Don’t Skip Out on Me

Willy Vlautin. Harper Perennial, $22.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-06-268445-5
In this powerful novel, Vlautin (The Free) writes about characters whose big dreams and plans are often stunted by fate and circumstance, but who’ve managed to find a way to push through, bruised but with hard-won wisdom. Young Horace Hopper is half-Irish, half-Paiute Indian, and he has spent most of his life as a ranch hand. While herding sheep in the stark, isolated mountains near Tonopah, Nev., Hopper listens to heavy metal music and struggles with the shame of being abandoned by his parents. Hopper’s guardian, the aging rancher Eldon Reese, suffers crippling back pain and faces an uncertain future as his way of life becomes less and less tenable. Reese and his wife love Hopper dearly and consider him a son, but the young man soon leaves for Tucson to pursue his dream of becoming a professional boxer. Hopper, now calling himself “Hector Hidalgo,” finds a washed-up trainer and manages to get some fights throughout the Southwest and Mexico. A series of injuries, however, soon threaten to derail his career before it’s really off the ground. In this excellent novel, Vlautin’s reverence for the land recalls writers such as Jim Harrison and John Steinbeck. Agent: Anna Stein, ICM Partners. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/11/2017
Release date: 02/13/2018
Genre: Fiction
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-279946-3
MP3 CD - 978-1-5384-9779-1
Compact Disc - 978-1-5384-9780-7
Ebook - 288 pages - 978-0-06-268448-6
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Audio book sample courtesy of HarperAudio
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