The Fast Red Road

The Fast Red Road

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The Fast Red Roada€”A Plainsong is a novel which plunders, in a gleeful, two-fisted fashion, the myth and pop-culture surrounding the American Indian. It is a story fueled on pot fumes and blues, borrowing and distorting the rigid conventions of the traditional western. Indians, cowboys, and outlaws are as interchangeable as their outfits; men strike poses from Gunsmoke, and horses are traded for Trans-Ams. Pidgin, the half-blood protagonist, inhabits a world of illusiona€”of aliens, ghosts, telekinesis, and water-pistol violencea€”where television offers redemption, and qthe Indian always gets it up the ass.q Having escaped the porn factories of Utah, Pidgin heads for Clovis, NM to bury his father, Cline. But the body is stolen at the funeral, and Pidgin must recover it. With the aid of car thief Charlie Ward, he criscrosses a wasted New Mexico, straying through bars, junkyards, and rodeos, evading the cops, and tearing through barriers qDukestyle.q qCharlie Ward slid his thin leather belt from his jeans and held it out the window, whipping the cutlass faster, faster, his dyed black hair unbraiding in the fifty mile per hour wind, and they never stopped for gas.q Along the way, Pidgin escapes a giant coyote, survives a showdown with Custer, and encounters the remnants of the Goliard Tribea€”a group of radicals to which Cline belonged. Pidgin's search allows him to reconcile the death of his father with five hundred years of colonial myth-making, and will eventually place him in a position to rewrite history. Jones tells his tale in lean, poetic prose. He paints a bleak, fever-burnt westa€”a land of strip-joints, strip-malls, and all you can eat beef-fed-beef stalls, where the inhabitants speak a raw, disposable lingo. His vision is dark yet frighteningly recognizable. In the tradition of Gerald Vizenor's Griever, The Fast Red Roada€”A Plainsong blazes a trail through the puppets and mirrors of myth, meeting the unexpected at every turn, and proving that the pasta€”the texture of the roada€”can and must be changed.It read A-l AUTO SALVAGE, had a UFO stenciled ... the two A-l mechanics dismantling it for parts, tinkering those parts into Edsels and Studebakers and Saabs, in that order. ... They walked through the gate, were met by no junkyard dogs.

Title:The Fast Red Road
Author:Stephen Graham Jones
Publisher:University of Alabama Press - 2000


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