by: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Product rating: 4.5 with 90 reviews
“[Panowich] pulls off [a] daunting undertaking with astounding success . . . The storytelling is mesmerizing, with virtually every chapter set in a different timeline and focused on a single character, but the sense of immediacy carries over into each era. And while the violence is shocking in its coldhearted brutality, it’s as aesthetically choreographed as any ballet.”—Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review
“Brian Panowich stamps words on the page as if they’ve been blasted from the barrel of a shotgun, and as with a shotgun blast, no one is safe from the scattered fragments of history that impale the people of Bull Mountain.”—Wiley Cash, New York Times-bestselling author of This Dark Road to Mercy
From a remarkable new voice in Southern fiction, a multigenerational saga of crime, family, and vengeance.
Clayton Burroughs comes from a long line of outlaws. For generations, the Burroughs clan has made its home on Bull Mountain in North Georgia, running shine, pot, and meth over six state lines, virtually untouched by the rule of law. To distance himself from his family’s criminal empire, Clayton took the job of sheriff in a neighboring community to keep what peace he can. But when a federal agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms shows up at Clayton’s office with a plan to shut down the mountain, his hidden agenda will pit brother against brother, test loyalties, and could lead Clayton down a path to self-destruction.
In a sweeping narrative spanning decades and told from alternating points of view, the novel brilliantly evokes the atmosphere of the mountain and its inhabitants: forbidding, loyal, gritty, and ruthless. A story of family—the lengths men will go to protect it, honor it, or in some cases destroy it—Bull Mountain is an incredibly assured debut that heralds a major new talent in fiction.
An Amazon Best Book of July 2015: Brian Panowich’s debut novel, Bull Mountain, is a dark and deeply seductive addition to the best of Southern fiction. Through multiple narrators, readers are exposed to successive generations of the Burroughs clan and the mountain in the Georgia backwoods that they consider theirs. An outlaw attitude with brutal rules about right and wrong, where wrong can make you dead, is passed on from father to son until the present generation that somehow includes one son who joins the law. The family’s land has provided an illegal income dating from the time of running moonshine to the meth labs of 2015, and while violent and harsh there is a simplicity to their way of being in the world that is hard to look away from. Bull Mountain is an intense and expertly told multigenerational story of blood ties, and bonds stronger than kinship, how the sins of fathers are borne by their sons, and what happens when someone down the line wants redemption–or revenge. –Seira Wilson