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Hokey Pokey, by David VanDevelder

If you’re lookin’ for Hokey Pokey, you’ll have to drive straight into the Buckle of the Bible Belt. Once you pass the old lightnin’-split willow oak that used to grow behind Poly Bryant’s taxidermy shop on Route 111 (before he burned it down in a still fire), take the first right-hand exit, then an immediate left onto the gravel frontage road, and just keep on drivin’ ‘til the sheep start lookin’ nervous. You can’t miss it. Watch your step, though – it’s a little dark in here.

David VanDevelder will be happy to show you around, and to spin you the yarn of how a crew of misfits, through no fault of their own, found themselves in charge of an adult toy store in a tin shed beside the highway on the outskirts of Kochville, TN, a loose-knit but closely situated community of traditional mountain folk known widely amongst itself as both impeccably moral and strictly genteel.

In his novel, Hokey Pokey, VanDevelder tells a story that’s as authentic and emotionally charged as a tweaker sprinting half-naked through the middle of a country revival – and by the end, you may have to rethink everything you ever thought you really knew about biscuits and gravy.

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