Skipper’s last novel (The Baptism of Billy Bean) was a surprising country-noir tale that featured remarkable and often hilarious dialogue. Bone Dogs is much darker and more serious. It offers ruefully funny dialogue, but the author has abandoned quotation marks and mixed dialogue into the narrative, forcing the reader to parse for understanding. That caveat aside, Tuesday’s eventual redemption is worth the effort. --Booklist
"Skipper moves easily in dark terrain, but he’s also conversant with redemption; [Bone Dogs] bears an odd sense of charm that has roots in authentic characters and Skipper’s ease of language. This is a flinty novel of troubled times for these troubled times. —Publishers Weekly
“Bone Dogs is an exceptional novel, particularly impressive for its distinctive voice and vivid rendering of place. Roger Skipper is a writer who deserves a wide and appreciative audience.” —Ron Rash, author of Serena
“Bone Dogs is a truly amazing testament to the power of storytelling, and Tuesday Price, a poor drunk from Ransom, West Virginia, is one of the most beautifully rendered and flawed and honest characters in all of fiction. If Roger Alan Skipper doesn’t win prizes and acclaim for this novel, then I figure all of us writers better just pack it in and head for the hills.” —Donald Ray Pollock, author of Knockemstiff
Tuesday Price is a wiseass, a boozer, and a loser. Only his wife Linda recalls a smarter, better man, and she’s losing faith in that man’s return. When Tuesday befriends a strange, silent Vietnam vet who eternally sits with a cooler of beer in a disabled pickup, Linda’s had enough. At her departure, Tuesday is left with only his new friend as a companion—until the old vet is found dead, and Tuesday is blamed. Alone and haunted by regret, Tuesday’s daily life deteriorates until he must unearth his sordid past to reach a worthwhile future. But his past is a tangle of murder, deceit, and abandonment for which his only punishment has been self-inflicted. In order to reclaim all that has been lost, he returns to his deserted childhood home and, with hammer and nails, rebuilds the sagging structure, reassembling a history quite different than the one he’d believed while finding the future not at all what he’d expected.
About the Author
Roger Alan Skipper has been a potato picker, mason's tender, amusement park worker, roofer, building contractor, lumber and commodities buyer, and manager of a retail building supply outlet.
At the age of 48, shortly after paying his youngest son's final college tuition bill, he walked away from his career in the lumber and building industry to pursue a college degree of his own. He graduated summa cum laude from a four-year school and received the prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Graduate Fellowship, which propelled him through the graduate writing program at Vermont College.
To keep his hands callused and his mind tidy, in addition to his writing, he's a luthier of professional-quality acoustic instruments (www.skipperstrings.com). He lives with his wife Connie near Oakland, Maryland. There he also plays bluegrass music and wanders around in the forest of Appalachia, where he has not yet lived his entire life. His novels are set in this landscape, in fictional Union County, West Virginia.