Review of A Hole In The Ground Owned by a Liar by Daniel Pyne in Unabridged Chick


“To my (chagrined!) surprise, I loved this book. It’s darkly funny, with all these weirdly unlikable-yet-totally-lovable characters, and this almost-too-ludicrous-to-be-believed plot that comes right out of a 19th century mining yarn.

Post-divorce, motivated by a midlife crisis, Lee Garrison, a high school teacher, buys a mine off eBay near his hometown in Colorado. Locating the mine is something of an endeavor: mine claims were obfuscated and hidden to keep thieves away, and within days of his purchase, he’s gathered an unwelcome cadre of ‘partners’, eager to make it rich. Complicating matters is his brother Grant, newly released from prison, and his ex-wife’s new husband, a slimy lawyer, and the pretty Rayna, a woman he’s uncomfortably interested in.

Unsurprisingly, the dialogue is stellar in this book, laugh-out-loud funny, dark and sharp and sarcastic. There’s a scene early on between Grant and his parole officer, dialogue only, that was so delightful I wanted to make out with it. The novel’s start was a bit slow for me — the narrative was a bit long-winded at times — but as the story went on, I was hooked, and I couldn’t stop reading. I didn’t want the book to end, either, although I found it immensely satisfying, just what I didn’t know I wanted.”

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