The Poison Flood|Jordan Farmer
The Poison Flood
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A near-Shakespearean snarl, a mad, seven-day action crucible set in the West Virginia wild...The Poison Flood is an ambitious saga, cockamamie and passionate. Through Hollis, Farmer produces a pocket Hillbilly manifesto.--Atlanta Journal Constitution

A captivating, gritty, and tender story of a reclusive musician and the local disaster that threatens his small town and changes his life forever.

Hollis Bragg lives on the fringes. The hunchbacked son of a West Virginia hill preacher, he now resides in rural isolation next to the burned-out husk of his father's church, and earns his living ghostwriting songs for a popular band that left the poverty and corruption of Appalachia and never looked back. It's the life he prefers, free from the harsh glare of the spotlight and attachments that lead only to heartbreak.

Then, much to his consternation, he's discovered by Russell Watson, a local musician and fan who also happens to be the rebellious son of the local chemical company magnate. When a devastating toxic spill at the Watson chemical plant poisons the local water, it sets off an unpredictable series of events as Hollis witnesses a murder, faces a shocking betrayal, and begins to come to terms with his body and his past. Soon Hollis will find that in losing his anonymity and reclaiming his music, he can transform his future; and in opening himself up to the world, he might find redemption.

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  • ISBN-13: 9780593085073
  • ISBN-10: 0593085078
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
  • Publish Date: May 2020
  • Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.1 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.05 pounds
  • Page Count: 288

The Poison Flood

The Poison Flood is a bizarre and fascinating read that proves that anything is possible in the capable hands of author Jordan Farmer. The novel is immediately engrossing, its characters uniquely memorable, its prose both heartfelt and stunning.

As the hunchbacked son of an abusive West Virginia preacher, Hollis Bragg is a smart, deeply talented musician, albeit lonely and self-conscious about his condition. He used to jam with popular musical group the Troubadoors and penned some of their songs for band member/girlfriend Angela Carver, but now he’s more than content to hide out at his isolated farmhouse away from curious neighbors, even as he silently yearns for their acceptance.

Into the mix comes obsessed fan Russell Watson, a member of a punk-rock group and the son of a wealthy local chemical manufacturer, as well as Rosita Martinez, a journalist looking to make a name for herself. Both coax Hollis into coming out of his shell and attending a concert in town, even as they maneuver to get closer to a stash of songs in Hollis’ private collection.

When a chemical disaster happens on the outskirts of town and poisons the local water supply, Russell goes into a rage against his father. Rosita, who photographs the violent ordeal, manages to escape with Hollis to his home, with Russell hot on their heels.

The novel takes a number of unexpected and thrilling turns as Hollis struggles with haunted memories of his past life with his father and his relationships with girlfriends past and present. The mix of situations and characters is admittedly odd, but Farmer more than manages to keep things grounded through Hollis’ close viewpoint.

The result is a story rich in compassion and empathy as Hollis tries to find his place in a world that would just as soon shun him and silence his dreams altogether.