June Book Club Selection: 'They Don't Dance Much' by James Ross

LitReactor Book Club  'They Don't Dance Much' by James Ross

Every month here at LitReactor, we celebrate reading with a new selection in our Book Club. For June we will be reading and discussing They Don't Dance Much by James Ross.  Here's a synopsis:

In this classic country noir, featuring a new introduction by Daniel Woodrell, a small town farmer takes a job at a roadhouse, where unbridled greed leads to a brutal murder

Jack McDonald is barely a farmer. Boll weevils have devoured his cotton crop, his chickens have stopped laying eggs, and everything he owns is mortgaged—even his cow. He has no money, no prospects, and nothing to do but hang around filling stations, wondering where his next drink will come from. As far as hooch goes, there’s no place like Smut Milligan’s, where Breath of Spring moonshine sells for a dollar a pint.

A bootlegger with an entrepreneurial spirit, Milligan has plans to open a roadhouse, and he asks Jack to run the till. The music will be hot, the liquor cheap, and the clientele rough. But the only thing stronger than Milligan’s hooch is his greed, and Jack is slowly drawn into the middle of Smut’s dalliances with a married woman, the machinations of corrupt town officials—and a savage act of murder.

Author: James Ross (1911–1990) was born in North Carolina, where he worked as a reporter for the Daily News (Greensboro) for many years. He wrote his first and only novel, They Don’t Dance Much, in 1940. The book, considered “country noir,” was praised by the likes of Raymond Chandler and Flannery O’Connor. During the decade that followed, Ross published several short stories in literary journals such as Partisan Review, the Sewanee Review, Collier’s, and Argosy while he worked on another novel, In The Red, which was never published.

Discussion for They Don't Dance Much will kick off on June 1st, but you should pick up the book and start reading ASAP!  (We've provided a handy link below). Once you're locked and loaded, you can announce your presence in the Book Club. (No invitation needed!)  That thread is where all discussion about the book will go down.

If you read our May Book Club selection, Angel Falls by Michael Paul Gonzalez, make sure you check out that thread as discussion there has officially started.

Happy reading!

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Jacey Cockrobin

News by Joshua Chaplinsky

Joshua Chaplinsky is the Managing Editor of LitReactor.com. He is the author of ‘Kanye West—Reanimator’ and the story collection 'Whispers in the Ear of A Dreaming Ape.' His short fiction has been published by Vice, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Thuglit, Severed Press, Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing, Clash Books, Pantheon Magazine and Broken River Books. Follow him on Twitter at @jaceycockrobin. More info at joshuachaplinsky.com.

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