The Voice Of The Butterfly
The Voice of the Butterfly
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A dazzling, darkly comic novel by the author of the The Milagro Beanfield War and The Sterile Cuckoo, The Voice of the Butterfly harnesses Nichols' vintage wit to fresh, hilariously scathing effect. Charley McFarland is an aging '60s radical, continuing proponent of losing battles, and resident of Suicide City, an amalgam of CFCs, SUVs, strip mines, and strip malls. When Suicide City's new highway bypass threatens the home of the exquisitely obscure Rocky Mountain Phistic Copper Butterfly, he knows it's time to rally the troops. Charley's dysfunctional Butterfly Coalition includes the ancient, chainsmoking Lydia Babcock, who owns the butterflies' turf; Susan Delgado, a ballistic local reporter smitten with Charley; Charley's somewhat-baffling, Gen-X son, Luther; and Charley's estranged wife, Kelly, now homeless and self-destructive, but a weirdly brilliant strategist in the fight against the powers-that-be. Kelly and Charley, in love and at each other's throats, relish the butterfly's cause as their last, best chance at reconciliation. But as the crusade's momentum builds, the chaotic relationships driving it on also threaten to tear it apart. Funny, profane, and touching, Nichols' raucous new novel is a knowing look at ideals held and surrendered, and...