I just finished reading NORTH by Frederick Busch. It violates almost every rule I talked about in the snarkometer posts we did earlier this week: a dog dies in the first chapter; there's a lot of backstory; the first person narrator speaks to the reader.
It's also a very good book. One thing Frederick Busch does better than almost anyone I can think of us is use action to reveal character. He's not much for telling, despite the first person voice in a story where not much happens. He's brilliant at showing.
Frederick Busch doesn't need me to tell him he's a good writer. He's got a long list of novels to his credit and an illustrious career.
If you've never read him, you do need me to tell you.
Step away from the blog.
Log on to Powells.com.
PS He's not my client and in fact I have no idea who is agent is. He is published by Norton, that I know.