Tiring of the company of junkies and burn-outs, Thomas Skelton goes home to Key West to take up a more wholesome life. But things fester in America's utter South. And Skelton's plans to become a skiff guide in the shining blue subtropical waters place him on a collision course with Nichol Dance, who has risen to the crest of the profession by dint of infallible instincts and a reputation for homicide. Out of their deadly rivalry, Thomas McGuane has constructed a novel with the impetus of a thriller and the heartbroken humor that is his distinct contribution to American prose.
"Thomas McGuane makes the page, the paragraph, the sentence itself a record of continuous imaginative activity.... He is an important as well as a brilliant novelist." —The New York Times Book Review
"McGuane's sense of place, his harsh and delicate exactness of detail are at their keenest." —Newsweek
"Few writers have explored our national malaise as persistently—or as elegantly—as Thomas McGuane, a writer whose command of the language has helped define our American loneliness." —Philadelphia Inquirer