In his novel Slim and the Beast, Chapel Hill writer Samuel Barrantes introduces the reader to Sergeant Chandler Dykes. Dykes is obsessed with two misfits: Slim, a former cadet and disillusioned Iraq veteran with a brutal neck scar, and his best friend, The Beast, a college basketball star with a proclivity for cooking. As Slim and The Beast sidle up to a bar to take shelter from a hurricane, they strike up a conversation with the bartender, and learn that Sgt. Dykes has been haunting the place, raving about opossums, bathtub whiskey, and his estranged cadet, Slim. As the three men swap tales in hopes of understanding Dykes' obsession, they are forced to confront their own troubled pasts. With dexterous prose and unflinching humor, wrapped in the rich dialect of the South, the conversations at Lockart's traverse art, love, sex, and philosophy, while warily observing the increasingly savage storm and the ghosts it seems to be dredging up. Barrantes will be in the store to read and sign books.