Gene Lyons
December 05, 1997 AT 05:00 AM EST

Where Trouble Sleeps

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Clyde Edgerton
genre
Fiction

We gave it an A-

Clyde Edgerton, evoking Flannery O’Connor, composes chatty, tone-perfect tales of small-town life that illuminate the knife edge between satire and nostalgia. In Where Trouble Sleeps, evil comes to sleepy Listre, N.C., circa 1950, in the form of a stranger with a pencil-thin mustache and a trunkful of dirty movies. Listre is the kind of rustic crossroads where the most exciting event in years was a collision between a mule and a pickup truck, where boys slip over to the Gulf station for a Nehi and a peek at the pinup calendar, and where everybody knows everybody else’s secrets. It’s the kind of place, in other words, where it seems like nothing ever changes — until the fateful day when everything changes at once. A-

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