Excerpt from Wyoming by JP Gritton, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio


by JP Gritton

Wyoming by JP Gritton X
Wyoming by JP Gritton
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Paperback:
    Nov 2019, 246 pages


  • Rate this book

Book Reviewed by:
Ian Muehlenhaus
Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

We were pretty much through with the frame by now. And it was big, too: two floors, six bedrooms, three-and-a-half bathrooms. There were two chimneys, two fireplaces, one on each side. Dude owned it was a lawyer from Chicago, he was only fixing to live there for a few weeks out of the year. Even so, he wanted a custom finish on the beams, hardwood flooring, and cedar cabinets.  About the only thing made it a cabin was the lumber in the frame.

And when the drywall crew come and piled that sheetrock alongside the place the front door was supposed to go in—dude wanted glass doors, I forgot to tell you—I pictured them laying that plaster over top of that beautiful white pine and felt sick to my stomach.  We were working on the deck that day, since the drywall crew was busy inside. All that morning and into the afternoon, me and Mike Corliss and Jarvis Wicklowe were out front of the lot with a couple spud bars and a posthole digger, trying to find the freeze line.

Digging postholes is hard work. Spend a couple hours like that, your shoulders are liable to feel like they might slide right out the sockets, and the muscles in your back clench up just like a fist.  It isn't work to talk through, but Mike just talked and talked while that sun that seemed too hot and close for September wheeled into the sky.

"Well how about it?"

"How about what?"

"What are my chances?"

"Chances of what?"

"Marrying May."

I fiddled with the grip of the digger, trying to make the whole thing vanish.

"Honestly, bud," I told him after a while, "I don't think you got much of a chance at all."

Mike laughed, but I could tell he didn't much like hearing it. It was about four in the afternoon by then. We worked for a while longer, then Laughton Starbuck pulled up in that baby-blue Chevrolet C30 with the words "Purchiss and Starbuck Construction, LLC" painted on the side, the brand-new windshield. He razzed us some, saying how we hadn't dug but half of the postholes we needed for this deck.

Well me and Wicklowe were quiet, kicking the dust at our feet.  But Mike went: "We can stay longer, you want. But I'm taking time-and-a-half."

And Starbuck give him a look, and Mike took that blue bandana from the pocket of his jeans and mopped the sweat off his forehead. Our whole lives we'd been waiting for something to happen, but it never did. Starbuck just spit in the dirt and went on over to check on the drywall crew.


We were quiet, walking to the truck, and then Mike did the same thing he'd done for going on two years. Fit a cigarette into his mouth and slapped his hand hard on the hood. Some kind of celebration, but being honest I was getting sick of it.

"Don't know why you keep this thing locked," he told me while I dug the keys out my pocket. "You drive about the ugliest vehicle I've ever seen."

It wasn't that ugly. It was a '70 Ford F-150 with a crooked fender that put you in mind of somebody's swole-up lip. Another day I might've laughed, but I was bone-tired from the work. From the work, and from something else, this feeling I don't have the words to tell you about.

"You don't like it," I told Mike Corliss, "you can drive."

"Then I'd have to buy gas," he said, and I laughed even if I didn't want to.

We drove down the lane the Chicago lawyer had had graded not three months earlier, that river gravel smooth as blacktop. We come up to the highway and Mike looked out at the place the road cut across cedar pine and alfalfa and he said, "She don't know me, that's what it is."

I asked him who he meant. I knew who he meant.

"May don't know me," he said, smiling a little to say it, "but she will."

Excerpted from Wyoming by JP Gritton. Copyright © 2019 by JP Gritton. Excerpted by permission of Tin House Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  An Interview with JP Gritton

Become a Member

Join BookBrowse today to start discovering exceptional books!

Find out more

Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: Hello Beautiful
    Hello Beautiful
    by Ann Napolitano
    Ann Napolitano's much-anticipated Hello Beautiful pulls the reader into a warm, loving familial ...
  • Book Jacket: The West
    The West
    by Naoíse Mac Sweeney
    It's become common for history books and courses to reconsider the emphasis on "Western Civilization...
  • Book Jacket
    A Death in Denmark
    by Amulya Malladi
    Can a mystery novel be informative, intriguing and deeply comforting all at once? Amulya Malladi ...
  • Book Jacket
    Shrines of Gaiety
    by Kate Atkinson
    A few years ago, magazines ran pieces about how the 2020s were likely to be the 1920s all over again...

Book Club Discussion

Book Jacket
The First Conspiracy
by Brad Meltzer & Josh Mensch
A remarkable and previously untold piece of American history—the secret plot to kill George Washington

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Paper Names
    by Susie Luo

    A propulsive and sweeping story of family, identity and the American experience—for fans of Jean Kwok and Mary Beth Keane.

  • Book Jacket

    by Costanza Casati

    Madeline Miller's Circe meets Cersei Lannister in this propulsive and richly drawn debut.

Win This Book
Win Such Kindness

30 Copies to Give Away!

Few writers paint three-dimensional characters with such verve and humanism.
Booklist (starred review)



Solve this clue:

S I F A R Day

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.