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Willnot
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Bloomsbury Publishing 2016
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Description

In his acclaimed career, James Sallis has created some of the most finely drawn protagonists in crime fiction, all of them memorable observers of the human condition: Lew Griffin, the existential black New Orleans private investigator; retired detective John Turner; the unnamed wheelman in Drive. Dr. Lamar Hale will now join the ranks of Sallis's finest characters.In the woods outside the town of Willnot in rural Virginia, the remains of several people have suddenly been discovered, unsettling the community and Hale, the town's all-purpose general practitioner, surgeon, and town conscience. At the same time, Bobby Lowndes—military records disappeared, of interest to the FBI—mysteriously re-appears in his home town, at Hale's door. "Willnot was a lake into which rocks had been thrown; mud still swirled." Over the ensuing months, the daily dramas Hale faces as he tends to his town and to his partner, Richard, bump up against the inexplicable vagaries of life in Willnot. And when a gunshot aimed at Lowndes critically wounds Richard, Hale's world is truly upended.Just as great artists can draw a face and create a presence in a few brush strokes, James Sallis conjures indelible characters and scenes in a few sentences. In its brilliant conciseness Willnot presents an unforgettable world. "You live with someone year after year, you think you've heard all the stories," Lamar observes, "but you never have."

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
06/21/2016
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781632864543
ASIN:
B01GHCHPSY
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

James Sallis. (2016). Willnot. Bloomsbury Publishing.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

James Sallis. 2016. Willnot. Bloomsbury Publishing.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

James Sallis, Willnot. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2016.

MLA Citation (style guide)

James Sallis. Willnot. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2016. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 15:59:49
Date Updated:
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May 02, 2021 06:46:45
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      • bioText: James Sallis is the author of more than two dozen volumes of fiction, poetry, translation, essays, and criticism, including the Lew Griffin cycle and Drive. His biography of the great crime writer Chester Himes is an acknowledged classic. Sallis lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with his wife, Karyn, and an enormous white cat.
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shortDescription

In his acclaimed career, James Sallis has created some of the most finely drawn protagonists in crime fiction, all of them memorable observers of the human condition: Lew Griffin, the existential black New Orleans private investigator; retired detective John Turner; the unnamed wheelman in Drive. Dr. Lamar Hale will now join the ranks of Sallis's finest characters.

In the woods outside the town of Willnot in rural Virginia, the remains of several people have suddenly been discovered, unsettling the community and Hale, the town's all-purpose general practitioner, surgeon, and town conscience. At the same time, Bobby Lowndes—military records disappeared, of interest to the FBI—mysteriously re-appears in his home town, at Hale's door. "Willnot was a lake into which rocks had been thrown; mud still swirled." Over the ensuing months, the daily dramas Hale faces as he tends to his town and to his partner, Richard, bump up against the inexplicable vagaries...

isOwnedByCollections
True
title
Willnot
fullDescription

In his acclaimed career, James Sallis has created some of the most finely drawn protagonists in crime fiction, all of them memorable observers of the human condition: Lew Griffin, the existential black New Orleans private investigator; retired detective John Turner; the unnamed wheelman in Drive. Dr. Lamar Hale will now join the ranks of Sallis's finest characters.

In the woods outside the town of Willnot in rural Virginia, the remains of several people have suddenly been discovered, unsettling the community and Hale, the town's all-purpose general practitioner, surgeon, and town conscience. At the same time, Bobby Lowndes—military records disappeared, of interest to the FBI—mysteriously re-appears in his home town, at Hale's door. "Willnot was a lake into which rocks had been thrown; mud still swirled." Over the ensuing months, the daily dramas Hale faces as he tends to his town and to his partner, Richard, bump up against the inexplicable vagaries of life in Willnot. And when a gunshot aimed at Lowndes critically wounds Richard, Hale's world is truly upended.

Just as great artists can draw a face and create a presence in a few brush strokes, James Sallis conjures indelible characters and scenes in a few sentences. In its brilliant conciseness Willnot presents an unforgettable world. "You live with someone year after year, you think you've heard all the stories," Lamar observes, "but you never have."

