Friday, July 3, 2015

BULL MOUNTAIN by Brian Panowich

"Nobody bled that didn't need it comin'."
I recently finished the best book of the year so far and I want to just clue in as many people as possible. The book is called Bull Mountain and it will be released very soon on July 7th. Read it as
soon as you get your hands on it. I would say that it will win awards and all that jazz but we all know that most of the really great ones don't these days...

The book is a look at the Burroughs clan that have ruled their northern Georgia mountain home with an iron fist for generations. Not only does the land on Bull Mountain pass from son to son, but so does the legacy and the mistakes and they affect each generation until it all threatens to blow the family apart once a wayward son decides to make a change. It's a tragedy about a family that must reap what they've sowed throughout the years and face the destiny that they've created.

This story is so well-conceived, it was a joy to read each page and witness each layer of the tale get peeled away to reveal yet another enriching thread in the narrative web. You can tell every aspect of this book was planned out meticulously; everything matters and adds to the story, even down to the smallest detail. It's structure is important too, and while in other books a similar structure might be annoying, it's ingenious here. The author jumps back and forth between multiple eras, different POV's, and the different generations of the Burroughs family in a non-linear narrative where each chapter cleverly provides perspective and a frame of reference for the parts that precede it and follow it.

You'll probably read a lot of praise about this book throughout the year, and I'm here to tell you it's all warranted. If I had a gripe, it would be that I wish that the ending was a bit more tragic, but the book is so great as it is, that I don't really care. I can go on and on about how excellent this book is and how not only is it the best that I've read so far this year but it's one of the best that I've read in a long time. But please, just read it and see for yourself. And did I forget to mention that this is a debut novel? I'll be damned...


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