Five Skies

Ron Carlson, Author . Viking $23.95 (244p) ISBN 978-0-670-03850-3

Two stoics and a teenage misanthrope are brought together in Idaho's Rocky Mountains to build a ramp to nowhere in Carlson's first novel in 25 years, a tour de force of grief, atonement and the cost of loyalty. Darwin Gallegos, spiritually bereft after the sudden death of his wife, is hired for one last job at Rio Difficulto, the sprawling ranch where he had lived and worked for years. The job: construct a motorcycle ramp that will launch a daredevil across a gorge (the event is to be taped and bring in a pile of money). Darwin hires for the job drifters Arthur Key, a large and quiet man hiding from his recent past, and Ronnie Panelli, a wiry teenager on the lam from minor criminal mischief. As the men work from late spring through summer, their wounds come slowly to light: the seething fury that took root in Darwin after his wife died; Arthur's career as the go-to Hollywood stunt engineer that he abandoned after betraying his guileless brother; and Ronnie's short lifetime of failure, atoned for as he learns the carpentry trade. Carlson writes with uncommon precision, and this return to long-form fiction after four well-received story collections is stunning. (May)

Reviewed on: 03/05/2007
Release date: 06/01/2007
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 256 pages - 978-1-101-20225-8
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 978-1-4295-3215-0
Paperback - 244 pages - 978-0-14-311346-1
Open Ebook - 978-1-4295-3214-3
Compact Disc - 8 pages - 978-0-14-314231-7
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