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PRAISE AND REVIEWS

  • "Smith's portrait of a troubled young man searching for himself he knows not where...is alive, funny sad, and as real as it can be." ~

    -Publishers Weekly (read full review)

  • "Rich with Indian legends and historical detail, this novel has an interesting feel about it and a thoughtfulness that makes it more than simple entertainment." ~

    -Library Journal (read full review)

  • "The characters are convincing. The pace is unusually fast for a psychological novel. Smith is a writer of growing importance." ~

    -Library Journal (read full review)

  • "....a picaresque excursion, larded with ribaldry, into the satiric and sensuous....Smith captures indelibly that elusive quality which has been termed spirit of place." ~

    -Los Angeles Times (read full review)

  • "....a picaresque excursion, larded with ribaldry, into the satiric and sensuous....Smith captures indelibly that elusive quality which has been termed spirit of place." ~

    -Los Angeles Times (read full review)

  • "....a picaresque excursion, larded with ribaldry, into the satiric and sensuous....Smith captures indelibly that elusive quality which has been termed spirit of place." ~

    -Los Angeles Times (read full review)

  • "....continuously fascination and amply rewards a second or third reading. Mr. Smith may well have composed a classic in Country Music." ~

    -After Dark

  • "Country Music is the enjoyable, rowdy saga of an endearing Southwestern Lothario....deepened by forceful characterizations and a flexible, probing prose style....C.W. Smith is already about as good as a writer needs to be...." ~

    -Baltimore Suns (read full review)

  • "Country Music is full or remarkably well-drawn characters....Not only does Smith have a genius for details that define character...he is adept at creating dramatic situations as well." ~

    -Houston Chronicle (read full review)

  • "Country Music is eminently readable....Smith seems well-launched on a career that bears watching." ~

    -Chicago Sun-Times (read full review)

 

 

Country Music

THE STORY

C.W. Smith's award-winning first novel, Thin Men of Haddam, established him as an important new voice of the Southwest, a novelist of power and compassion, and a stylist of abundant invention. His second novel, also set in West Texas, is a shrewd anatomy of sexual and social stances that extends the range and depth of his vision.

Country Music opens when Bobby Joe Gilbert, Hedorville's Bane to Virgins and Most Unlikely to Succeed, confronts an unwelcome question: "What are you going to do with yourself?" He is desperate to escape the chains thrown around him by his reputation, by his self-image, and by the limitations of his world. But the bonds are strong. A brief college career dissipates in endless games of pinball and a stormy friendship with Polly, a Lesbian pinball addict who resists his sexual advances and penetrates his psychic defenses. He takes a wife, a gorgeous blonde who epitomizes his macho notions of womanhood - values he is afraid to question - but the marriage is doomed by her willful childishness and his inability to cope with the intricacies of love and sharing. Warily, he returns to Hedorville, to Heavy and Lonnie and Rabbit, to Jackie Gayle and Nelda Sue, the old crowd that cannot see beyond their stifling universe of drive-in restaurants and beer and pinball - and also to his responsibility for the death of a girl who trusted him, the ugly secret in his past which he will have to face before he can turn to the future.

Bobby Joe, an explosive mixture of innocence and hostility who nevertheless commands our sympathy, is a remarkably drawn character, one of the many who give Country Music its extraordinary vitality. The women in his life - Pinball Polly, his wife Ginger, and Nelda Sue, the girl he keeps leaving and keeps coming back to - are three of the most deftly created women in recent fiction. Together they and a host of others bring a world to life, while its creator rings changes on the themes of sex, destiny, escape, and the complexity and passion of human entanglements."

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