The collection shares a pool of characters who come and go, but the stories otherwise stand on their own. The characters are deeply crafted and filled with complexity. While their reappearances extend their individual histories, even when contained within a single story, we see multiple dimensions: good and bad, flaws and strengths ... Katrina feels like Newman’s version of Nick Adams or Nathan Zuckerman, the recurring heroes of Hemingway and Roth, who both reflect their creators while simultaneously living lives they never did ... Newman cultivates an otherness about the state. We are meant to see it as a foreign place, exotic with weirdness and quirks. Houses require electric fences to keep out bears, moose attack trash bins, and locals fly small airplanes wherever they go. These details captivate us with their weirdness, so different from the suburban landscapes of the mainland where homeowners face the occasional racoon digging through their trash, and people drive sport utility vehicles for comfort rather than necessity ... Newman has crafted a collection of stories set in a deeply unique place with compelling narratives about the people who live at the remote edge of the world. The collection highlights the pain and challenges of such a life, while constructing a rich depiction of the place.
... mesmerizing ... Voices telling Newman’s tales, while occasionally sounding somewhat too alike, are compelling ... Atmospheric detail and texture here are outstanding ... not long, but it’s a big, brash book, crammed with authentic color. You will have to be up for it; you will learn a lot about a corner of the world that’s rarely captured, and is done so here exceptionally well. Leigh Newman will be interesting to track in the future; your F.C. (‘faithful correspondent’, that is) expects you’ll need a very fast dogsled to keep up.