It's 1988, and Shelley Cooper is broke after being fired from his construction job and newly single after his wife left him for their next-door neighbor and a new life in Kansas City. The only opportunity on his horizon is 50 pounds of his brother's high-grade marijuana, which needs to be driven from Colorado to Houston and exchanged for a lockbox full of cash.
... [a] gritty, brilliant first novel ... Wyoming reads more like a memoir than a work of fiction, entirely absent of pretense, sentiment and fakery. It’s rich in shocking moments, but somehow we can always look back and say that we should have seen that coming ... Like all of the best stories, this one consists of a journey, one set in the America of poor, rural white people who work hard, read billboards and the Bible, and fiercely create their own American dramas and narratives ... It’s stunningly good.
In this throwback to 1980s dirty realism and a novel reminiscent of Frank Bill’s fiction, Gritton evokes a beautiful rural landscape and people struggling with the cards they’ve been dealt, creating a rollicking portrait of a compelling and complicated man who is the product of his choices as much as his circumstances.
In a voice rough as a chainsaw blade and Midwestern as green bean casserole, debut author Gritton chronicles the trip-to-hell-and-back life of the troubled Shelley Cooper ... Pitch perfect cadences sing from the mouths of Gritton’s characters, and the author performs skilled loop-de-loops in and out of Shelley’s memories. This auspicious debut marks Gritton as a storyteller to watch.