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The Middle of the Air

Kenneth Butcher

John F. Blair, Publisher
$22.95 hardcover
6 x 9
336 pages
Published in 2009

A plot hatched in a chocolate shop. Paranoid quasi-government stooges. A major archaeological find in the heart of Appalachia. A clairvoyant girl who speaks truth to power. A hunt for terrorists. An Ecuadorian biophysicist who translates animal thoughts into human speech. The Sisterhood of the Ancient Mountains. An elusive nuclear truck cast in bronze and poured into candy molds.

In Kenneth Butcher's rollicking literary techno-mystery, it all makes perfect sense.


  • 2010 Bronze IPPY for Best Regional Fiction (Southeast)


“Fresh as the morning news, The Middle of the Air, set in southern Appalachia, is a story of intrigue, state-of-the-art technology, and global economics and politics. Kenneth Butcher’s narrative has the sweep and verve of a superhighway and the intimate detail of a fine photograph. You will not be able to put it down.” --Robert Morgan, author of Gap Creek
“The next time I require an acre of grasshoppers to be marshaled into a conga line, I shall call upon Kenneth Butcher. The Middle of the Air manages to store neatly all its many and various story lines into an intriguing box and to decorate it with generous handfuls of crackling humor. Immensely and admirably enjoyable! In fact, the celebrated Ecuadorian biophysicist Henrico Carr rates this novel 9.8 on his Acutely Risible Scale and would have awarded it a perfect 10 except for the dangling participle in the fourth sentence on page 3.”
--Fred Chappell, North Carolina Poet Laureate Emeritus and author of Midquest and the Kirkman cycle