"Thomas McGuane is the pool shark of our prose. His sentences click with imperious precision…. The words swerve with fatal charm."
– Christian Science Monitor
"This is the first time I’ve worked without a net." The speaker is Chester Pomeroy, a washed-up rock star turned casualty of illicit substances and kamikaze passion. But we may also read these words as an aesthetic statement from Chester’s creator, Thomas McGuane, who has made Panama a high-wire act of extravagant emotion and steel-nerved prose.
As he haunts Key West, pestering family, threatening a potential in-law with a .38, and attempting to crucify himself on his ex’s door out of sheer lovesickness, Chester emerges as the pure archetype of the McGuane hero. Out of his struggle to rejoin the human race — and the imminent possibility that he may die trying — McGuane has fashioned a harrowing and hilarious novel of "alligators, macadam, the sea, sticky sex, laughter, and sudden death."
"Whatever risk McGuane may have sensed in attempting [Panama], the feat proves successful. The audience is left dazzled." — The New Yorker