Entertainment Weekly

Subscribe

Stay Connected

Subscribe

Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content

Article

Letting Loose the Hounds

Posted on

Letting Loose the Hounds

type:
Book
Current Status:
In Season
author:
Brady Udall
publisher:
W.W. Norton
genre:
Fiction, Short Stories

We gave it an A-

Most of the characters in Brady Udall’s robust debut collection, Letting Loose the Hounds, have been stung by personal tragedy, usually involving dead or unfaithful wives. They’re not so much survivors as endurers who drink, hunt, play basketball, and purge themselves through manly rituals. But what prevents these mostly Arizona-set tales from becoming Marlboro ads with tragic undercurrents is the knowing ambivalence Udall brings to his men. ”Am I the fix-it man who plays basketball,” asks a sometime student in ”Junk Court,” ”…or the guy who likes poetry written by women who kill themselves?” Udall also offers surprises, such as a story about a group-home supervisor who finds the family he longs for in his ”developmentally challenged” charges. These are Western nuggets well worth cracking. A-

Comments