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When Arlene and Paul Tobler gave up teaching careers to save the Tobler family farm, Arlene never imagined the eventual price of the move. Not hardship, not isolation, not even her own loneliness posed the greatest threat; it was the land itself that took away both love and livelihood.
Robley Wilson's The World Still Melting tells the story of the Toblers and their friends Harvey and Nancy Riker, whose abusive marriage ultimately costs the Toblers their happiness, and Burton Stone, the man in the middle, whose affair with Nancy is the literal trigger of the novel's action.
Good and evil play out on these three family farms, whose very existence is a vanishing part of a heartland giving way to corporate avarice. The Iowa of Wilson's novel is a place where keeping land and home has become a dehumanizing territorial battle, and where small farmers like Paul, Harvey, and Burton face the whims of governments, banks, and weather that bring drought one year and deluge the next.
Writing with great compassion, honesty, and remarkable skill, Wilson shows here what happens to real people in a hard place, where the traditional world is slowly but steadily melting away.
|Publisher:||St. Martin's Press|
|Edition description:||First Edition|
|Product dimensions:||5.20(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.10(d)|
About the Author
Robley Wilson has been a Guggenheim Fellow and a Nicholl Fellow in Screenwriting and is the author of many works, including the novel Splendid Omens and the story collection Terrible Kisses, a New York Times Notable Book. He is the only writer to have won both major literary prizes offered by the University of Pittsburgh Press. His short fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Esquire, and many other publications. For thirty-one years he edited the North American Review, and he now lives in Florida with his wife, fiction writer Susan Hubbard.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
An unrelentingly gloomy story about two couples who live on farms near Waterloo, Iowa. They deal with a series of personal crises, a la Jane Smiley's A Thousand Acres, though this is not as powerful.
In 1980s Iowa farm country, Harvey and Nancy Riker, Burton Stone, and Paul and Arlene Tobler are neighbors. Harvey abuses Nancy who finds first solace and then love with former Nam veteran Burton. When Harvey learns of their affair, he gets a gun to kill Burton, but instead murders Paul for being a Good Samaritan by trying to stop the violence before it happens. While the grieving widow Arlene returns to her family in South Dakota, Harvey goes to prison and Nancy and Burton marry.--- When vagrants use the vacated Tobler home as a shelter, Burton becomes upset feeling these break-ins is blasphemy and a reminder of the cost to his friends of his happiness. He fixes a shotgun to the door so when someone opens the weapon fires at them to scare them away. Arlene¿s adult son Peter opens the booby trapped door only to take a shot into his knee, shattering the joint. With Harvey cheerleading Peter on, he sues Burton.--- THE WORLD STILL MELTING looks closely at the relationships between farmers and the land and between the farm families. The story line is a combination of a soap opera with the Grapes of Wrath battle against nature, the government and the bank. When the tale stays with farmer vs. the environment (natural and man-made), Robley Wilson cleverly uses the past to provides a well written SPLENDID OMEN of what could reoccur in the future. However, when the plot concentrates on the dysfunctional relationships, readers ask why soap up the farm.--- Harriet Klausner