Melissa Maerz
April 13, 2012 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Cove

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG-13
runtime
94 minutes
Limited Release Date
07/31/09
performer
Richard O'Barry
director
Louie Psihoyos
distributor
Roadside Attractions
author
Mark Monroe
genre
Documentary

We gave it an A

Since the cover compares Ron Rash to John Steinbeck and Cormac McCarthy and includes high praise from Daniel Woodrell, you’d think this book ranks among the best backwoods fiction since 2006’s Winter’s Bone. You wouldn’t be wrong. Set amid the anti-immigrant hysteria of World War I, this gripping novel opens when town outcast Laurel Shelton discovers a mysterious mute man playing the flute near her cabin in rural North Carolina. From the moment Laurel starts to question the stranger’s background, it’s clear that The Cove isn’t just an elegant work of literary fiction, written in a voice that’s hauntingly simple and Southern; it’s also a riveting mystery. Suffice it to say it begins with a skull that’s discovered in a well, and by the end you’ll find out whom it belongs to. A

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