Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Border Songs by Jim Lynch

The war on drugs and paranoia about the country's largest unguarded border bring an unlikely superhero in this book. An innate sense of attention to detail and change makes Brandon Vanderkool a phenom in his new role as a Border Patrol officer in his hometown in Washington state. His linebacker size makes the resulting arrests easy. Too bad he's really more interested in watching the birds and building spontaneous nature sculptures.

In a small town, it's easy to get pigeon-holed - and early in life, Brandon was labeled "dumb" and "weird." Even his dad can't get past those labels. Brandon's social awkwardness has made it tough for him to find a girlfriend, make personal connections essential for friendships, or even really find a place in life. Until now.

This is an excellent novel - lyrical, strange, touching and funny. You can't help but root for Brandon to somehow come out ahead, and his small town is just chock full of the kind of characters you know from real life.

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