A thriller, and a whacking good thriller, too—shows how much can be done by a writer who knows his business—the best novel of its kind in ten years!—New York Times
First published in 1976, Cutter and Bone is the story of the obsession of Cutter, a scarred and crippled Vietnam veteran and his attempt to convince his buddy, Bone, that the latter witnessed a murder committed by the conglomerate tycoon, JJ Wolfe. Captivated by Cutter’s demented logic, Bone is prepared to cross the country with Cutter in search of proof of the murder. Their quest takes them into the Ozarks—home base of the Wolfe empire—where Bone discovers that Cutter is not pursuing a murderer so much as the great enemy itself, them, the very demons that have dogged his life.
A prolific writer, Newton Thornburg lives in upstate New York. His novels include A Man’s Game, To Die in California, Dreamland, The Lion at the Door, and Eve’s Men.
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Newton Thornburg was born in Illinois in 1929. He was a creative director for various advertising agencies and, since 1973, has been a full time novelist and screenwriter. He is the author of ten novels including Knockover, To Die in California, Black Argus and Dreamland. The film, Cutter's Way, starring Jeff Bridges and John Heard, was based on Cutter and Bone.From Booklist:
*Starred Review* Thornburg’s 1976 thriller may be the quintessential cult crime classic. It’s one of those books that isn’t widely known today—it came and went at the time of its publication, reviewed well but never garnering widespread attention—but continues to be cited by other writers as groundbreaking (George Pelecanos wrote the glowing introduction to the 2001 reprint edition). It’s a post-Vietnam novel as much as it is crime fiction, much like Robert Stone’s Dog Soldiers (1974). Its dual protagonists are Richard Bone, once a middle-class midwestern ad man, now a dissolute California drifter, and Alex Cutter, a crippled vet with a serious grudge against the corporate world. Bone sees a man he thinks might be tycoon J. J. Wolfe stuffing something into a trash can. That something turns out to be a hooker, and at Cutter’s prodding, Bone and Cutter attempt to find out if it really was Wolfe who did the stuffing. We know from the start that nothing good can come of their investigation. Cutter would have us think that nailing this one rich guy would be a small symbolic step toward righting a world that went seriously wrong with Vietnam. Bone, like the reader, knows differently but can’t help following the scent. There is a peculiar kind of despair that sinks into the bone marrow of damaged war survivors—film noir was born out of that despair in the post-WWII era—and Thornburg nails the Vietnam version. The ending is pure Chinatown, with a dose of Easy Rider, and it leaves us reeling. --Bill Ott
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