Excerpt: Nazareth, North Dakota

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September 30, 2011 by markstani

Sometimes you stumble into a book totally out of the blue that makes you sit up and take notice. Maybe a mis-type in Google or a link to a link to a link on Amazon. Nazareth, North Dakota by Tommy Zurhellen is one such book. It’s published in the US by Atticus Books – it’s also available universally on Kindle. A review will follow. For now, courtesy the publishers, here’s a great clip:

Joachim’s Tractor & Tire employed three men in the busy summer months; Annie liked to call them her Billy Goats Gruff, due to their ages being spaced perfectly in descending order, and their willingness to pawn off work and blame on whichever of them wasn’t in the room. Sven Anderson was sixty; he had worked there ever since the shop opened in a surplus Quonset hut they got from the air force. Emile LaCroix was forty; he worked full-time at the shop for the harvest season, then drove a truck in the winter. Lonnie was, well, Lonnie. He didn’t know much about engines yet, but it wasn’t for lack of enthusiasm. If she didn’t pay the kid a dime he’d probably still show up every day; he wore the oil stains on his coveralls like merit badges. She had in fact never once seen him wearing anything but those blue coveralls with the big Joachim’s logo on the back, even at the movie theater. On the front he’d stitched his name: Daredevil Lonnie. He called himself the local daredevil, even though the biggest jump he’d done with his dirt bike so far was Turtledove Creek, which everyone knew was fifteen feet apart at its widest and just damp dirt most of the year. He’d talk about working up to a jump across the Little Missouri, but Annie hoped it was just talk.

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