The ‘Big Sky Country’ of Montana is the rugged backdrop to these short stories, evoking the hunting, shooting & fishing ways of the old Wild West - in a whittled-down, trailer-park version. There is plenty of subtle wry humour, but grief, isolation, loneliness and revenge are the main themes in this bleak 'man’s world', where the American Dream can turn into a cruel joke. Be warned that animal cruelty features in some stories.
Earlier that week, his friend Sam had invited him over for Thanksgiving dinner. He had just gotten married and was irritatingly happy. "We don't acknowledge Thanksgiving, for obvious reasons," Sam had said. "But Stella decided to make a big old turkey dinner on Thursday. Just a coincidence, really. "We'd love to have you."... Sam's new wife was from Lodge grass - a member of the Crow Nation. Her maiden name was Estella Marie Stabs-on-Top... After their marriage, Sam and Stella had taken each other's names. They were now, officially, unbelievably, Sam and Stella Stabs-on-Top-Gunderson.
"It's for the kids we're eventually going to have," Sam had explained. "It's unfair, not to mention chauvinistic, to expect her to take my name. And, our kids should grow up having a fair representation of their heritage present in their name. I mean, Gunderson is only half the story here.