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Goose Music: A Novel Paperback – March 13, 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 275 pages
  • Publisher: Steerforth; First Edition edition (March 13, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1586420178
  • ISBN-13: 978-1586420178
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,905,367 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Richard Horan is an award-winning fiction writer and educator, as well as a book reviewer, travel and nature writer. Mr. Horan has lived and taught all over the world. His most recent job was as an English teacher in San Jose, Costa Rica. Prior to that he taught composition at the State University of New York at Oswego. And in years past he taught English in the Wisconsin public school system, and overseas with the Department of Defense. He was stationed in both Belgium and South Korea. He has also worked as a Sports Information Director and as an adjunct ESL, writing, and journalism instructor at numerous colleges throughout New England. He also lived and taught for two years in a private school in Parma, Italy. After graduating from Boston University in 1981, he peregrinated throughout the United States before settling in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. While there, he wrote extensively and worked as a nurse's aide in a mental hospital; it was that experience which gave him the material to write his first published novel, Life in the Rainbow. During college he worked as a night-time orderly in a Boston hospital, and during the same period of time he fought professionally throughout the United States and Canada as a middleweight boxer. He is married with two daughters ages 22 and 18. He and his wife are family-care providers for cognitively disabled adults who live with them in their home. His wife Mary is a jazz vocalist who has sung professionally around the world. She toured with the Serendipity Singers back in the 1980s; later, she toured with the SHAPE International big band throughout Europe. Both of his daughters are musicians. Mr. Horan's first novel, Life in the Rainbow (Steerforth Press, 1996), was lauded by Larry McMurtry, who wrote: "Life in the Rainbow is a moving book and Richard Horan is an original voice, one to listen for." Alan Cheuse of "All Things Considered" reviewed it on April 3, 1996. Life in the Rainbow also received rave reviews from The New York Times, The Boston Book Review, The Christian Science Monitor, Publisher's Weekly, The Kirkus Review, The Stamford Advocate, and more. Mr. Horan's second novel, Goose Music (Steerforth Press, 2001), was again blurbed by Larry McMurtry who opined: "Goose Music is funny, moving, convincing, original. Richard Horan is only getting better." It was reviewed favorably by The San Francisco Chronicle, Publisher's Weekly, The Capitol Times, The Milwaukee Journal, and others. It won numerous awards. His first non-fiction book, SEEDS: One Man's Journey to Find America's Literary Trees, was published by Harper Collins and in 2011. His most recent work, Harvest: An Adventure into the Heart of America's Family Farms, is due out in late September 2012. Pulitzer Prize winning author, Ted Morgan, had this to say about Harvest: "Richard Horan has brought us a welcome view of America to defy the prevailing political and financial nastiness. This is a timely and important book." Awards received: Barnes and Noble "New Voices" recipient for Life in the Rainbow 1996. Book Sense 76 top-ten selection July/August 2001, Goose Music; Foreword Magazine "Book of the Year," Bronze Award Winner, Goose Music; Great Lakes "Book of the Year" Award, Finalist, Goose Music; 2001 Council for Wisconsin Writer's Ann Powers Book-Length Fiction Award, First Place, Goose Music; 2001 Wisconsin Library Association "Outstanding Achievement" Goose Music; 2002 Southeastern Wisconsin Educator of the year award, First Place. Education: B.A. Boston University M.A.T. University of Pittsburgh.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Gunia VINE VOICE on November 3, 2001
Format: Paperback
Let me first say that I hate the circus. I'm not a big fan of Native American culture nor any kind of mythology. I've been to Baraboo, Wisconsin, and (being a life-long city boy), didn't really like it. So the fact that I gave a book about these vary subjects five stars should say something about the author's talent. It was very difficult to put this book down.
Horan wrote from the outset that, "things are not what they seem," preparing the reader for a surprise ending. This really engaged me as I looked for various hints and clues. The great majority of the book is written in the form of a letter from Leslie Siconski to his sister and brother-in-law concerning the final few years of their recluse brother, Charlie. As Charlie's life and untimely death are slowly reavealed, this reader could not help think of it as a prelude to some greater story. Charlie's life tells of several conflicts which the reader assumes will be resolved by Leslie, even as he approaches the end of this 264 page work.
If I were to offer a couple items that I disliked about the book, one would be the vocabulary. I consider myself to have an excellent vocabulary (at least that's what Reader's Digest tells me in their vocabulary quizes). However, Horan's vocabulary dwarfs mine considerably. There were more than a few times I had to grab my trusty dictionary to figure out what he was trying to tell me. Also, many of the chapters end in a poem written by the late Charlie Siconski. While I understand the poem exists to give the reader insight into Charlie's mind and add to his "spirituality," I'm not a poetry fan and was slightly frustrated when a good chapter ended with a poem. However, this is more a fault of the reader than the author. Horan has written an excellent book and I highly recommend it to you.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 24, 2001
Format: Paperback
Since Richard Horan grew up in this area, he and Goose Music have been getting quite alot of press this spring/summer. All of it has been quite favorable, I might add. I was curious to read a rather scathing review on this web site from a book club in Baraboo. Since I am also a member of a book club, we decided to read Goose Music for ourselves, especially since it has been prominently displayed at our local bookstore. Out of eleven of us, nine read it in one day, unable to put it down. We collectively agreed that it was extremely well written and showed not only the intelligence of the author, but also his gift of humorous character description, laugh-out-loud dialectical rhetoric and imaginative(bizarre!)dream sequences. I would like to read it again, more slowly this time, and search for hints or clues that would indicate that there was more to this story than meets the eye (I don't want to give the ending away!). We gave it a 4 and a half.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 16, 2001
Format: Paperback
After reading a rave review in Publisher's Weekly of Richard Horan's new novel Goose Music, I had to get my hands on it. I couldn't put this entertaining and intelligent book down! The mysterious world of the circus coupled with (of all things!) Native American folklore....throw in a murder and a cast of farcical characters.....and you've got a story that grabs you and doesn't let go until the last darn page. I'm looking forward to reading more works by this refreshing and talented author who has a gift for storytelling and dialectical prose.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 18, 2002
Format: Paperback
Horan has once again crafted a poignant, insightful, masterful work. GOOSE MUSIC is an amazingly intellectual and beautiful account of family values, pre-destination, and, of course, the overwhelming battle between good and evil. GOOSE MUSIC is heartily recommended for any reader looking for an entertaining, inspiring work guaranteed to make you look at your surroundings a little differently.
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