Mullane Literary Associates

Opportunity, Montana by Brad Tyer

Opportunity, MontanaBrad Tyer

Praise for Opportunity, Montana by Brad Tyer

Tyer has written a lovely book, searing in its anger, about a beautiful but much abused place.”

Larry McMurtry

Memoir, history, and the unequal application of economic justice come together in Tyer’s deeply felt and sharply penned nonfiction debut.”

Publisher’s Weekly, starred review

“This previously neglected subject provides a great way to talk about the crazy doubleness of Montana, a state we’ve idealized and plundered for two hundred years. Opportunity’s story lines stretch not only across the state but around the country and the world, and Brad Tyer is just the person to follow them. His writing is straightforward, heartfelt, and elegant.”

Ian Frazier, author of Travels in Siberia and Great Plains

Tyer deftly weaves memoir and reportage in a tale of the reclamation of a river and the failed reclamation of a father’s love...In lesser hands, such a story could be maudlin or gimmicky, but Tyer’s evocative prose of quiet melancholy and gentle humor avoids such pitfalls.”

Kirkus Reviews

“That the most scapegoated place in Montana is called ‘Opportunity’ is an irony so rich that a skilled blacksmith could forge it into swords, or plowshares, as the spirit moved. Brad Tyer is that blacksmith. Deploying a unique blend of journalistic acumen, lyric scholarship, and canoemanship, Tyer has fashioned an emblematic history, biopsy, and eulogy not just of a river and town, but of the thankfully dying extraction juggernauts of the post-industrial West.”

David James Duncan, author of The River Why and The Brothers K

Brad Tyer, in this excellently reported book, asks a fundamental question: is it fair that Missoula, a thriving little city, gets its poisons cleaned up at the expense of Opportunity? As the globe industrializes, even more toxic waste is being created, and while we can move it around, we can’t make it go away. Pretty soon we’ll be eager to mend our ways. But how? We should all be reading Opportunity, Montana.”

William Kittredge, author of Hole in the Sky and The Nature of Generosity

An intelligent, insightful, and finely crafted book that channels outrage into clear thinking.”


In this powerful and poignant memoir, Brad Tyer takes us up the river into one of America’s own ravaged quarters and asks important questions about how we lock away parts of our history. This is not just a book about burying a deadly inheritance; it’s about fathers and sons and the erasing flow of time. An amazing debut from one who knows the country intimately.”

Tom Zoellner, author of Uranium: War Energy and the Rock That Shaped the World

“Tyer blends nature writing and memoir, focused on his estrangement from a perfectionist father, with cultural history and journalistic reporting...The mix can seem a bit unwieldy, but the result is an engaging, almost breathtaking bit of nonfiction.”

Billings Gazette

About the Author

Brad Tyer is a journalist and editor whose work has appeared in Outside, High Country News, the New York Times Book Review, the Houston Chronicle, Texas Monthly, No Depression, and the Dallas Morning News. He’s been awarded a Knight-Wallace Fellowship, a Fund for Investigative Journalism grant, and a Fishtrap writing residency, and is currently Managing Editor of the Texas Observer.