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Modern Ranch Living [Kindle Edition]

Mark Poirier
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
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Book Description

The weather is hotter than hell in Tucson, Arizona, and weird things are afoot in the crumbling desert community of Rancho Sin Vacas. Sixteen-year-old Kendra hones her muscles and grapples with bad grammar, occasionally worrying about her brother, Thomas, who spends all day watching wrestling on TV. Their neighbour Merv is stuck in a rut, still living at home at thirty and looking after his troubled mother. When the strung-out teenager from over the road, Kendra's sometime-boyfriend, goes missing it affects them all in different and surprising ways. And although Kendra is apparently unconcerned, claiming that he's just run away, she can't shake the feeling that something strange is in the air this summer.

Product Description


‘Charming ... Poirier’s achievement is to lay out a fresh take on the grit and inertia of American small-town life’ -- Independent

‘Comic writing dripping in sweat, lust and thinly veiled violent energy’ -- Glasgow Herald

‘One of the most kinetic, original young fiction writers we’ve read in a long time’ -- Esquire

From the Publisher

Love, longing and the deadly power of inertia collide in this darkly funny novel

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 526 KB
  • Print Length: 308 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0747571759
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Paperbacks; 1 edition (19 Sept. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00EUVH56W
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #159,520 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Modern Ranch Classic! 9 Sept. 2005
By Matt Pucci VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I read this book last summer, and a more delightful novel to while away those lazy, hazy days you'd be hard pushed to find.

The action centres on a small community in Tucson, Arizona, with the disappearance of a local teenager triggering the plot. However, it's the book's principal characters that keep the reader turning the page - notably 16 year-old Kendra, the muscle-bound young girl with a bizarre grammatical habit (her favourite phrase: "plussing as which") and Merv, the 30 year-old pool attendant that still lives with his mom. These characters are immediately engaging, and for all their oddities and imperfections, it is easy for the reader to empathise with them.

The story itself moves at a measured pace, reflecting the nature of a long, drawn-out summer, while the twists in the plot are wholly believable without being too predictable. If you read his previous novel, Goats, then you'll be impressed by the way Poirier has developed as a great story-teller, with an ability to create some of the most fascinating literary characters around in a setting he has made entirely his own. If you're new to the author, then this is a great place to discover a rare talent.

In short, Modern Ranch Living is a well-written, easy-going novel and yet it manages to grip the reader from start to finish. Highly recommended.

Matt Pucci
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4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable slice of Americana 22 July 2010
I've just finished reading a rather excellent little book called
'Modern Ranch Living' by Mark Poirier. I came across it in a
local record shop (being sold in a bargain basement) and got one
of the kids to buy it as a birthday gift. I'd not long before
finished 'Interesting Facts about the State of Arizona' by
Jeremy Poolman and was happy to dig into another book set in

Like the earlier book, 'Modern Ranch Living' concerned itself
primarily with a small cast of characters in a contained
environment. Kendra and Merv are neighbours. Kendra is 16,
something of a fitness freak and sees her therapist once a week
because of anger issues, Merv is in his thirties, works at
Splash World and lives with his mum. Both in their own way have
a connection to the pothead Petey across the road and find their
lives changed when he disappears.

Now while I was expecting the mystery angle to take precedence
once the story got underway, that never really happened and
instead we stay focussed on the lives of Kendra and Merv and
the (generally) oddball characters that drift in and out of
them. While you could never say that the pace was 'fast' I did
enjoy spending a leisurely stroll through the lives of these
characters and enjoyed the 'twist' at the end. Reminiscent of the
works of Douglas Coupland and perhaps even Willy Vlautin, `Modern
Ranch Living' is a thoroughly enjoyable slice of Americana that
while never quite reaching the heights of those authors, remains
a novel worthy of reading.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Eccentric and enjoyable 2 Nov. 2010
Set in a small desert community just outside Tuscon during an oppressive, blistering summer, this book's cast of flawed, yet very human characters, is immediately engaging.

What it lacks in way of plot development, it more than makes up for with its principal protagonists - 16 year-old fitness compulsive Kendra, with her weird, yet amusing grammatical habits and Merv, a 30 year old college drop-out and pool attendant who still lives with his mother. Strange to say, these two individuals, albeit with odd outlooks on life are easy for the reader to identify with.

This is the first Poirier novel that I've read, but he has an amazing ability to create quirky yet believable characters and place them in an environment he is obviously very familiar with.

`Modern Ranch Living' is an entertaining, hugely enjoyable novel.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Deceptively uplifting 18 Jun. 2011
As other reviews have mentioned, there is a similarity in this book to Douglas Copeland with its description of modern suburban America but I think Modern Ranch Living is more about its characters than social satire. Also, Poirier's leads are both driven, confident and successful in their own ways (one as a water park manager and the other as a fitness enthusiast) - if this was Copeland they would be downtrodden geeks being hopelessly ground down by Corporate America.

At its heart the book is about growing up, learning to be more tolerant and finding your place in the world. It also highlights the hidden secrets of everyday normal people. Overall I found the story both interesting and deceptively uplifting. Definitely worth reading and I have bought Poirier's Goats on the back of finishing it.
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