If you love the grit of soil under your nails and the grind of a traditional farm workday, but you’d rather read about it than do it, then Don Kurtz’s fine first novel, South of the Big Four, is for you. With family farms dying out all over, 30-year-old Arthur Conason returns to his dad’s old spread to work for Gerry Maars, who now farms the land. Maars is the kind of American for whom nothing exists in life but the work to be done. (”Hell of a shame to lose a man like Al,” says Maars of a recent death. ”Especially this time a year, when we’re so damn busy.”) But he can’t adapt to the modern world, and like the family farm, he’s doomed to extinction. Though Kurtz’s prose is as flat and unsurprising as Midwest cropland, and his narrative meanders like a lazy creek on level ground, he’s still thinking and making us think the whole time. The up close intimacy of this painful Indiana tale survives. B
South of the Big Four If you love the grit of soil under your nails and the grind of a traditional farm workday, but you'd rather read about it than do it, then Don Kurtz's...South of the Big FourFictionDon Kurtz If you love the grit of soil under your nails and the grind of a traditional farm workday, but you'd rather read about it than do it, then Don Kurtz's...1995-08-11
Genre: Fiction; Author: Don Kurtz
Posted January 17 2015 — 11:46 AM EST
- 'Furious 7' holds off 'Paul Blart' to win box office for third weekend in a row
- Victoria Justice breaks news to fans on Twitter: 'Eye Candy' canceled by MTV
- Jon Stewart explains why he quit 'The Daily Show'
- Jason Sudeikis on present (two Tribeca films), past ('SNL'), and future ('Fletch'?)
- 'Outlander' boss on Geillis reveal, Claire's shocking choice
- 'Orphan Black' creators on series' sexy, surreal return
- Tatiana Maslany on 'Orphan Black' dream sequence
- 'Star Wars' fans take Anaheim: Celebration photos
- 'Orphan Black': So, you wanna date a clone?
- 'Star Wars': 15 behind-the-scenes 'Force Awakens' pics
- Dirty words on TV? 17 faves whose spew is par for the coarse
- TV Style: 3 costume pros on their '70s-'80s-'90s inspirations
- Prince Harry, Christina Aguilera, Diane Kruger & More!