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Publisher's Summary

Chris Offutt is an outstanding literary talent whose work has been called "lean and brilliant" (New York Times Book Review) and compared by reviewers to Tobias Wolff, Ernest Hemingway, and Raymond Carver. He's been awarded the Whiting Writers Award for Fiction/Nonfiction and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Fiction Award, among numerous other honors. His first work of fiction in nearly two decades, Country Dark is a taut, compelling novel set in rural Kentucky from the Korean War to 1970.

Tucker, a young veteran, returns from war to work for a bootlegger. He falls in love and starts a family, and while the Tuckers don't have much, they have the love of their home and each other. But when his family is threatened, Tucker is pushed into violence, which changes everything. The story of people living off the land and by their wits in a backwoods Kentucky world of shine-runners and laborers whose social codes are every bit as nuanced as the British aristocracy, Country Dark is a novel that blends the best of Larry Brown and James M. Cain, with a noose tightening evermore around a man who just wants to protect those he loves. It reintroduces the vital and absolutely distinct voice of Chris Offutt, a voice we've been missing for years.

©2018 Chris Offutt (P)2018 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Wonderful Book

I am a longtime Offutt fan and I have enjoyed his short fiction and memoirs This book rings so true that I can feel cold gourd water and taste gummy corn bread. Not a book for the feint hearted, it gives the reader what the title promises.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Flat relative to earlier Offutt

It's great by many measures but I got the sense throughout the whole thing that the author wrote this novel in order to tee up a movie or streaming video series. I've been swooning over Chris Offutt since reading his memoir 25 or 30 yrs ago. His excellent earlier fiction took me a place inhabited by alien and astonishing people. It felt ethnographic. By contrast, this story didn't take me to a fantastic macabre version of Appalachia; it took me to a Hollywood screenwriter's office. The setting is squarely in the land of Offutt yet, somehow, the story and characters and themes seem flat and familiar as though the book's author had his sights set not on the novel as an end in itself but was teeing up something readily adapted to a wide-audience movie script. Reminds me of the book's intelligent main character, who is always thinking one step ahead of his antagonists.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful