Review: The Salt Palace

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The Salt Palace
Darren DeFrain

New Issue Press
Street: 10.2005

The Salt Palace was written by some smarty-pants who was obviously raised in Utah. It is a story about a Jack Mormon who goes on a road trip. I honestly didn’t like the story very much at all. It had more holes in it than Tupac’s corpse, but I won’t trash it that bad because it’s clear that the author is a Jazz fan. The book is weird because it is heavily footnoted with the Jazz’s 96 playoff run and interesting tid bits of local Mormon trivia. The author explains just what the fuck those weird sculptures behind the Chuckorama on fourth south are and who built them. The footnotes almost work as an alternate story, one that I liked better than the story the author wrote. There are just all these variables in the fictional story that don’t seem to add up in my opinion. May be I don’t get it because I grew up in East Salt Lake with Mormonism crammed down my throat. There’s a part at the end of the book where the Mormon dude’s dad and him share a beer. Trust me, that kind of father-son bonding doesn’t really happen in modern day Mormonism. If my dad offered me a beer one of these days I’d probably shit myself laughing while saying, “Good one dad! Now where’s the cameras!” But creating this scenario is a nice attempt at appealing to non-Mormons as to the feeling the author was trying to capture at the time in the story. My favorite thing about the book was how it ended without mentioning that the Jazz ultimately lost game seven of the western conference finals to the Seattle Supersonics because we don’t need to relive that sort of thing again anyway. Good call, Darren DeFrain. –Mike Brown