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The Drop Edge of Yonder
is an adventurous book that explores the truth and temptations of the American myth.
Beginning in the savage wilds of Colorado in the waning days of the fur trade, the story follows Zebulon Shook, a mountain man who has had a curse placed on him by a mysterious Native American woman whose lover he murdered. The book follows Zebulon as he encounters people obsessed with greed and the politics of expansion. The trail takes him from Colorado to the remote reaches of the Northwest, a journey that traverses the Gulf of Mexico to Panama, and up the coast of California to San Francisco and the gold fields.
Far from being simply a "western," The Drop Edge of Yonder
focuses on a time that could be considered the starting point of American capitalism and expansionism, and has led Judith Thurman to refer to the book as "a subversive modern novel about the bounds of love and the discontents of civilized life." The Drop Edge of Yonder
originated as a screenplay treatment that intrigued Hollywood folk such as Sam Peckinpah, Hal Ashby, Yves Simeneau, Jim Jarmusch, Roger Spotiswoode, Alex Cox, and Richard Gere, before being adapted and expanded into this original novel by Wurlitzer.