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Another Burning Kingdom

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  • Additional Information
    • Publication Type:
      eBook.
    • Abstract:
      Lem Purchase is in California when a call comes in the dead of night: his younger, disturbed brother in Nebraska announces his plans to carry out an act of terrorism targeting the state capitol building in Lincoln. This isn't the first time Lem has had to make a frantic check on Jackson. Nor is it the first time that author Robert Vivian has taken us to the haunted world of the Great Plains. Critics called Vivian's first two books in the Tall Grass Trilogy “lyrical and harrowing” (Sven Birkerts on The Mover of Bones) and “brilliantly written” (Publishers Weekly on Lamb Bright Saviors). In this third and final volume in the trilogy, Vivian weaves the voices of Lem, Jackson, and Lem's estranged wife, Lissa, into an American triptych of longing, remembrance, and innocence—of hopes almost fulfilled and inevitably disappointed—as we race to Jackson's reckoning with history that must have its day.While Jackson hatches yet another plan that rivals the first in madness and ultimately threatens Lem's life, Lem's reflections reveal what, and how much, that life has meant. In Jackson's determination we encounter another view of what matters, as he clings to his apocalyptic notion of the only way in which the country can be reclaimed from its present madness.
    • Subject Terms:
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Reviews

PW Reviews 2011 January #2

A pair of troubled brothers become engaged in a fateful showdown in an apocalyptic vision drawn from the Book of Revelations in Vivian's grim latest (after Lamb Bright Saviors). The novel shifts among the points of view of three characters: Jackson, a 45-year-old loner living in a house near where he and his brother grew up in western Nebraska, has grown disillusioned with America's materialistic path and is plotting a sinister act involving the state capitol building. His brother, Lem, a former pro baseball prospect, is driving hell-bent from his home in Glendale, Ariz., in the middle of the night, having become alarmed by a conversation with Jackson, who amply exhibited his violent streak two years earlier. Then there's Lissa, Lem's wife, long wary of Jackson's destructive influence on her husband: even though she has found happiness in an affair, Lissa is plagued by ominous thoughts about Jackson. It's a tense triptych, though one that's a bit too stripped-down, as there's little room for anything outside the characters' heads and shared histories. Still, Vivian finds impressive depth in a slim and spare endeavor. (Mar.)

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