Book - 1989 | First edition
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Baker & Taylor
A gentle man, the victim of a violent father, is made violent himself by a fellow cop whom he suspects of murdering a local labor official, and an ex-wife who limits contact with their daughter


Wade Whitehouse is an improbable protagonist for a tragedy. A well-digger and policeman in a bleak New Hampshire town, he is a former high-school star gone to beer fat, a loner with a mean streak. It is a mark of Russell Banks' artistry and understanding that Wade comes to loom in one's mind as a blue-collar American Everyman afflicted by the dark secret of the macho tradition. Told by his articulate, equally scarred younger brother, Wade's story becomes as spellbinding and inexorable as a fuse burning its way to the dynamite.

& Taylor

Wade Whitehouse, a gentle man and the victim of a violent father, is driven to sudden criminal acts by a fellow cop whom he suspects of murdering a local labor official and by an ex-wife who limits his contact with their daughter. Reprint. Movie tie-in.

Publisher: New York : Harper & Row, [1989]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©1989
ISBN: 9780060920074
Branch Call Number: Fiction Banks
Characteristics: 355 pages ; 24 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Feb 10, 2015

"The great enigma of human life is not suffering but affliction."-Simone Weil
From the author of "The Sweet Hereafter" and "Cloudsplitter," an intense and powerful novel about small town life, fathers and sons, and the violence inherent in men. Narrated by the protagonist's brother, it plays about like a mystery; Wade Whitehouse has disappeared and his story, involving his abusive, alcoholic father, his ex-wife and daughter, and a hunting accident that he thinks is murder, is related. The rural poverty of a small New England town is a setting that Banks has in common with Richard Russo, but Russo finds the humor amidst the defeat, while Banks finds tragedy. Made into a film with Nick Nolte, James Coburn, and Willem Defoe.

Dec 20, 2014

Banks is a masterful writer, and this is a powerful, though bleak, exposition of economic frustration and masculine repression in a world of blue-collar work in rural New Hampshire. Banks' empathy can create sympathetic characters out of virtually anyone. My only criticism is his use of the narrative voice--a character in the novel, who is not actually present for 99% of the story.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings


Find it at PACL

To Top