Border Songs

Jim Lynch, Author . Knopf $24.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-307-35736-6

Lynch digs into the strange culture of a U.S.-Canada border town in his lush second novel (after The Highest Tide ). Brandon Vanderkool, the town freak people talk about “the way they discuss earthquakes, eclipses and other phenomena,” is pushed into joining the Border Patrol by his dairy-farmer father. Though the dyslexic, six-foot-eight Brandon prefers to bird-watch and tend to the cows on his father's farm, he proves to be surprisingly adept at spotting drug smugglers and illegal immigrants, which brings a wave of attention to both him and the town. The illegal goings-on provide excellent plot fodder, though the novel is equally concerned with smalltown life: Brandon's mother is noticing the first sign of Alzheimer's; his father's struggling dairy farm hits a low point when his herd becomes diseased; a local masseuse records the town's activities with her camera; and the beautiful, enigmatic Madeline provides an object of affection for Brandon. Lynch's depiction of the natural world and his deep sympathy for his characters carry the book, and while it's a bit quiet, there are majestic moments. (June)

Reviewed on: 03/30/2009
Release date: 06/01/2009
Genre: Fiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-4407-1330-9
Hardcover - 291 pages - 978-0-307-27117-4
Open Ebook - 201 pages - 978-0-307-27190-7
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-0-307-35734-2
Ebook - 978-0-307-37524-7
Paperback - 291 pages - 978-0-307-45626-7
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4561-1021-5
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