Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Five Skies, Ron Carlson

One Idaho summer envelops the lives of three men in her broad skies, flat plains, high plateaus and dramatic silences. It is one season in the lives of the huge, silent Arthur Key; the internally raging Darwin Gallegos; and the ex-criminal but earnest young pupil Ronnie Panelli. They bond in the steely, emotionless, simple ways that men do, as they work on a contracted big-money building project in the middle of nowhere. All three men come from harsh, but not dissimilar places in life and get to know each other over dirt, plans, tools, hard work and coffee.

It is an oh-so-quiet novel loaded with a building intensity that makes like a slow-moving summer thunderstorm bound for a spectacular, wrenching finish. Ron Carlson has brought us a strong, beautiful novel of love, hope, and just doing what comes next.


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