The Altar of the Body by Duff Brenna
A Novel

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George McLeod’s easy life turns to chaos when his bodybuilder cousin Buck Root returns to Minnesota with his sexy girlfriend Joy and her mother Livia, whose sense of reality blurs into the pages of a western novel. For the first time, George understands the rage to live life to its fullest—the rage that has consumed Joy, Buck Root, and Livia. With tragicomic grandeur, Duff Brenna weaves the story of four people who come together in a cataclysmic moment of truth that tests their compassion and capacity to love.


About Duff Brenna

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Duff Brenna is the author of The Book of Mamie, which won the Associated Writing Prize for Best First Novel; The Holy Book of the Beard; and Too Cool, a New York Times Notable Book. He is also the recipient of an NEA grant and Milwaukee Magazine’s Fiction Award. A Minnesota native and one-time Wisconsin dairy farmer, Brenna is an English professor. He lives in Poway, California.
Published April 1, 2007 by Picador. 338 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Altar of the Body

The New York Times

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The arrival of his long-lost cousin, Mike Routelli (who's reinvented himself as Buck Root, an egomaniacal bodybuilder) puts an end to George's monklike existence.

Sep 23 2001 | Read Full Review of The Altar of the Body: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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George makes the mistake of taking Buck to his favorite strip joint, the Body Shop, where Buck meets Connie, a dancer, who steals the muscle man from Joy.

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Book Reporter

"Everybody I know is multilayered," says George toward the end of the novel, and it's true: The cartoonish characters introduced 300 pages earlier have gained an astonishing depth.

Jan 20 2011 | Read Full Review of The Altar of the Body: A Novel

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