A curiously interesting novel that in retrospect turns out to be a psychological study of the kind of redneck that puts bullets to people like George Wallace or Martin Luther King out of paranoic fears of communist conspiracies that liberals thought went out in the '50's. What makes Orval Pierce tick? He learned to accept both his huge prick and McCarthy (Joe) in the U.S. Korean Army, came home to live as his father did and instead turned out to have an inexplicable knack for making money (no doubt aided by his repugnance to IRS forms), while all he cares about is his first (of three wives), raped and murdered by the driver of one of his trucks. He never notices sunsets or his unhappiness, but he comes out to the graveyard to talk to her on his destined path to murder a normal, innocuous, sex-obsessed, aristocratic college president who never did nobody (not even Orval) any harm. There is a firm corroboration of what novelists endlessly assure us is the typical southern town (a hothouse of incest, adultery, insanity, and cruelty), and a much rarer presentation of the inarticulate dumbos whose main fault is that they absorb the stupidities they're taught all too well. This is the seventh novel by an underrated writer who abandons the magnolias for the crazies -- some of whom are victims; others, just as implausibly, are killers.