A GOOD DAY TO DIE by Jim Harrison


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If you've got to go, you might as well do it by blowing up a small unecologically-minded dam on the Clearwater in Idaho, especially if you're a Georgia cracker Vietnam vet with a battle-scarred face, a beautiful chick who excites you about as much as a couple of reds, and enough pills to simulate every mood in the world, plus some. Especially if the plan comes out of a half-drunken suggestion made by a new-found friend in Key West, Florida, a fishing bum in full retreat from the eastern intellectual establishment, who falls desperately but surely not eternally in love with the sweet southern girlfriend on the long drive across the small US towns that form the heart of America's myth, such as it is: a mindless, inconsequentially cheerful ride filled with booze, sex, dope, c & w music, fried chicken stands--which do not point to the equally inconsequential accident at the end of the road that more pompous writers might call tragedy. The deceptively off-handed style may unfortunately blind readers to the fact that this may be the best book written in America about the casual but pervasive existentialism brought about by drugs and war. It also presents as fine a rendering as we're likely to see in a long time about the little-heralded love affair between the rednecks and the rest of us, a combination of nostalgia and escapism that induces Ivy Leaguers to trade the respectable life for the wildness they usually come into contact with only at the movies.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1973
ISBN: 0385283431
Publisher: Simon & Schuster