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Shepard, Sam. Great dream of heaven, stories.

Random House, Vintage. 142p. c2002. 0-375-70452-3. $12.00. SA

Shepard's prose is as lean and spare as he is. His writing cuts to the bone and leaves no important detail unsaid, while no extraneous flourishes obscure his meaning. In the first story, about a man, a boy, and a horse, he uses the actions of a "remedy man" who is able to tame a wild horse to tell the reader about the unspoken relationship between a father and son. In the title story, two old men quietly compete over a waitress in the local diner when one betrays the other by winning.

Shepard covers the West in his stories and writes primarily about the lowly and the sad and those who have made a misstep somewhere and can't seem to regain their footing. All of his stories leave the reader wanting to know more and caring about what the characters are going to do next. Nola Theiss, Sanibel, FL
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Author:Theiss, Nola
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Mar 1, 2004
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