Out West

Front Cover
Harcourt Brace, 1997 - Fiction - 242 pages
0 Reviews
Benjamin West lost a good job and spent six months in prison - he got caught with a teenage girl and a bag of pot - and now he's driving west, cross-country, to start a new life, working as a night desk clerk at a residential hotel in San Francisco's seedy Tenderloin. On arrival, he meets Amber Keenan, who has abandoned L.A. and her malignant ex-boyfriend, Dean, to work as an adult education teacher for VISTA. But what starts as a casual relationship grows quickly complicated when the pasts they'd both like to forget overtake the present. Two people wind up dead. And Ben and Amber find they suddenly have a whole lot more in common than they did just a few days ago. Out West is the story of two perfectly normal, intelligent, attractive, educated people who somehow become killers. It's a dark, slyly humorous story about crossing the line - from stasis to motion, from passing acquaintances to passionate lovers, from innocence to something like guilt.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review


User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

There's something a bit contrived about this first novel—it aspires to a gritty and raw naturalism but bears too many marks of writing-school cleverness. Benjamin West, a 31-year-old ex-con, heads ... Read full review


union square

5 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1997)

Fred G. Leebron, a creative writing professor and a graduate of the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, has received a Fulbright scholarship, a James Michener Award, a Wallace Stegner Fellowship, a Pushcart Prize, and an O. Henry Award. His stories have appeared in numerous publications, including Grand Street, Triquarterly, and DoubleTake. He lives in south central Pennsylvania.

Bibliographic information