sortTitle
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crossRefId
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reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Publishers Weekly
      • content: James Sallis is one of our greatest living crime writers, and Willnot continues an almost unseemly streak of excellence. Try to get his words, his stories, his people out of your head. Just try.
      • premium: False
      • source: Seattle Times
      • content: What a lovely, unexpected book—taking you safely, not without loss, where you didn't know it was going.
      • premium: False
      • source: New York Times Book Review
      • content: Sallis' latest has a lot to recommend it: an ingenious and unusual use of the Macguffin
      • premium: False
      • source: New York Journal of Books
      • content: likable, complex characters. A brisk and sure-handed treat.
      • premium: False
      • source: Mystery Scene Magazine
      • content: Willnot packs a big punch for its slim size and spare prose . . . Sallis expertly weaves notes of hope throughout his pungent and often melancholy tale.
      • premium: False
      • source: Bookreporter.com
      • content: James Sallis' atmospheric and disturbing Willnot isn't exactly a mystery of the 'crime-investigation-resolution' type. It is rather more like real life, with some motivations left ambiguous and some loose ends never to be tied up. And it is all the more compelling for that . . . Willnot is prose-driven—a rarity, and a most welcome one.
      • premium: False
      • source: The Bandar Blog
      • content: A worthy mouthpiece for Sallis's melodic cadences, Dr. Hale is goodness personified, a sweet and caring man who doesn't need to inhabit his patients' bodies to understand their lives.
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from April 18, 2016
        The discovery of a mass grave in the woods outside present-day Willnot, a small Southern town, opens this sly, nuanced tale from Sallis (Others of My Kind). Lamar Hale, Willnot’s indefatigable general practitioner and surgeon, investigates. Meanwhile, Bobby Lowndes, a troubled young combat vet whom Hale treated years before, suddenly appears back in his hometown. Lowndes’s intentions are unclear, and his ghostly presence is unsettling, especially when the FBI arrives in Willnot on his trail. Things get really eerie when Lowndes is shot by an unknown sniper, and he promptly walks out of the hospital and disappears. A series of violent incidents culminates with the shooting of Hale’s partner, Richard. Hale’s instinctive resistance to pat generalizations and reductive diagnoses makes him an effective and compassionate healer—and a good amateur sleuth. Sallis is without peer when it comes to interweaving seemingly disparate narrative threads, and his work consistently challenges readers to question their assumptions about themselves and other people. Agent: Vicky Bijur, Vicky Bijur Literary Agency.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        April 15, 2016
        From veteran Sallis (Others of My Kind, 2013, etc.) comes this short, charming novel that's part noir mystery and part small-town slice of life. The story starts fast and portentously (its first four words are "We found the bodies..."), and the book has the form of a suspense novel: there's a bewildering mass grave that must be excavated; a suddenly returned native, Bobby Lowndes, a boyhood-coma survivor who seems to be a military sniper gone AWOL, who keeps managing, wraithlike, to hide in plain sight; a dogged FBI agent named Theodora Ogden in town to track Lowndes; and more. It also has a talky, noirish tone, with lots of snappy patter and sharp, laconic, philosophical observation. But at its core, and satisfyingly, this turns out to be a character-driven novel about a thoroughly thoughtful, decent, compassionate doctor, Lamar Hale, and his community of colleagues, patients, friends, and acquaintances. Lamar and his wisecracking romantic partner, Richard, a teacher, provide a still domestic center around which the chaos revolves. Part of it is the usual stuff of noir, expertly deployed, and part the material of the eccentric-small-town novel. Sallis builds suspense over the many months the story spans by alternating between plot point and shaggy dog anecdote, making the reader wonder when and how the novel's two kinds of plot and rhythm will entwine: when will the violence and darkness finally encroach on this cozy domestic sphere and threaten or destroy it? Sallis' latest has a lot to recommend it: an ingenious and unusual use of the MacGuffin; pungent dialogue; a world that's either dark shot through with abundant light or light shot through with abundant dark; likable, complex characters. A brisk and sure-handed treat.

        COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        June 1, 2016
        Noir, we tell ourselves, is nothing but a style, a kind of literary device for writing about lives lived in extremis. And then we read James Sallis and realize that noir is all around us. Sure, it's there in Sallis' archetypal noir, Drive (2005), about a getaway-car driver who can never drive fast enough to escape his own life, but it's also there in this very different novel about a small-town southern doctor who finds his noir in everyday life and in the lives of his patients. It wouldn't get better for Frieda, or would do so by tiny, invisible increments. She would never be fine. She would never see fine, never so much as catch sight of it on a hilltop far away, beckoning. There is very little crime in this novel, despite an opening scene in which bodies are discovered in the woods and a subplot concerning a CIA agent dragging trouble in his wake. But there are many examples of Dr. Luther Hale trying to make life better for those around him by those tiny, invisible increments, while the days lumbered on, as they will. Despite the omnipresence of storm clouds, there is also a remarkably tender love story here, as Hale and his partner, Richard, a teacher, make a life for themselves as they tend the wounded souls they encounter on a daily basis and deal with the kind of random violence that drags the quotidian into a form of extremis all its own. A profoundly moving, quietly eloquent jewel of a novel.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2016, American Library Association.)

popularity
73
publisher
Bloomsbury Publishing
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