Wisconsin Death Trip is a non-fiction book by Michael Lesy, first published in 1973. It has been adapted into a film.
The book is based on a collection of late 19th century photographs by Jackson County, Wisconsin photographer Charles Van Schaick, mostly in the city of Black River Falls, and local news reports from the same period. It emphasizes the harsh aspects of Midwestern rural life under the pressures of crime, disease, mental illness, and urbanization.
the film is currently available streaming on netflix... so you might want to get on that...
and here are some reading's from Lesy's book... this was put out on CDR some years back... (link to mp3's)
"Hillbilly noir from Butchertown Allstars; i.e. - 10 musicians reincarnate Wisconsin Death Trip. 46 tracks range from 20 to 90 seconds, comprised of male and female spoken stories accompanied by sounds spliced of vast scope ranging from old-timey dust bowl blues to free jazz to alien forcep electronics (all performed by the Butchertown Allstars). The result is timeless, sounding as if it was recorded anytime over the last 100 years. Highly reccomended for suicidial introverts! Based on Michael Lesy's classic book "Wisconsin Death Trip", an intimate, shocking and sometimes hilarious account of the disasters that befell one small town in Wisconsin during the final decade of the 19th century. Lesy discovered a striking archive of black and white photographs in the town of Black River Falls dating from the 1890's and married a selection of these images to extracts from the town's newspaper from the same decade. It is from these extracts that Butchertown Allstars bring back to life the tropes of hidden lives, suicide, familial disaster, cross-dressing, acute paranoia, drug addiction, schizophrenia, 'crazy socialists' and myriad tales of ordinary madness."