cover image Evel Knievel Jumps the Snake River Canyon

Evel Knievel Jumps the Snake River Canyon

Kelly Jones. Ninth Avenue Press, $12 trade paper (202p) ISBN 978-0-9914468-0-3

Jones’s collection of tales of recent middle-American life covers a wide range of protagonists: a 10-year-old boy spending the summer with his grandmother when Evel Knievel comes to town; an elderly woman confronting the loss of yet another husband (she’s had five); a woman putting her life back together after an abusive relationship. These stories all are deftly told character-driven tales set in quiet towns, with sensitivity and affection for the characters. Jones moves fluidly between (mostly) female protagonists of various ages and life experiences and a young boy’s coming of age; the small town, and the Watergate-era life portrayed in the title story, creates a strong sense of that world. Though there are no serious revelations, the very intimate character (and setting) studies of this collection create an incredibly strong sense of contemporary Americana. [em](BookLife) [/em]