Butterfly Powder and the Mountains of Iowa

An underdog loses again—or does he?

See reader reviews of Butterfly Powder and the Mountains of Iowa at Amazon.

A land conspiracy that endangers his family’s farm, and a smooth-talking rival out to steal his girl, aren’t all that a laid-back teen, Gilbert Perles, faces in the tumultuous mid-1960s. He must also contend with hopelessly eccentric parents, an overly active imagination, and uncanny bad luck.

Gilbert, urged on by his equally hapless friends, decides to fight back. Unfortunately, his well-intentioned schemes always backfire until a selfless act earns him a satisfying and unexpected victory over his rival. Yet, even in triumph, bad luck works against the young man and defeats him in an unanticipated way. Gilbert encounters his rival again three years later in chaotic Vietnam, a place where the price of failure is steep. The soldier returns home broken. Like before, even in victory he loses what he most wanted. Or does he?

Just what is butterfly powder?

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