When fledgling novelist Pace Burnette heads home to Smoke, a quiet hamlet in Louisiana, he finds that the mom-and-pop businesses that gave the place its character and charm have been put out of operation by an enormous Monster Mart on the outskirts of town. His best friend, Jay Carnihan, is struggling to keep his family’s general store from going under and blames Rayford Holly, the founder of Monster Mart, for his economic woes. When Jay carries out a harebrained scheme to kidnap Holly and make him apologize for the damage he’s done, Smoke and its residents are changed forever. High comedy, high jinx, unrequited love, and small town eccentrics confronting big business come together in this engaging tale.
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“Is this a Southern Gothic tale full of vengeance, decadence, and the decline of old families? No, it’s a hilarious farce about friendship, loyalty, love, and the dependence of people on one another. Bradley knows his small towns and their people and foibles, and he knows how to chuckle at the human condition.”