C.W. Smith's award-winning first novel, Thin Men of Haddam, established him as a novelist of power and compassion, and Country Music offers up a shrewd anatomy of sexual and social stances that extends the range and depth of his vision. Country Music opens when Bobby Joe Gilbert, Hedorville's Bane to Virgins and Most Unlikely to Succeed, confronts an unwelcome question: "What are you going to do with yourself?" Desperate to escape his reputation and the limitations of his world, he makes a stab at college, but the effort dissipates in endless games of pinball and a stormy friendship with Polly, a lesbian pinball addict who resists his sexual advances and penetrates his psychic defenses. He weds Ginger, a gorgeous blonde who epitomizes his macho notions of womanhood, but the marriage is doomed by her childishness and his inability to cope with the intricacies of love and sharing. Warily, he returns to Hedorville and to the same-old, same-old crowd - and also to his responsibility for the death of a girl who trusted him, the ugly secret he must face before turning to the future. The women in Bobby Joe's life - Pinball Polly, his wife Ginger, and Nelda Sue, the girl he keeps leaving and keeps coming back to - are deftly created women. They and a host of others bring a world to life, while its creator rings changes on themes of sex, destiny, escape, and the complexity of human entanglements. This new ebook edition also includes an essay by the author about working in Hollywood on the film adaptation. "Smith's portrait of a troubled young man searching for himself he knows not where... is alive, funny, sad, and as real as it can be. Bobby Joe's thrashing around about himself and the way things are is country music in a new key." - Publisher's Weekly.