Country Dark

Country Dark

by Chris Offutt


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780802129338
Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date: 03/19/2019
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 155,265
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Chris Offutt is the author of the short-story collections Kentucky Straight and Out of the Woods , the novel The Good Brother , and three memoirs: The Same River Twice , No Heroes , and My Father, the Pornographer. His work has appeared in Best American Short Stories and Best American Essays , among many other places. He has written screenplays for Weeds , True Blood , and Treme , and has received fellowships from the Lannan and Guggenheim foundations.

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Country Dark 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
SmithDoug More than 1 year ago
Quite honestly one of the best novels I have ever read. Prose sparse enough to echo the noir masters but rich enough to demand attention, second and third readings, and consideration, this story is both compelling and incredibly well told. I've been a fan of Offutt's for nearly two decades, since I read some of his short fiction and his first novel, The Good Brother, which was published in 1997. The wait for his second novel was well worth the time; it's one I'm anxious to read again, as I'm haunted both by the twists Offutt weaves through his protagonist's (Tucker) story and by the language used to unfold that tale. At multiple places in the novel, I stopped, read a passage again, and simply shook my head in awe. This is that kind of book. Read it.
Jaruwa More than 1 year ago
Oh my! I just finished this and am breathless. What a wonderful wonderful book! I may have a new favorite author. I will definitely be reading his other works ASAP. You must read this if only for the incredible prose. Offutt is a highly skilled writer with a fascinating story to tell about a family in Appalachia. I could swear I’ve been in the forested hills, hollers and creeks and know the people in the story like family. His prose was so evocative. I couldn’t put it down. I would give it six stars if I could. I highly recommend this for anyone with a heart and a love of great storytelling. Note: I received an advance copy of the ebook from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Purchased after a recommendation in the WSJ. Don't waste your money, stupid plot and I am surprised story was even of interest to a publisher.