Bone Fire: Book summary and reviews of Bone Fire by Mark Spragg

Bone Fire

A novel

by Mark Spragg

Bone Fire by Mark Spragg X
Bone Fire by Mark Spragg
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  • Published Mar 2010
    256 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

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Book Summary

Ishawooa, Wyoming, is far from bucolic nowadays. The sheriff, Crane Carlson, needs no reminder of this but gets one anyway when he finds a kid not yet twenty murdered in a meth lab. His other troubles include a wife who’s going off the rails with bourbon and pot, and his own symptoms of the disease that killed his grandfather.

Einar Gilkyson, taking stock at eighty, counts among his dead a lifelong friend, a wife and—far too young—their only child; and his long-absent sister has lately returned home from Chicago after watching her soul mate die. His granddaughter, Griff, has dropped out of college to look after him, though Einar would rather she continue with her studies and her boyfriend, Paul. Completing this extended family are Barnum McEban and his ward, Kenneth, a ten-year-old whose mother—Paul's sister—is off marketing spiritual enlightenment.

What these characters have to contend with on a daily basis is bracing enough, involving car accidents, runaway children, strokes and Lou Gehrig's disease, not to mention the motorcycle rallies and rodeos that flood the tiny local jail. But as their lives become even more strained, hardship foments exceptional compassion and generosity, and those caught in their own sorrow alleviate the same in others, changing themselves as they do so. In this gripping story, along with harsh truths and difficult consolation come moments of hilarity and surprise and beauty. No one writes more compellingly about the modern West than Mark Spragg, and in Bone Fire he is at the very height of his powers.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Although there are some touching moments, most of the novel is humorless to the point of parody, and the attempt at tying together everything at the end feels forced." - Publishers Weekly

"Sometimes subtle and affecting, but there's too little about the characters and too much about the noble landscapes and mindscapes of the vanishing West. " - Kirkus Reviews

"Starred Review. A tribute to the human state and an outstanding work highly recommended for anyone who appreciates a well-crafted novel." - Library Journal

This information about Bone Fire was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Mark Spragg Author Biography

Mark Spragg is the author of Where Rivers Change Direction, and the novels The Fruit of Stone, An Unfinished Life, and Bone Fire. All four were top-ten Book Sense selections and have been translated into fifteen languages.

Author Interview
Link to Mark Spragg's Website

Other books by Mark Spragg at BookBrowse
  • The Fruit of Stone jacket
  • An Unfinished Life jacket
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