RARA-AVIS: El Camino Del Rio

David Hale Smith (dhs@dhsliterary.com)
Mon, 28 Jun 1999 11:04:37 -0500

I know the author and the book. Sanderson is an excellent writer, and this first novel from a university press it got some quality and well-deserved attention. Although the brilliant editorial minds at the major houses failed to pick this one up in either hardcover or paperback -- imagine that -- so it will not see wide distribution. The NYT Book Review gave it a nice boxed "In Brief" review earlier this year (I think). The first edition was a small run, making it something of a hot bet on the collector's circuit.

El Camino is set on the Texas-Mexico border and features disillusioned border-patrol officer Dolph Martinez who goes on an intensely personal mission to solve a nifty little mystery. The book features some classic noir elements. It also has some biting, wry humor and pure clean writing about love and friendships that I think is reminiscent of McMurtry's early works (HORSEMAN, PASS BY and the brilliant LEAVING CHEYENNE). UNM is publishing a prequel to El Camino next year.

El Camino is a gem of a book, and well worth some discussion on this list.

Best, David

P.S. No, I do not represent Sanderson. I just like his book.

DHS Literary, Inc. 6060 N. Central, Suite 624 Dallas, TX  75206 214-363-4422, x100

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