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Border Songs

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Brandon Vanderkool’s severe dyslexia and six-foot-eight height give him an unusual perspective on his new job with the American Border Patrol, along the Washington/BC border — just a long, grassy ditch, really, barely dividing neighbours who used to be as congenial as those in any small community.

Though his curious mind proves surprisingly adept at intercepting Canadian pot smugglers and potentially dangerous illegals, years of security hysteria and cross-border resentment — and a fascinating young Canadian who has turned her green thumb to a more lucrative crop — complicate Brandon’s world in ways even he might not be able to see past.

“Meet Brandon Vanderkool, the most fascinating, memorable, and human character in American fiction since Ignatius J. Reilly of A Confederacy of Dunces. Birder extraordinaire, painter and sculptor, part-savant and ever the Good Samaritan, Brandon also happens to be a 6’8” Border Patrol agent with an uncanny gift for finding contraband and smugglers. Border Songs is a masterwork, and Jim Lynch, for my money, is our best new storyteller since Larry McMurtry: deeply in touch with the natural world, the absurdities of our era, and the hearts and minds of his unforgettable and endlessly surprising characters.”

–Howard Frank Mosher


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