Flieger peels back the gritty side of aborder town, exposing the urban blight, and shows a landscape that has been exploited and exhausted. His vision through a narrator is bleak and depressing. But there is an upside and an optimism that broods beneath the surface, and you find it in the narrator. It is that last vestige of hope that swarms below, and that’s what you hang on to when you read this provocative book. The work at times is coarse and crude, but this faithfully reflects the order of things on the border. The life you find here is one of bars, burned out factories, and sexual deviation.