The Great American Outpost is a scattershot memoir of the North Dakota fracking oil boom and its impact on local residents.
In 2011, the first horizontal fracking oil well was drilled in North Dakota. What followed totally changed the laid back farming vibe of the state. Out-of-state workers flooded the area in search of unskilled and truck driving jobs paying upwards of $150,000 a year. Many were criminals, drunks and/or avoiding their child support orders. The jails were so full they had to take criminals to Montana to house them. With so many large trucks on the road, locals were dying regularly in traffic accidents. Enterprising locals upped their food prices over 100%. Housing was scarce. One English con man scammed international investors with a resident hotel Ponzi scheme.
While somewhat interesting, the Great American Outpost didn’t hold my interest throughout. It needed some editing to mine a coherent plot from its episodic stories of North Dakota’s oil rush. 3 stars.
Thanks to the publisher, Public Affairs/Perseus Books, and NetGalley for an advanced copy.