Read: Close is Fine by Eliot Treichel, 2012, 9781932010459.
Committee book. Good stuff.
Eight short stories of rural northern Wisconsin. Some sad stuff in here of people who cannot get ahead of their trouble. People who put themselves into trouble, and know they are doing so, but cannot stop.
My favorites? I don't know. How about the ones I liked the least? I'll call them "least liked" because of the unsettling content. That is intended by Treichel so this first list could be called Most Effective.
1. Good Potato Soil. Two drunks at a rundown farm drink too much and like to break stuff. The farm's owner goes back to jail and owner's ex-wife drops off their young daughter. Daughter is left to care of these two shit heels who cannot take care of themselves let alone a 7-year-old. Kid eats mostly nothing and is stuck with a television as a sitter.
2. We're Not That. Young girl finds her dog eating young mice in a mouse den. Girl rescues a couple of them and nurses them. Her dad finds the mice and says they have to go back into nature. Girl sees dad dump the mice out for the dog to eat.
1. Lumberjack's Story. A lumber camp in winter circa 1900 and a big dude and small dude are paired together. Small dude works the big dude into exhausting as revenge for a prank. Interesting look at lumber camps. Hard work, no showers, nothing to do at night.
There is a question and answer between Treichel and some guy named Tyler McMann. (I see no other mention of McMann and have no idea who the hell he is.) Treichel gives a Donald Ray Pollock recommendation. Treichel mentions Wilco's I Am Trying to Break Your Heart and how he, "thought, well, if I could just do that, if I could make if kind of sad." He is right on.