the way to intimacy in ``Eloping.'' Two of the best stories are ``Mardi Gras,'' about a man racing to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, running away from his life and a wife he suspects of cheating on him, and ``Broken Flock,'' a story at once about duck hunting and a dysfunctional family. Fromm writes in a lean, straightforward style befitting his subject matter, a barren land and the sometimes equally desolate lives of the people who populate it. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1992
Release date: 01/01/1992
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