The Skinner's Tale

Charles Nicholson, Author Stackpole Books $19.95 (201p) ISBN 978-0-8117-1939-1
Despite the colorful language and some witticisms, most of the 16 interwoven narratives in Nicholson's fiction debut have thin plots and are weighed down by the hunting and gun memorabilia they depict. Together they trace the experiences of Jericho Walker, a poor black deer skinner for two wealthy, white families in the South. In ``A Deer for Cholly Dormin,'' Walker and his wife watch as the local loser stumbles through a deer hunt with the Bishops and the Dupriests. Later, in ``How Love Is,'' the same bumbler hopes to marry a Dupriest daughter despite everybody's best efforts to ditch him in a hunting party. However, the title story describes the most dangerous hunt of all--a manhunt: as Walker tracks down his escaped convict son, he discovers a crime against one of the Dupriests that he cannot let go unpunished. Nicholson's reliance on homily, however, is a poor substitute for plot development. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/30/1991
Release date: 10/01/1991
Genre: Fiction
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