Bad Dirt by Annie Proulx

Bad Dirt

Annie Proulx

A collection of short stories set in Wyoming. Some of the characters (and the bars) appear in several of the stories which together form a quirky picture of the modern American West. Proulx has a Dickensian way with names: Orion Horncrackle, Sage Brawls and Gilbert Wolfscale seem to be normal in Wyoming. A magic hole swallows illegal hunters, a Sioux girl suddenly discovers what happened to her ancestors, a drunken driver sets fire to the hay and transforms his truck into a fireball. If there are any dull people in this part of the world they are not mentioned in this irresistible book.

Extract

Sometimes, in a burst of energy, Willy continues to work on a vehicle after the problem is repaired, putting in salvaged hoses, running wires to buttons and switches. Deb Sipple, a character himself, once drove away in his 1983 Toyota pickup with a freshly flushed radiator and eleven toggle switches on the dashboard that activated nothing .... Customers pay what they feel the work is worth. Little that Willy Huson fixes runs longer than five days or fifty miles whichever comes first.

Parallels
  • Close Range by Annie Proulx
  • All Families are Psychotic by Douglas Coupland
  • Nature Girl by Carl Hiaasen