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The Good Brother

The Good Brother

A Novel

Virgil Caudill has never gone looking for trouble, but this time he's got no choice -- his hell-raising brother Boyd has been murdered. Everyone knows who did it, and in the hills of Kentucky, tradition won't let a murder go unavenged. No matter which way he chooses, Virgil will lose.
The Good Brother, Chris Offutt's finely crafted first novel, is the story of Virgil's struggle to find his real self in the wake of an impossible choice. Traversing the American landscape from the hollows of Eastern Kentucky to the plains of Montana, Offutt explores the hunger for belonging that drives our most passionate beliefs, and in the process shows himself to be one of our most powerful storytellers.
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  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 320 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780684846194 | 
  • May 1998
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Chapter 1

Virgil followed the rain branch off the hill and drove to the Blizzard post office. The mail hadn't come yet and he continued past, giving a general wave to the crowd that gossiped in the glare of April sun. He drove up a steep hill to the county line. It was only two miles from the house he'd grown up in, but he'd never crossed it.

He parked by the edge of the cliff. The color of the air was brighter at the top. Clay Creek ran through the hollow with purple milkweed blooming in the ditch. When Virgil was a kid, he and his brother had walked its slippery bank, gathering enough empty pop bottles to buy candy when they... see more

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