This is the Place

Front Cover
Anchor Books, 1997 - Fiction - 245 pages
0 Reviews
Sixty-four-feet tall and made of metal, the neon giant Wendover Will stands in front of the Stateline casino in Wendover, Nevada and faces east. The sign under him reads "This Is The Place." Over a hundred miles away in Utah, across the salt flats, stands the statue of Brigham Young, atop his monument, proclaiming the same thing, "This Is The Place."

This Is the Place is the sinister story of an aged and lonely blackjack dealer living in Wendover, who becomes obsessed with a nineteen-year-old Mormon girl from Bountiful, Utah. It is a story of love, perhaps doomed, told by an endearing misanthrope who may be delusional, but who has managed to coalesce his manias into an alternative understanding that lies somewhere between Wendover Will's depravity and Brigham Young's morality:

"The dispute between Will and Brigham is not for me to settle, nor would I want it settled. The words hang over the salt flats, the most forsaken stretch of earth, a terrifying expanse of sheer space, white, like another planet, hard and smooth where nothing can live. This all sounds so grim! I've known joy and I'll know it again. It's just that it takes work to get up the words to talk about love."

His love leads him to do a terrible thing, and he tells this story to justify himself. His words, seductive and convincing, draw the reader into a world where the supernatural takes on new meaning. It is a haunting journey to the extreme realities of Las Vegas and Salt Lake City and many places in between. Above all, it is an odyssey to the depths of love.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review


User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

A lonely old man with plenty of answers fixates on a lively young woman filled with questions, with the usual tragic results, in this forced debut from Utah-born Rock. Situated smack on the border ... Read full review

This is the place

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

"This is the Place" reads the sign under Wendover Will, the 64-foot metal statue that welcomes tourists, losers, and drifters to the Stateline casino in Nevada. The statue of Brigham Young, over 100 ... Read full review


Section 1
Section 2
Section 3

22 other sections not shown

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1997)

PETER ROCK is the author of five previous novels, most recently My Abandonment, and a collection of stories, The Unsettling. He teaches writing at Reed College.

Bibliographic information