A coming of age story set in Tucson, Arizona in the late 90's, interspersed with elements of fantasy and ghost stories to create an alternate shadow world of the modern desert metropolis and its restless youth.
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Person Reviewed This Product
Oct 15, 2009
"Try to solve it" Dry Country is an intriguing puzzle and a very private glimpse into the mind of a blossoming young writer more than it is a traditional A to B narrative. In an act as brave and/or foolish as publishing one’s own diary, Stuart has taken writings from his high school years (which you couldn't pay me to do) all the way through his early thirties and shuffled their chronological order, which makes it more of an E to A to F to Q narrative, and part of the fun is guessing at which stage in his writing development he wrote each piece. Some are more obvious than others, as there are certain stories (which are actually some of my favorites), that just reek of a high school kid desperately trying to find his narrative voice by mimicking his favorite authors, but the more mature pieces really stand out as bold, poetic, touching and truly unique to the author alone. The stories themselves loosely follow the lives of a handful of friends you probably went to high school... More > with; rendered much more insightful, witty and introspective than you probably remember them. Over the course of fifteen years, they experience their hormonal awakenings, heartbreaks, losses and redemptions in a slightly skewed version of Tucson, Arizona, where none of them bat an eye at the implication that one of them might have been impregnated by an alien, and three creepy girls in Catholic school girl uniforms wander the desert in search of an invisible ocean. Throughout the years, Stuart maintains a palpable sense of impending loss and post high school disillusionment, mixed with the shiny nostalgia of perfect, youthful, fleeting moments that really made me pine for a time in my life that probably never really existed. In the end, Dry Country is like the literary equivalent of watching one of those youtube videos where someone takes a snapshot of themselves every day for 10 years and then shows them all in quick succession; you know that you're witnessing a very profound and deeply personal transformation of a person, you just wish you knew what happened in between those shots that truly shaped who they eventually became.< Less
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