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A review! A review! (Is a review if it’s a good review)

Mark Twain?  I am not going to argue with the overreach here, but really? I’ll take it.  I think I’ll go build a raft and float down the Milwaukee River.

This is a review from US Review of Books that came by grace of the Eric Hoffer Book Awards.  Please feel free to share this, liberally.

Badlands, Thomas Biel, Three Towers Press – The author is a master storyteller in the tradition of Mark Twain and Garrison Keillor, creating characters that readers care about through the unexpected twists and turns of events. His stories stretch playfully like a rubber band, then unexpectedly snap with new understanding, emotion or consequences. Narrator Matthew Davis relates boyhood hijinks with his best friend, Idaho Wells in a small town near the Montana Badlands. Beneath the situational humor, there’s truth—sometimes painful, sometimes awkward or uncomfortable, but always reaching into the guts of humanity. Davis’ father is a Presbyterian minister who’s lost his faith; his brother is a draft dodger; another friend, “Mona Lisa,” is suspected of being gay, but his reality is a bigger secret. Each chapter stands alone, but are also part of the larger fabric of the book. The book is funny, dramatic, tender, and sad, with characters so real you forget that they are fictional.

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