Wire to Wire

Scott Sparling, Tin House (PGW, dist.), $15.95 trade paper (392p) ISBN 978-1-935639-05-3
When rail rider Michael Slater gets smacked in the head by a power line while riding a train through Detroit, it sets his life on a course no boxcar could follow. A few years later, working as a speed-popping video editor in New York, Slater is cursed with watching his past unfold on the screens in his editing suite. He watches the story of his fellow stowaway Harp Maitland and how the two of them—along with a cast of characters torn from an especially good police procedural—outrun drug dealers, crooked cops, and smalltown creeps without ever being particularly sympathetic: as Slater concludes, "the doomed... have no need for guilt." Sparling's debut is well crafted and thrilling, tying together an obvious love for both Michigan and railroads with an expert sense of timing and plot. The world he has created is both overwhelming and exhilarating, thanks in no small part to a large ensemble of memorable characters and a relentless pace. Indeed, hardly a page goes by without some sort of fantastic calamity throwing Slater and company into further turmoil—when the most peaceful passages of the story are speed-addled, that's saying something—but it's done so well that hopping off this runaway train would never cross a reader's mind. (June)
Reviewed on: 02/28/2011
Release date: 05/01/2011
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 393 pages - 978-1-935639-06-0
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