I am a massive fan of Scott Phillips. I absolutely loved THE ICE HARVEST (don’t ever see the movie, it is truly terrible) and greatly enjoyed its prequel/sequel THE WALKAWAY. COTTWONWODD was even more outstanding as he left comedy/noir behind and tackled the western and nailed it.
I have been dying for Scott Phillips to write another novel (COTTONWOOD was published in 2004) but nothing seemed to ever pop up on the advanced schedule until late last year when I discovered a listing for RUT. But instead of it coming from the publisher of his first three novels, Random House, it was listed as being published by Concord Free Press who I had never heard of. What’s more the book was free (including shipping overseas) all on the proviso that I
a) make a donation to charity
b) pass the book onto somebody else who also pledges to make a donation to charity.
RUT is set about 30 years in the future in an almost post-apocalypse America. But this is not your usual ‘apoca-lit’. It is far from a thriller, in reads more like a western without the fistfights or gunfights. No one cataclysmic event has laid waste to America but economic downtown fueled by environmental catastrophe coupled with ongoing wars for resources and against “terrorism” has left America a rippled nation; a shell of its former self, paranoid and trying to make a fast buck out of whatever is left, including its own people.
The novel focuses on the residents of Gower in Colorado. Once a booming tourist town, now an economic and environmental wasteland. Through the character of Bridget, a biologist who has been sent to Gower to study a rare frog population because it has no genetic mutations caused by the grossly polluted environment. We meet the town’s mayor, the local vet/doctor, the school teacher, the town tramp and a host of other characters whose lives are more like those in a frontier town.
Part comedy, part melodrama, part satire, part frontier farce RUT is exactly why I have been dying for Scott Phillips to write another novel and will now begin waiting for another one!
But now I need to pass this book on to somebody else. If RUT sounds like your kind of book and you make a donation to charity I will send the book to you (anywhere in the world). Leave a comment with your charity pledge and the best (not necessarily the biggest) will get this copy of RUT.