Since day one of this blog I’ve planned to post more about what I’m reading. Like many plans I threw it out somewhere in Utah. It tracked me down in the form of my uncle, Chris Holbrook, publishing his second volume of short stories, Upheaval. Since I can claim kin with this guy, I figured no better opportunity to start blogging about a good read.

This collection of short stories is an honest look at modern day life in Appalachia. It is not pretty, I don’t believe it is intended to be so. Reading this book I couldn’t escape the feeling that I was walking through the Hazard Wal-Mart on a Saturday night. My favorite part of Upheaval is in the details. They unite the stories together in a treasure hunt kind of way that only one from the hills could write. While this collection is on the far side of bleak, Chris writes with compassion for his fictional characters along with an expectation of accountability. This is a combo the non-fiction world of the mountains or anywhere would do well to learn.


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