Richard Peake Book Title
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Moon's Black Gold

Moon's Black Gold
by Richard Peake

A revised and expanded version of Editor's Choice The Little Dog Laughed

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Description

Everett Adamo ("Moon") Lunamin returns from Vietnam battlefields determined to acquire wealth and social status by starting a surface mining company at the height of the coal boom in the late 1960's and 1970's.

Lunamin attempts to mine in an efficient, environmentally friendly way and runs afoul of competitors whose greed exceeds their business ability and ethics. He also comes into conflict with his cousins, George Landsetter, a reclamation officer, and Rod Mashburn, who runs a profitable marijuana growing operation.

Lunamin's business prospers beyond his expectations. After some missteps, he realizes his goal of marrying his high school sweetheart, Susan Stanard, whose family finds his newly acquired wealth compensates for his lack of social graces.

Moon enjoys their material comforts less than his wife. After the birth of a son, they drift apart and seek companionship outside their marriage. In love with another woman, Lunamin pleads for a divorce, but Susan refuses because she wants to keep the lifestyle Lunamin's fortune provides.

Quarrels with his wife, his competitors, his cousins, the IRS, and a district attorney bedevil Moon, who struggles to save his business, his reputation, and his life.




Birds and Other Beasts

Birds and Other Beasts
by Richard Peake

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Description

There is tremendous variety in form, theme, and tone in the poems in this volume. Many of the poems may strike the reader as a corroboration of Thoreau's view of wildness and wilderness, because Peake's love of wild things forms his poetic center, but this book also includes intense love poems as well as celebrations of birds and trees and lightning bugs.

Though Peake celebrates nature, he does not view it with sentimentality. He faces without tears a world in which one creature preys upon another for survival, and he looks without fear to the "revelry of grave" when his form becomes food for worms and feeds the laurel bushes growing over him.

According to critic John Lang, Peake's poems reveal "a poet whose ear is attuned to the music of words" His poems abound "in beautiful lines and images: 'The black-necked waders cry in their wet fields,' for example, and 'skies the white-faced ibis soars.' Such lines embody in Fred Chappell's phrase, 'the eye's joy.'" Like Peake's descriptions of finding a rare green kingfisher, for readers of his poems, "Delight follows discovery."




Jack, Be Nimble: A revised and expanded version of Jack, Be Nimble

Jack, Be Nimble: A revised and expanded version of Jack, Be Nimble
by Richard Peake

Editors

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Description

Pine Mountain College treasures its traditions and close ties to the local community. When new president Jason Malmuth trashes these in efforts to change what he considers the overly rustic image of the College, the quirky faculty of the Appalachian Studies Program defend themselves and their program, the chief objects of Malmuth's ire. Mysterious attempts to murder folklore professor Roger Duvant and the bizarre behavior of Appalachian literature professor John Jaykyll hamper faculty efforts to combat the arrogant, greedy Malmuth and his venal subordinate, Provost Jeremy Bottleby. Duvant receives aid from an unlikely source, Dean Hiram Grudger's wife Rauncibelle, who seduces Duvant but helps him and his friends combat Malmuth and the determined but inept assassin seeking Roger's life. Jaykyll's problems, rooted in his childhood and his youthful sexual experiences, disappear as he responds to therapy and joins the embattled faculty in their serious but often comic struggle with Malmuth.