A portrait of a rural community in a 'living ghost town' in Colorado on the brink of collapse, and the individuals who are confronted with either chasing their dreams or—against all reason—staying where they are.
Throughout her haunting sophomore release, Lions, she returns to the same breed of masterfully created melancholy and bittersweet characters that have defined her work ... Mesmerizing and somber, Lions is a memorable story of small-town life on the edge of collapse and the citizens who are equally tormented by the extraordinary costs and obligations of remaining, and the uncertainties and expectations of walking away. Powerfully told, Lions beautifully captures America’s changing countryside and the tumultuous lives of some of its most poignant inhabitants.
Lions is a novel short on plot and heavy on atmosphere. Not much happens in this book, but this is an intentional move by Nadzam to represent the idleness found in small towns across America ... Nadzam’s prose is beautiful and poetic, haunting and depressing. If you love [Donald Ray] Pollock’s Knockemstiff as much as I do, then you’d be doing yourself a favor checking this one out. It won't disappoint.
Lions is a ghost-ridden place set down on ancient, blood-soaked terrain. Nadzam describes it, however, with such cinematic clarity that each element, whether real or spectral, seems tangible: the brooding stranger at the door, the diner sandwich on the grill ... As the atmosphere thickens with a few portents too many, Nadzam wisely shifts our attention to restless Leigh Ransom, a lively spark in the gloom and the novel’s most substantial character ... In this evocative yet frustrating novel, the reader too is left searching for the meaning of it all.