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Disappearances: A Novel Paperback – March 29, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 255 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books; Reprint edition (March 29, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618694064
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618694068
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #652,819 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

9 1-hour cassettes --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

About the Author

HOWARD FRANK MOSHER is the author of ten books, including Waiting for Teddy Williams, The True Account, and A Stranger in the Kingdom, which, along with Disappearances, was corecipient of the New England Book Award for fiction. He lives in Vermont.

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Customer Reviews

This is one of the best written books of fiction I have read.
Tom Jordan
I was astounded with the quality of the prose and the imagination of the story.
Ben Miller (redhouse@ncia.net)
I have given this book as gifts many times with great success.
Patricia S. DeBevec

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Richard Evans on June 5, 2002
Format: Paperback
I was recommended this book by a friend while climbing Worcester Mountain near Middlesex, Vermont. I grabbed it just before a solo overnight on a section of the Long Trail. The only copy the store had was an autographed (for cover price), but the owner assured me that Mr. Mosher would appreciate my stuffing the book into my pack for a hike in the Green Mountains. I trusted the person who recommended the book, but was not prepared for how good it is.
One part Beat, one part magical realsim, one part historical fiction. All this (and more) combined with an engaging writing style that keeps the pages turning. More than any other book, I felt completly satisfied at the end. Every word sits gently in my memory, so that I won't need to re-read it for a while. It now sits on the shelf in the company of 'The Dharma Bums' and 'Sometimes a Great Notion'.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By D. C. Winton on April 21, 2007
Format: Paperback
I give this three stars because the writing is beautiful. I stop there because the plot and structure left me stumped about half way into it, and I found myself mumbling to myself "this is one of the dumbest books I've read in ages" nearly everytime I picked it up after that. But in the end, the beautiful writing all adds up to "sound and fury signifying nothing." I finished it for two reasons: 1.) I'm stubborn and 2.) I kept hoping that its early promise suggested overall redemption in the final analysis. The first count, stubborness, is its own reward, but I wound up disappointed on the second. I started out loving it and ended up feeling ripped off.

I'm curious because of the praise heaped on it. To say that this is an adventure story "about" Vermont is like saying that The Odyssey is an adventure story "about" Greece. True enough I suppose, as far as it goes, but that doesn't really capture it now does it? The parallels between these narratives ends there. The action strays too far from the possible for it to be anything but fantasy, but as fantasy, it fails as allegory because it doesn't seem to say anything, well, allegorical. So it's ultimately just a "tall tale" with no redemptive reason for being. Which is okay; it was just not satisfying to me and I kept hoping for more.

As near as I can tell, it's a bildungsroman (a fifty-cent critics' term for "coming of age novel") set around an adventure in 1932, yes, in Vermont. But a bildungsroman, self indulgent though the genre by definition is, usually at least leaves the reader satisfied that there have been some redemptive virtues (or flaws, but changes at any rate) generated over the course of the character's development simply by reason of the events in the story.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 21, 2000
Format: Paperback
I first read this book in college in 1987, and go back to it every few years when I need to be reminded how wonderful life is. It is beautifully written, incredibly funny and very, very moving. I don't know why this book isn't more widely read, it certainly deserves to be.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 4, 1998
Format: Unbound
I cannot reccomend this book enough. Dissapearances is the only father son book better than A River Runs Through it. Paul Bunyonesque exploration of the North East Kingdom of Vermont.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 22, 1999
Format: Unbound
This is the first book I read by this author and have since read all his works. He has a wonderful understanding of the REAL Vermont natives and his local color truly captures a lost era of New England history. This is a "must read" for anyone who enjoys novels of New England. It has almost folk tale overtones as does his novella "Where The Rivers Flow North", another fine piece.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By moredock@barrie.org on January 1, 1998
Format: Paperback
If Steven Spielberg wants a REAL challenge, make this book into a movie. It's as inventive as Cuckoo's Nest and a lot more fun. I don't know why more people haven't heard about it. Mosher's later works don't quite measure up, but this is a beauty.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By benjulie@ptialaska.net on April 24, 1998
Format: Paperback
I read this novel every few years. It is a metaphor for life. I read it in college in the area where the story takes place. What did I like best? Whiskey-running, demon chasing adventure. Absurd tall tales blending with natural history and American history. Intrigue. Rogue trickter mythology in rural Vermont in the 1920's.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ben Miller (redhouse@ncia.net) on May 10, 1999
Format: Paperback
I was astounded with the quality of the prose and the imagination of the story. If you have children the end of the story will move your heart. The ghosts of the past coalece into reality in the subtle and understated way that makes this writing so good. It is a privilige to find this little known book.
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