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Mink River Paperback – October 1, 2010
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"Absolutely in the tradition of Northwest literature, richly imagined, distinctive, beautiful ... I was pulled along steadily, my heart raced, I held my breath..." --Molly Gloss, author of The Hearts of Horses and The Jump-Off Creek
Top Customer Reviews
The writer, Brian Doyle, weaves myth and fact, love and hate, Native American and Irish cultures, poetry and prose all along the Spruce trees, salmonberries, Cedars and blackberry brambles of Mink River's shore. The book reminds one of Joyce's Dubliners, of Dillard's Tinker Creek, or Lopez's Giving Birth to Thunder, of Duncan's River Why, but these hints and braidings bring the reader something that is new and refreshing and creative, and very Brian Doyle. To Doyle, we ARE stories. The heart's spark plug resides in stories. And that belief can be felt in the readers pulsing hands as Mink River's characters come to life.
We fly as the crow flies, from household to household to see person after person in their most intimate, vulnerable and raw moments. Doyle is a master painter with his words. The images will climb into your heart and bones and refuse to leave. And after the reader get's oriented in the Mink River microcosm, and becomes synchronized with the rhythms and pacing of the town and its people, the book becomes a page turner as you enter the characters' lives and you cry for them and cheer for them and hate them and ache in your bones for them.
Life as it is: "No sugar, please, just black--Oregon Coffee." And in Mink River, in this mix of sage and confused and passionate characters of Neawanaka we find ourselves, all bones and sinew and made of stories.
This is Dark Mountain-weight writing at its best. The kind of writing I now aspire to and intend to write, though mine will be poetry and song and film and vignette instead of book-length prose. I don't have Doyle's stamina. I only hope I can one day match his talent. Although Doyle has published ten books (most of them essays; he makes his living as an editor), this is his first published novel.
Both the style and ambition of Mink River are reminiscent of James Joyce's Ulysses. The tale is one of an entire community, an entire ecosystem of rich human and non-human interaction, told from a bird's-eye view, both when the bird (a crow named Moses) soars above and when he peers at the peculiar residents of Mink River up close and curious. In my blog I have tried to paint a picture of the chasm we are now accelerating towards (though our schools and politicians and media dare not admit to it, since it is too complex, too difficult to broach, to hopeless to consider).Read more ›
To show the thought and cultural processes of his characters, the author has broken most of the rules of punctuation and grammar. He meanders down pathways, peeks into doorways, and often becomes a voyeur, yet is neither intrusive nor visible. This work is timeless, filled with mysticism, and surprisingly believable despite many supernatural events. An excellent story. A must read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This might very well be the best book I have ever read. If you don't read anything else this year, read it. He is a fantastic author, buy all of his stuff.Published 18 days ago by Gail
I big look into the culture of a small town on the coast of the northwest Pacific coast. If you like American Indian literature then you will love this book. Read morePublished 21 days ago by geo49e
Too mystical, fanciful. Not believable, and characters not developed enough for sympathy.Published 1 month ago by Nancyb
This is one of my favorite books of all time. Lyrical and magical writing, thick with engaging characters. Storytelling at its finest. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Donna Crete
I finished reading this book over 2 months ago and still think and muse on the characters...this is perhaps the best compliment I can offer. Read morePublished 1 month ago by cynthia corliss
Very unusual and poetic investigation into the relationships in a small town. I became somewhat impatient at times with the language play at the expense of plot development. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Minniemouse
The writing is a bit too obscure for my way of thinking, but my friend thought it was very
creative. The descriptions of the world around them is very clever. Read more