Book - 2004
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In hisNew York Timesnotable debut,The Ice Harvest, Scott Phillips gave readers an instant noir classic that spanned twenty-four eventful hours in the life of a mob lawyer hoping to skip town (namely Wichita) with a small fortune. Phillips followed with the acclaimed sequel,The Walkaway, showing how a seeming windfall can wreak wicked havoc on the lives of its recipients. Now this award-winning author broadens his canvas, writing his most accomplished novel yet--one that is rich in suspense, drama, historical sweep, and Phillips's unique blend of unforgettable characters. In 1872, Cottonwood, Kansas, is a one-horse speck on the map; a community of run-down farms, dusty roads, and two-bit crooks. Self-educated saloon owner and photographer Bill Ogden looks on his adopted town with an eye to making a profit or getting out. His brains and ambition bring him to the attention of one Marc Leval, a wealthy Chicago developer with big plans for the small town. The advent of the railroad and rumors of a cattle trail turn Cottonwood into a wild and wooly boomtown--and with Leval as a partner, Ogden dreams of bringing civilization to the prairie. But civilizing the Great Plains was never that simple. While many in Cottonwood distrust Leval's motives, and mob violence threatens to derail the town's dreams of greatness, Ogden finds himself dangerously obsessed with Leval's stunningly beautiful wife. Meanwhile, plying its sinister trade unnoticed, an apparently ordinary local farm family quietly butchers traveling salesmen, weary travelers, and other unsuspecting wanderers. In his own inimitable brand of narrative wizardry, Scott Phillips traces the metamorphosis of a frontier town that becomes a lightning rod for sin, corruption, and murder. He also brings to life actual crimes that befell Kansas in the 1870s and 1880s, carried out by a strange clan who popularly became known as The Bloody Benders. Brilliantly written, maliciously fun, and full of many surprises,Cottonwoodis historical fiction at its finest.
Publisher: New York : Ballantine Books, 2004
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780345461001
Branch Call Number: FICTION PHILLIPS
Characteristics: 292 p. ; 25 cm


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May 15, 2016

As a Social Worker I spend most of my days in what Phish would call the "nasty part of town". I love my job and after the zoo it is the best people watching I have ever experienced. As a matter of fact I must have lost some weight recently because all the girls in short shorts on the Avenue wave and smile and try to get me to stop and flirt with them. On the negative side though, I have seen and smelled things that would make Satan weep. When I read awesome books like Cottonwood however all I can think about is how awful it must have smelled in the 1800's. And when Bill Ogden kept engaging in sexual congress with everyone he met all I could think about was how dank both of them must have been. However, I loved everything about this piece, especially the 1800's lingo. I've been trying to bring it back for 16 years now.


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