American Salvage by Bonnie Jo Campbell

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American Salvage by Bonnie Jo Campbell

Campbell, Bonnie Jo. American Salvage.  Wayne State University Press, 2009. ISBN 978-0814334126 170 pp. $18.95

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The overall theme seems to be unfortunate accidents and circumstances beyond our control, and what remains (salvageable?) after: a family’s vacation cottage is violated and desecrated by drug addicts; a hunter hits a 13-year old girl out for an early morning walk; a young guy who is upset over his dad’s remarriage sets himself and his vehicle on fire; a man has a boating accident and has his own private pity party…

I found one story, “The Solution to Brian’s Problem” (his wife is a drug addict) pretty brilliant for it’s style, written as a list of ways to confront, kill, save, or just escape her. It was a lone standout.

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