Books: Free Spirits Moonshine

by Alec Wilkinson Knopf; 153 pages; $13.95

Garland Bunting talks too loud, wears store-bought glasses, doctors himself with coonhound medicine, and has such a sizable paunch that when he told a clothing salesman, "I'd like to see something to fit this," the man replied, "I would too." For more than two decades Bunting has also been a North Carolina legend, the pre-eminent undercover county revenue agent in a state where the making of illegal alcohol is considered next door to a constitutional right. Bunting has been so good at his work that many local folk assume he is "a conjure doctor," a devil's ally who "can read your...

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