The Sledge family seems cursed. Reuben's oldest brother is hanged for the murder of his wife. Then another brother is committed to the asylum for spying on the woman he loves. But it's the rape and disgrace of his beloved sister Nellie that drives Reuben into despair so deep that he sets himself in opposition to the people of Des Moines.
Beneath it all hangs the City, "not a city like Des Moines itself, but an inner City of Des Moines...or a lower City. No one has ever gotten out of the City." The City has claimed each of his dead relatives, and when Reuben learns that the woman he loves has descended into the City, he determines, in a moment of panic, to follow and bring her out. Thus begins a harrowing journey through the horrors of the City and among its inhabitants, a ghastly assemblage of dwellers who've crafted new lives for themselves in the underworld.
Originally published in 1972, David Rhodes' powerful debut is as much a lament for a generation slipping away as it is the careful telling of our common ancestry.
by David Rhodes
by Johann David Wyss
by Henry David Thoreau
by Zane Grey
by David Handler
by David Plante
by David Bajo
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