Rolling Fields near Delhi
Photo by Prairie Robin used under a Creative Commons license.

Tom Drury, The End of Vandalism (Ballantine, 1995).
Drury’s first novel is set in (fictional) Grouse County, Iowa, near the Minnesota border, where “family agriculture seemed to be over and had not been replaced by any other compelling idea.” On the job, Sheriff Dan Norman confronts more rural eccentricity than violent crime. The End of Vandalism is not plot-driven, but the characters, scenery and tone are worth a visit. Drury’s Grouse County sometimes reminds one of Garrison Keillor’s Lake Wobegone, but it is rather more deadpan and offbeat. Back in print, from Grove Press, as of 2006.

Dan Wickett reviews it. Arthur Salm liked it. And Sherri and Anne at Vroman’s Bookstore recommend it.

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