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Hillbilly Hustle by Wesley Browne

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This is an autobiographical novel – opps, sorry, Wes -  I mean this is a contemporary novel that showcases Wesley Browne’s vivid imagination. The protagonist, Knox Thompson, is a Richmond, Kentucky, pizza parlor owner who gets involved in selling drugs along with the pizzas. What could go wrong? "A top-notch debut with a winning narrative voice and unexpectedly multidimensional characters." – Kirkus. “Wes Browne dishes up a smart, tasty debut delivered in an assured voice, one that is sure to create a buzz among readers who like their comedy dry and the pace of their tales brisk.” - Robert Gipe. “A narrative rolled as expertly as Willie Nelson’s nightcap. It takes shape between breakneck page turns and well-timed punch lines.” - David Joy.  “With masterful pacing and brilliant dialogue, Wes Browne’s compelling debut novel renders the deadly terrain of Appalachian noir with humor and heart. Don’t miss this savage, tender, hilarious read.” - Pamela Duncan. “Holy Hell! Move over Bible thumpers, Hillbilly Hustle is a religious experience to be read, taught, and talked about for years to come, piling on the conflict, the tension, and a cast of unforgettable rural Kentucky characters that are as authentic as the dialogue and the landscape that it’s rooted within. Wes Browne has written a satirical barn burner of a debut novel.” - Frank Bill. Wesley Browne is a lawyer who is a co-owner Madison County, Kentucky’s top three pizza joints and a couple more in adjoining counties. As a patron of the regional literary arts, he founded and still hosts the Pages and Pints Reading Series at his Apollo Pizza venues.

West Virginia University Press, 2020. 263 pages. Trade paperback.