Books: Maine Lines LETOURNEAU'S USED AUTO PARTS

by Carolyn Chute Ticknor & Fields; 244 pages; $16.95

"A fork loader brings the crusher a gored and rusty Rambler. The crusher eats the Rambler. The Rambler doesn't fight back. It just shivers as it enters the jaws. The windshield pops. The crusher howls lustily. The crusher man working the levers slow and easy has a faraway look in his eye."

Anthropomorphizing the machine and denaturing the operator have the intended < effect, and there is no doubt that Carolyn Chute writes for effect. Her first novel, The Beans of Egypt, Maine, socked the reader with a collection of country characters that might have escaped the pages of another resident...

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