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Reviewed by Joel R. Dennstedt for Readers' Favorite
Writing Trash and Hunting Buffalo by Jay Williams contains a great paragraph about the reality of war, including these two sentences: “But that’s what war is. It’s not something you brag about or glorify in poems, because it’s horrible.” These words resonate well with the plot of this book, which follows the rapid dissolution of Bart Bremmer - a war vet/Hollywood-trash-writer country boy from midland America. Bremmer hates the superficial gloss of Hollywood, and even more the people who profit from it, not to mention the other misfit crazies inhabiting California. He vents his aggressive hatred by writing exposé articles to deflate the mighty egos of L.A.’s vapid stars, and the quality of his writing is the reason for his magazine’s great popularity and success. Bremmer himself, as he often reminds his friends and associates, is still just a good old country boy, unchanged by success or his life inside enemy territory. When that begins to change, his life unravels.
In his novel Writing Trash and Hunting Buffalo, Jay Williams displays a keen knack for writing about the wars of human interaction, which keeps his plot moving briskly and at times explosively. The dynamics of his story certainly keep the reader well engaged and interested. This can be difficult when a main character challenges one’s empathy and capacity for compassion, but like Bart’s main love interest, June, and his closest friends, Stan and Paul, the reader is inclined to give this man the benefit of the doubt. Whether this is warranted or not is the book’s final point to answer. All in all, an engaging read.