The real challenge of the bodacious (outright, unmistakable) Ozarks, the remote hill country of Arkansas and Missouri, is how to get a living out of the land. It can be done, but there are times when the only dependable backhills crop seems to be the storytelling. An Ozarks story grows from the land and is never pure fiction; but one has never been entirely factual, either. Even so, this book of tales is about real people -- their philosophic bent and extraordinary vocabulary, neither of which has its roots in erudition, and how they combine individuality, irreverence, and human warmth into a reasonable way of life that hardly seems possible in this day and age. As storyteller, commentator, guide, and reporter, the author takes us down a road, part past, part present, where a fancy car would lose its axle within the hour, but where the age of anxiety hasn't made much headway either, to find a slice of American life not duplicable anywhere. The book provides many homespun tales, reflecting the uniquely cultivated history of the Ozarks' land and people.