Any Cold Jordan

David Bottoms, Author Peachtree Publishers $14.95 (263p) ISBN 978-0-934601-12-2
A critically acclaimed poet (his first collection, Shooting Rats at the Bibb County Fair, won the 1979 Walt Whitman Award) has written a haunting first novel. Billy Parker, probably the best flat-pick guitarist anywhere around Tallahassee, Fla., lives with his wife Jean in a pleasant house by a pond outside of town. Billy's performances bring in a steady income, he does a lot of fishing, and the couple seem to have an idyllic, laid-back life. But both the marriage and the music have gone sour. Jean, desperate to have a baby, but prevented by an unspecified ailment of Billy's, conducts affairs with other men. Meanwhile Billy finds it increasinly difficult to reconcile his ideas about what music should be with the restrictions imposed by the pop marketplace and his own abilities. Enter Jack Giddens, a Special Forces Vietnam vet who leads Billy deeper and deeper into danger and the novel to a violent climax. Bottoms has fashioned a meditation on the possibilities for a romantic life in our time. They're not very good, he concludes, yet still worth exploring. This is hardly earth-shattering news, but the precision, force and lyricism of Bottoms's writing make his moral fresh again. (March)
Reviewed on: 03/01/1987
Release date: 03/01/1987
Paperback - 978-0-671-65987-5
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