Community is the beating heart of this fresh, memorable debut with an omniscient narrator and dozens of characters living in Neawanaka, a small coastal Oregon town. Daniel Cooney, a 12-year-old who wears his hair in three different-colored braids, has a terrible bike accident in the woods and is rescued by a bear. Daniel's grandfather, Worried Man, is able to sense others' pain even from a distance and goes on a dangerous mountain mission to track down the source of time with his dear friend, Cedar. Other key stories involve a young police officer whose life is threatened, a doctor who smokes one cigarette for each apostle per day, a lusty teenage couple who work at a shingle factory, and a crow who can speak English. The fantastical blends with the natural elements in this original, postmodern, shimmering tapestry of smalltown life that profits from the oral traditions of the town's population of Native Americans and Irish immigrants. Those intrigued by the cultural heritage of the Pacific Northwest will treasure every lyrical sentence.
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"If my high-hearted friend Brian Doyle is trying to avoid the nickname 'Paddy,' his wondrous Oregon Coast novel is the wrong feckin' way to go about it. In its sights, settings, insinuations, flora and fauna, his tale is quintessential North Coast, but in its sensibility and lilt this story is as Irish as tin whistles--and the pairing is an unprecedented delight. This thing reads like an Uilleann pipe tour de force by a Sligo County maestro cast up on the shores of County Tillamook. The hauntings and shadows, shards of dark and bright, usurpations by wonder, lust, blarney, yearning, are coast-mythic in flavor but entirely bardic at heart. Doyle's sleights of hand, word, and reality burr up off the page the way bits of heather burr out of a handmade Irish sweater yet the same sweater is stained indigenous orange by a thousand Netarts Bay salmonberries. I've read no Northwest novel remotely like it and enjoyed few novels more. Of an Irishman's Oregon I am nothing but glad to have wandered, Mink River sings and sings." --David James Duncan, author of The Brothers K and The River Why
"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
Had not a trusted friend read this book & loved it, I would have not read this book. The style is a mixture of James Joyce, word salad, run on and run on and run on words,... Read morePublished 7 days ago by Tempe Mindspring
great writing. a cohesive look at community and an unusual concept of public works. you have to pay attention to the small details of the early chapters or you will miss the big... Read morePublished 14 days ago by nv_swimmer
Wow! Brian Doyle's writing is magic! Don't miss the pleasure of this book!Published 1 month ago by C. Dawson
Mink River is a beautifully written profound story I loved it and would recommend it to anyonePublished 1 month ago by Crystal R Reeves
Beautiful book! Really a poem to life. Brian Doyle writes exquisitely in a mystical realistic style. Everyone in my book club loved it and felt it was well worth reading. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Cooking gal
One of the best books I've ever read. Beautifully, beautifully composed!Published 1 month ago by Jane Burns