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Crum (1988): Take Me Home, Country Roads

Lee Maynard, Crum (Washington Square Press, 1988)

[originally posted 28Jun2001]

A set of train tracks and a few run-down buildings decorate the cover of the novel.

These tracks lead nowhere but out…but none of the characters know how to use them.
photo credit: NPR

Crum is one twisted little novel. Actually, it’s less a novel than a collection of vignettes about the (non-fictional) coal-mining ghost town of Crum, WV, and the author’s (presumably fictional) experiences growing up. After a long and tedious chapter of setup, Maynard takes off. He wears his Jean Shepherd influence on his sleeve a bit much in places, but there are far worse authors in this vein by whom to be influenced. As such, Crum tends to read like In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash with a bubbling cauldron of Freudian influence and a little A Man Called Horse for good measure. The whole thing is front-to-back delicious. *** ½

About Robert "Goat" Beveridge

Media critic (amateur, semi-pro, and for one brief shining moment in 2000 pro) since 1986. Guy behind noise/powerelectronics band XTerminal (after many small stints in jazz, rock, and metal bands). Known for being tactless but honest.

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