The Saints of Rattlesnake Mountain: Stories

Don Waters. Univ. of Nevada, $25.95 (216p) ISBN 978-1-943859-29-0
Questions of faith and absolution fuel this evocative collection of meticulously crafted stories, all set in the contemporary American Southwest. In the title story, an inmate working on a cattle ranch struggles to resolve the spiritual limitations of his imprisonment with the geographical vastness that surrounds him. Two altar boys try to medicate their way through the godless adult playground of Reno in “Last Rites,” while a bodybuilding veteran tracks down a younger sister pawned by his father for drugs in “Espanola.” The collection only grows more impressive as it progresses, shrinking its scope while expanding the possibilities of its language. In the brief, excellent “Deborah,” for instance, a self-destructive widower rescues dogs from abuse, while “Two Kinds of Temples” juxtaposes a brief affair at a natural spring retreat with the life of a hotel worker. “Full of Days” stands as the collection’s high point, following one man’s quest to erect an antiabortion billboard along a Las Vegas freeway. Waters (Sunland) offers a diversity of thought and feeling worthy of his complex setting. Agent: Maria Massie, Massie & McQuilkin Literary Agents. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/03/2017
Release date: 05/22/2017
Genre: Fiction
Digital Carrier - 978-0-87417-470-0
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