George McCormick’s writing as clear and direct as a fast-moving river, but the lives of his characters never run straight. As his narrator tells us, “In the West what we love most are lies. What we love are images of a stampede, of animals running; of what we think are the right stories of stealing away.” Don’t let these marvelous stories slip past you.
These are stories of the American West, a 21st century West where everyone works a shit job; whose denizens know all too well that the dreams they’ve dreamt of that place are just that, dreams; where the natural world has all but disappeared—often because we refuse to look up and see it. Like the inland sea that gives this collection its name, whose algae blooms “cumulous, bloody forms just under the surface,” there is beauty in their ruin.