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Five Skies

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Three men, strangers to one another, take on an ambitious construction project in Five Skies, building a stunt motorcycle ramp across a craggy river canyon in the sage country of Idaho. Metrosexuals they are not. While each is fleeing a profound sorrow, the men talk little about their problems, communicating instead about power drills and dry-wall screws, bantering over lime Kool-Aid, whiskey, and steaks, only gradually and very cautiously becoming friends. Ron Carlson’s beautifully crafted and emotionally wrenching novel about nonverbal but deep-feeling males in flyover country is more refreshing than an ice-cold Coors. A