Monday, November 11, 2019

Thrift Shop Book Covers: "The Fall Line"

The Fall Line, by Mark T. Sullivan, was published in hardcover by Kensington in 1994, but the edition that caught my eye is the Pinnacle paperback published in 1995. The pastels are from the official 1990s color palette and I’m not sure what’s happening with the skier, but it’s something good. The artist: Unknown (to me at least)

The first paragraph:

Out West, winter storms begin as collisions of cold and warm air in the Gulf of Alaska. The two battle for control, cold winning, then racing southeast to land, across coastal mountain ranges to the deserts of the Great Basin. There the fronts accelerate and gather fury, boiling high over the purple sage and the brine flats until they draw one last infusion of moisture crossing Utah’s Great Salt Lake and then slam into the chill, nearly vertical wall of the Wasatch Mountains. One canyon, the Little Cottonwood, seems to suck the dark storm clouds into itself, up its nine-mile rip, up 8,000 feet to the half-dozen peaks and ridges that form the series of alpine bowls called Alta. Trapped by the jagged crags and frozen cirques, the clouds are squeezed as if by a giant hand milking udders and a snow like no other falls.

The Fall Line is Mark Sullivan’s first published novel and its setting is as appealing to me as the cover. I’ve spent the majority of my life in the Wasatch Mountains’ shadows. I can be at Alta in 25 minutes from my doorstep and at the top of the other Cottonwood, Big Cottonwood, in about the same. And the snow, it’s uniquely dry and light. The best snow I’ve ever skied, but I’m biased since it’s been my snow since I was a child.

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