Slow Dancing on Dinosaur Bones

Slow Dancing on Dinosaur Bones

4.5 2
by Lana Witt

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Rich characterization and black humor with a thick Southern accent distinguish Witt's irresistible debut novel. Tom Jett, freshly equipped with a degree in philosophy, has left California for the open road. After three months of traveling, his Toyota breaks down outside Pick, Ky., a three-street mountain town that is being bought up by the Conroy Coal Company. Gilman Lee, Pick's premier mechanic, bootlegger, lover and musician, offers to put Tom up in a rundown cabin; in exchange, Tom is to keep a lookout for Conroy Coal augers trying to burrow under Gilman's land in search of new deposits. But Gilman hasn't told Tom that he keeps the skeleton of his best friend, Zack-upright in a chair, cigarette in hand-in the old smokehouse near the cabin. The odd nature of the town becomes clearest to Tom, however, when he spots Gemma Collet sitting naked in a nearby creek, covering herself with mud. Gemma, he learns, has ``been mad ever since she turned white''-i.e., contracted vitilego-at age 18. Gemma and Tom's romance makes cautious progress until Rosalie Wilson, Gilman's great lost love, returns from Florida, on the run from her rich but homicidal lover. Witt's talent, big and pleasingly quirky, marks her as a fresh new voice. (Feb.)
Library Journal
When the folks at the machine shop society in eastern Pick, Kentucky, wage war against a coal company, unadulterated havoc erupts. Each bedeviled by a special loss and inspired by the love of drink and music, the citizens of Pick engage in murder, make love, and live troubled lives puntuated with humor. There's Ten-fifteen, "who was born with arms that stick out from his sides like the hands of a clock." His best friend is Gilman Lee, a blues musician mechanic, who conspires to eliminate the coal company. Tom Jett, a California philosopher, is just plain lost and seeks the right mountain range to call home. Gemma, milkshake white from a skin disease, is feisty, hell-bent, and incapable of deciding whom she loves more, Tom or Gilman Lee. In a clever first novel, Witt, a native Kentuckian, presents a high-spirited work replete with romance, suspense, and fascinating eccentrics. Highly recommended for avid readers.-Mary Ellen Elsbernd, Northern Kentucky Univ. Lib., Highland Heights
Michele Leber
Guitar-playing mechanic Gilman Lee is the social center of the mountain town of Pick, Kentucky. The "local king of auto repair" and a bootlegger in a dry county, he regularly hosts parties in his apartment adjoining the machine shop, where he is assisted by Ten-Fifteen, so called because he was born with arms stuck out from his body like the hands of a clock. Always a magnet for the ladies, Gilman has loved them and left them with ease until, at the age of 54, he finds himself stubbornly attracted only to "white lady" Gemma Collet, who lost her lover and her good nature when she lost all her pigment. But things change with the arrival of Stanford-educated Tom Jett, roaming the country until his car breaks down, and the return of Gilman's old flame, Rosalee Wilson, seeking refuge from a murderous lover. Romantic relationships shift, and a revolt against a coal company's strip mining becomes intertwined with Rosalee's fear for her life, as Witt serves up love, lust, terrorism, and murder, southern gothic style. An impressive literary debut, with characters not soon forgotten.
Joan Hinkemeyer
"Southern storytelling is at its best in Lina Witt's new novel....As in the best traditions of classical drama, the characters complement and balance each other with an almost Shakesperean richness and oridinariness."-- Rocky Mountain News

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5.82(w) x 8.75(h) x 1.14(d)

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