In a small fictional town on the Oregon coast there are love affairs and almost-love-affairs, mystery and hilarity, bears and tears, brawls and boats, a garrulous logger and a silent doctor, rain and pain, Irish immigrants and Salish stories, mud and laughter. There's a Department of Public Works that gives haircuts and counts insects, a policeman who is addicted to Puccini, a philosophizing crow, beer, and berries. An expedition is mounted, a crime is committed, and there's an unbelievably huge picnic on the football field. Babies are born. A car is cut in half with a saw. A river confesses what it's thinking. This is the tale of a town, written in a distinct and lyrical voice, and when the book ends, listeners will be more than a little sad to leave the village of Neawanaka, on the wet coast of Oregon, beneath the hills that used to boast the biggest trees in the history of the world.
©2010 Brian Doyle (P)2014 Tantor Media
"Doyle writes with an inventive and seductive style that echoes that of ancient storytellers." (Library Journal Starred Review
This was a strange wee story, but great. It was going along fine as a plain old fiction novel, where the inhabitants of a coastal town are struggling economically then dipped into fantasy as the residents spoke to and related with a crow called Moses.
The majority of the town are Irish/Native American Indian and there were great wee legends from each culture. There was a disturbing miscarriage scene but that didn't spoil the novel as a whole.
"Very unusual book but flawed"
Brian Doyle is a very talented writer - he can capture a moment and place you right in the place he is describing in an instant. Somewhere along the line, someone applauded his use of lists as a means by which to dramatize his stories. The first couple of lists -- woven throughout the novel -- are very satisfying and ingenious really. Then they get old and then they get annoying. I will never be his editor, but, if I were, I would say -- let the schtick go and use your amazing talent to just weave a tale.
"Unique performance of literary art."
Like walking out of the theater after a great performance I felt I was a better person after the experience. Such rich entertainment. I've had this book on my shelf for years but so glad I waited for the audio version. Drummond was perfect! Thanks.
I have thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it to anyone who is in love with Oregon, stories, poetry and crows. Off to Brian Doyle's next book. Thank you. A University of Oregon alum, but I do like Beaver Baseball.
"beautifully written, poorly read"
I think this books needs a different narrator -- one who can bring a little more subtlety and humor to the reading. I'll go and find it in print, but won't listen further to this production.
"Good listening again and again!"
Enjoy the depth of character development, the turn of events and the variety of stories.
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