Cemetery Dance Publications


Stephen King has read the manuscript and had this to say: “Ron McLarty, who has proven himself a terrific storyteller in such books as The Memory of Running and Traveler, has outdone himself with The Dropper, a story where beauty and brutality mingle in a yarn I just couldn’t put down. This book is filled with rich pleasures and textures—it reminded me of Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men. As in his previous novels, The Dropper avoids sentimentality, but not sentiment; Shoe and his brother Bobby live and breathe. I highly recommend it.”

When my grandfather was in his nineties, he finally revealed to me his own remarkable story: of growing up in Barrow-in-Furness, his home on the coast of England, of his only friend—a giant who left passersby trembling and speechless. And of his beloved younger brother, a boy whose mind would never move beyond that of a child, a boy it was his soul’s calling and assignation to protect from their harsh surroundings and their drunken, abusive father, a boy he would ultimately leave behind when he found passage on a boat to America. This abandonment devoured him in later life and took firm root in my mind and imagination, resulting, eventually, in The Dropper, my most personal work to date.

The Dropper is a haunting soliloquy to the harsh and sometimes brutal world our forebears left behind in pursuit of a dream called America. It is also an ode to the often heartrending decisions they were forced to make in leaving some family members—and some part of themselves—behind. And finally, as young Shoe Horn, the novel’s protagonist, grapples blindly with sex until arriving at the maturity to recognize love, it’s also a tender coming-of-age story.