Taylor Brown’s terrific Gods of Howl Mountain is Southern literary fiction full of action, brooding power and grace. Brown has been compared to Cormac McCarthy, Annie Proulx, and Charles Frazier.
Rory is a young disabled Korean War veteran, who works for a mountain bootlegger transporting liquor illegally to bars and flop houses. He lives with his folk healer grandmother, Granny May, the book’s most compelling character. Now that he’s returned from the war, he wants to know why his mother has always been in a mental institution in Raleigh and who his father is. Watch the careful deliberate unspooling of the truth as it upends Howl Mountain and its inhabitants. There are allusions aplenty to lots of prominent Southern fiction, but I didn’t need to know it to savor this powerful American story.
Recommended for book clubs, and anyone who wants to catch a literary master before he rockets to broader fame.