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Bull Head
John Vigna
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Bull Head

4.24  ·  Rating Details  ·  50 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
Bristling with restlessness and brutality, these stories reveal the gritty lives of rural male characters lost in purgatories of their own making. Vigna tempers raw and at times cruel rural masculinity with graceful prose and breathtaking tenderness to illuminate the plight of men who belong neither to history nor the future. A startling homage to the great Southern Gothic ...more
ebook, 192 pages
Published September 15th 2012 by Arsenal Pulp Press
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debut book of short stories set in a small lumbering/ranching town of "bull head" (named after the mountain looming over town) in cananda. but the mountain too has a different name, a kootnei name, talking about a mother and son traveling together to a better place.
so the stories most all deal with small town life, logging, men working, men fucking up. though no actual horses are ridden , there are horses in the stories (the cowboys ride atv's). and while there are trees and streams and such, t
Jan 22, 2013 Paul rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
These stories are brutal and honest. Great writing, even the ones that don't totally work seem poetic enough for me to go along for the ride.
Jono Lineen
Feb 01, 2013 Jono Lineen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bull Head is a brilliant, confronting read about the reality of life in small towns across North America. Having grown up in a community similar to the one Vigna describes and having worked for eighteen years with the kind of people Vigna focuses on I can say that this is as close as you can get in the written word to what goes on behind the threadbare drapes and particle board doors. Sometimes it ain't pretty - but what I appreciated most out of Vigna's work was the sense of sympathy and almost ...more
Feb 27, 2013 Alexis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
This guttural, visceral collection of short stories earned high praise from many people I know. The praise is warranted. These stories capture brutal moments in the lives of hardworking, blue collar Kootenay based men. There's a skillful mastery of language, and a tightness in the descriptive writing that was really appealing to me.

This is an excellent collection.

That said, I neglected to read the final story because a friend told me that there's a brutal dog death in it, and I can't handle read
One word: INTENSE
Rob Klettke
Jan 01, 2014 Rob Klettke rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first line of this book is an old, cliched joke. It is also a test, and as such, sets you up to ask yourself an important question: Do I trust this man (the author) enough to go on? If you decide to continue reading, you will be rewarded with uncommon stories, fully realized in their murky detail of desperate people faced with desperate decisions. As the stories and characters steam ahead towards their inevitabilities, you will ask yourself again and again "do I trust this man?" Trust the wr ...more
Philip Alexander
A great collection, reminiscent of the works of Harry Crews, Barry Hannah or Larry Brown. This is a bracing read, the prose is crisp and poetic. Vigna shows great skill in capturing the rhythms of small towns and their inhabitants, but is a master at revealing the emotionally explosive potential of those lives. Clever and darkly humourous, and shot-through with oddly compelling characters.
Mar 16, 2015 M rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not my usual read, especially short stories . However these stories about damaged and vunerable men were harrowing and complelling.
Apr 26, 2013 Megan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bought this for a friend on whim, and of course had to read it first. Surprisingly enjoyable, heart-breaking and gothic in a good way.
Roxy Reno
Aug 20, 2013 Roxy Reno rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Understands the darkness of isolation, Hammy,Earl, and Arlene are stuck in my head. Loved this read. Will look for more.
Feb 20, 2013 Jenn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
By far one of the most moving books I read in 2012. Reminds me of Annie Proulx's CLOSE RANGE, set in the PacNW interior.
Nancy Hartney
Jul 01, 2013 Nancy Hartney rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As gritty as the title and cover image would lead you to believe. I liked it.
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John Vigna is a graduate of the MFA program at UBC and alumni of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His fiction and non-fiction has appeared in numerous newspapers, magazines and anthologies including Cabin Fever: The Best New Canadian Non-Fiction, The Dalhousie Review, Grain, Event, sub-Terrain, The Antigonish Review, and Exact Fare 2: Stories of Public Transportation.

He is the recipient of the Dave Gre
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