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Driftless
by David Rhodes

Published: 2009-05-05
Paperback : 448 pages
7 members reading this now
17 clubs reading this now
6 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 5 of 6 members
When David Rhodes's first three novels were published in the mid-seventies, he was acclaimed as "one of the best eyes in recent fiction" (John Gardner), and compared favorably to Sherwood Anderson. In 1976, a motorcycle accident left him paralyzed from the chest down, and unpublished for ...
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Introduction

When David Rhodes's first three novels were published in the mid-seventies, he was acclaimed as "one of the best eyes in recent fiction" (John Gardner), and compared favorably to Sherwood Anderson. In 1976, a motorcycle accident left him paralyzed from the chest down, and unpublished for the subsequent three decades.

Driftless heralds a triumphant return to the Midwestern landscape Rhodes knows so well, offering a fascinating and entirely unsentimental portrait of a town apparently left behind by the march of time. At once intimate and funny, wise and generous, Driftless is an unforgettable story of contemporary life in rural America.

The few hundred souls who inhabit Words, Wisconsin, are an extraordinary cast of characters. The middle-aged couple who zealously guards their farm from a scheming milk cooperative. The lifelong invalid, crippled by conflicting emotions about her sister. A cantankerous retiree, haunted by childhood memories after discovering a cougar in his haymow. The former drifter who forever alters the ties that bind a community. In his first novel in 30 years, David Rhodes offers a vivid and unforgettable look at how each life affects many.

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Discussion Questions

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by austen (see profile) 03/11/15

The disappearing active farmers and the rural culture in the midwest
by maril (see profile) 07/17/11

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

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Book Club Recommendations

foods: dairy products and jello creations
by maril (see profile) 07/17/11

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
  "Driftless"by austen (see profile) 03/11/15

It is a beautifully written book about a small town and its inhabitants--their problems, triumphs, coming together--and how all of that represents the human experience throughout time.

 
  "Small Town Drama"by bcarroll (see profile) 03/16/13

As I read this book I felt like I actually lived in this town and became aquainted with the neighbors and gradually got to know them. All the characters got better as the book went on. Each character could... (read more)

 
  "Care about the characters"by maril (see profile) 07/17/11

Wonderfully real but eccentric characters in Wisconsin. Big story about the little people of the midwest.

 
  "Driftless"by menomin1 (see profile) 01/01/11

I live in Wisconsin. I grew up in rural Wisconsin on a dairy farm. This book just seemed old fashioned and it had way too many discrepancies in it related to living in Wisconsin and on a farm. There were... (read more)

 
  "Driftless"by jmw21637 (see profile) 09/15/10

A pleasant story about small town characters that are believable
and intertwine as all small town residents do. The setting is in Wisconsin and the author gives background as to how the "d
... (read more)

 
  "Deeply Beautiful"by lindseyschmidt (see profile) 01/03/10

Rhodes has an incredible depth in his character creation, I am left wishing there were more pages to this already nearly 500 page book. The reality that relationships are anything but uniform, the thread... (read more)

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