Sunday, November 18, 2012

Fame and fortune came much too early and much too quickly to Kip Weiler who became a star of the 1980s New York literary scene while still in his early twenties. He quickly became "the Kipster," running through money, dope and women as if there were no tomorrow.

Unhappily for Kip, there was. And having squandered his talent and his young life, he's spiraled down to rock bottom, teaching English at a tiny rural community college to dead-end students whose futures are even darker than his. But then one afternoon, as Kip is returning the first assignments of the semester, a disgruntled student takes him and the class hostage. Acting purely on instinct, Kip saves the day and earns another fifteen minutes of fame. He also earns the attention of Renee Svoboda, a stunningly beautiful coed, and of another student, Jim Trimble, who has long been an unabashed fan of Weiler's work.

Before long, Kip is sexually involved with the lovely Renee and she and Trimble together introduce him into a group of gun aficionados that had turned into a semi-religious cult. For the people caught in the dead-end existence of this small rural community, the Gun Church provides the only excitement and escape that they are likely to find.

Kip is quickly caught up and finds that these new relationships have reinvigorated his literary imagination. He starts writing again and is suddenly producing the best work of his life. But then things take a very unexpected turn and suddenly that life is in serious jeopardy.

This is a gripping, well-written novel with a lot of discussion about the writing life and the business of writing, and it should appeal to a wide audience. Readers who like crime fiction and those looking for insights into the writing life should certainly enjoy it.

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