This Is the Place

Overview

Sixty-four-feet tall and made of metal, the neon giant Wendover Will stands in front of the Stateline casino in Wendover, Nevada and faces east. The sign under him reads "This Is The Place." Over a hundred miles away in Utah, across the salt flats, stands the statue of Brigham Young, atop his monument, proclaiming the same thing, "This Is The Place."

This Is the Place is the sinister story of an aged and lonely blackjack dealer living in Wendover, who becomes obsessed with a ...

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Overview

Sixty-four-feet tall and made of metal, the neon giant Wendover Will stands in front of the Stateline casino in Wendover, Nevada and faces east. The sign under him reads "This Is The Place." Over a hundred miles away in Utah, across the salt flats, stands the statue of Brigham Young, atop his monument, proclaiming the same thing, "This Is The Place."

This Is the Place is the sinister story of an aged and lonely blackjack dealer living in Wendover, who becomes obsessed with a nineteen-year-old Mormon girl from Bountiful, Utah. It is a story of love, perhaps doomed, told by an endearing misanthrope who may be delusional, but who has managed to coalesce his manias into an alternative understanding that lies somewhere between Wendover Will's depravity and Brigham Young's morality:

"The dispute between Will and Brigham is not for me to settle, nor would I want it settled. The words hang over the salt flats, the most forsaken stretch of earth, a terrifying expanse of sheer space, white, like another planet, hard and smooth where nothing can live. This all sounds so grim! I've known joy and I'll know it again. It's just that it takes work to get up the words to talk about love."

His love leads him to do a terrible thing, and he tells this story to justify himself. His words, seductive and convincing, draw the reader into a world where the supernatural takes on new meaning. It is a haunting journey to the extreme realities of Las Vegas and Salt Lake City and many places in between. Above all, it is an odyssey to the depths of love.

For the readers of Jim Harrison, Ron Hansen, and Robert Boswell, this entrancing first novel of doomed love in the badlands of Nevada and Utah comes from a Stegner Award-winning writer. 240 pp. Author publicity. 12,500 print.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
"This is the Place" reads the sign under Wendover Will, the 64-foot metal statue that welcomes tourists, losers, and drifters to the Stateline casino in Nevada. The statue of Brigham Young, over 100 miles across the border in Utah, boasts the same message. Between these two extremes, the disparate characters in this accomplished first novel search for meaning in their lives. A blackjack dealer, nicknamed "Pyro" by the town's children, becomes obsessed with Charlotte, a Mormon from Bountiful, Utah. He is not deterred in his quest for Charlotte despite the fact that, at 19, she's young enough to be his granddaughter. The novel we read is the story he tells to justify the terrible crime he commits in the name of love. From the desolate salt flats and dreary trailer parks to the gaudy, wicked beauty of Las Vegas, Rock draws his readers in with vivid descriptions, an intriguing plot, and fully nuanced characters. For literary fiction collections.-Nancy Pearl, Washington Ctr. for the Book, Seattle
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385485982
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/28/1997
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.75 (d)

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