Monday, March 2, 2020
Kent Gowran on The Ice Harvest by Scott Phillips
At four-fifteen on a cold, dry Christmas Eve a nervous middle-aged man in an expensive overcoat walked bare-headed into the Midtown Tap Room and stood near the end of the bar with his membership car in hand, waiting for the afternoon barmaid to get off the phone.
There I am, reading The Ice Harvest, and I realize the pages are turning fast because it has been awhile since I read a book where I couldn’t guess where the story was going from page to page. Charlie Arglist, the nervous middle-aged guy taking a Christmas Eve trek around Wichita, for the first half of the book, he never pays for a drink. It becomes clear what he’s doing is saying goodbye because he’s leaving a place he’s never really left before, and he knows he won’t be coming back, and… I don’t think it’s spoiling anything for those who haven’t read the book yet to say the generosity and availability of liquid refreshment become scarce in the second half of the book.
story of The Ice Harvest tailoring it for her eight-year-old sensibilities.
At the end, which I didn’t soften for audience approval, she sat quiet a moment and then said, “Well, that’s the best story ever.”
Grab a copy at your favorite local bookstore through Indie Bound or from
Subterranean Books (they'll have signed editions)
Barnes & Noble