King of the Mountain

Don Metz, Author HarperCollins Publishers $19.95 (289p) ISBN 978-0-06-016377-8
In Metz's wonderful sequel to Catamount Bridge , Junior Audette, whose legs were blown off in Vietnam, preys upon his father's pity and persuades him to sign over the deed to his Vermont farm. To Snoot Audette's dismay, mean-spirited Junior, who had once seen himself as ``king of the mountain,'' promptly sells the land to developers. Crushed by this betrayal and his wife's recent stroke, the superbly portrayed woodsman turns to his surrogate son, attorney Walker Owen, who resolves to fight the sale in court. This sets Walker further at odds with Junior, whose wife, Claire, had once been his lover. After sexually assaulting Claire, Junior apparently feels he's ``even.'' When Walker's legal avenues all prove dead ends, he and Snoot turn to sabotage. In a moving and powerful denouement, Claire's Abenaki Indian father returns to help them, proving that no king rules the mountainhard to read; ``no king rules this mountain.''? A little clumsy, but OK as is, I on Snoot's farm. Metz shows masterly skill in bringing the people and places in his narrative to life. Although the middle of the novel loses some tempo, the ending is unforgettably satisfying, and Metz's prose is a joy to read. (June)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
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