Badlands: A Collection of Stories


Tom Biel

“Lifetimes have passed since I left, yet no other place has left the same kind of imprint,” says Matthew Davis, narrator of Tom Biel’s collection of short stories set in the badlands of Eastern Montana. While the Vietnam War unfurled on the edges of everyday life, even in the small badlands town of Riverside, Matthew’s stories recall how he and his friends navigated the tricky, switch-backed roads of life, sometimes barely hanging on. Sometimes not at all. At the heart of Matthew’s stories is his best friend, Idaho Wells, whose life is the one most etched in the violence that shapes the beauty of the badlands. Tom Biel’s stories look back at a time still so much with us, but as years fade, the stories become a way to remember.


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