VALOIS, New York, USA - Seamus McGraw's 2011 book The End of Country takes a very literary look at what has happened - and is happening - to Pennsylvania's rural countryside and towns as natural gas companies have taken over and begun their destructive 'hydrofracking' process.
I say literary, because in many parts, this tome reads as smoothly as a novel, even though like any novel dealing with uncomfortable material, it is hard read in spots.
What McGraw is able to do effectively in this book isn't just to show what greedy bastards (and liars, oh the lies) the people representing these environmental destruction teams are. He also shows how the many thousands of dollars dangled in front of very poor people changed the people themselves, pitting neighbor against neighbor.
And in the end, it's obvious that though some people are richer in dollars, the entire communities are much poorer for allowing this earth-destroying technology on their land.
McGraw's book is an important one, well worth reading. And if Hollywood has any cojones, it would make the basis for an excellent movie script. It's a real life thriller with all the elements of a good film: danger, big money, greed, tragedy and a small dose of triumph.
There's even the death of beloved dog - at the hands of the gas company doing drilling on the land of one of the main characters.
On the cover of the book, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. wrote: "Deeply personal, sometimes moving, sometimes funny, The End of Country lays out the promise and the perils faced not just by the people of one small Pennsylvania town but by our whole nation."
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