The title for this collection of Will Baker's prize-winning stories derives from his womenfolk's expression for the comic disarray of most human enterprises. Hell, West, and Crooked is a kind of skewed, comic inferno- the hilarious but finally poignant lives of ordinary folk who survive in the little logging and farming towns, the suburbs, and the glittering, sprawling cities of the Far West. A small boy learns that butchering a hog, like escorting a lady requires good manners. An alcoholic writer of pulp Westerns finds himself trapped in his own story. Two elderly widows demonstrate thier mastery of master mechanics. And a hen-pecked businessman discovers his hidden self- a lust for automatic weaponry- with the help of an American archetype. Just under the surfacve, Baker reminds us, the West is still as wild-and as round-the-bend, cockeyed, cttywompus, weird and wonderful-as ever.
Used availability for Will Baker's Hell, West, and Crooked
January 2010 : Hardback
January 2010 : Paperback
March 1993 : USA Paperback
November 1992 : USA Paperback