Farther Along

Donald Harington, Author . Toby $24.95 (225p) ISBN 978-1-59264-217-5

Escaping a devastating divorce by returning, in the 1970s, to his backwoods Ozarks roots, a successful, unnamed curator of American antiquities intends to drink himself to death. “The Bluff-dweller,” who narrates the first third of this quietly ambitious novel from veteran Harington (The Pitcher Shower , etc.), has installed himself in a cave near an abandoned village that retains a single resident, and old woman. She narrates the book’s middle; her grandson, a millionaire pork packer, owns the town and most of the land around it—except the part that’s a national park, overseen by a forest ranger, who suffers the Bluff-dweller’s presence. Other characters include a moonshiner, and a historian, Eliza Cunningham, whose letters to a woman named Linda comprise the book’s final third. The plot, such as it is, involves whether the village should be restored, and whether the old woman will be able to bring the Bluff-dweller and Eliza together. Despite unreliable narrators and heavy conceits, there’s no sense of self-indulgence or self-consciousness to the seductive prose, which is laced throughout with wit and clever allusion. The result is a pleasing if perplexing read, with lots of observation but no real movement. (May)

Reviewed on: 03/17/2008
Release date: 05/01/2008
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 225 pages - 978-1-59264-259-5
Paperback - 225 pages - 978-1-61218-104-2
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