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Powderhorn Paperback – February 8, 2013


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My Struggle: Book Four
Eighteen-year-old Karl Ove moves to a tiny fishing village in the Arctic Circle to work as a school teacher. As the nights get longer, the shadow cast by his father's own sharply increasing alcohol consumption, also gets longer. Read the full description
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Tanglefinger Books (February 8, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 061565083X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615650838
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,473,368 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"....McInerny balances Moon's moments of introspection with bursts of action that keep the pace quick and the pages turning.... This tale of a flawed man in a gritty setting manages to be both intense and beautiful."
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)


"McInerny infuses menace and compassion into Depression-era Minneapolis as plumber Horton Moon strays into crime and cheats on his wife. A kind of hapless everyman, Moon is capable of everyday kindness, but incapable of fidelity. As his weaknesses lead to collapse and flight, Moon's descent to Skid Row prepares the ground for redemption and rebirth through suffering.... readers will enjoy the colorful minor characters and follow Moon until the very end of his journey."
Publishers Weekly

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Timothy P. Williams on February 16, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
With a narrative style reminiscent of Dashiell Hammett and a story that is vaguely Homeric, McInerny will draw you into his world of Depression-era Minnesota and won't let you go until his protagonist, Horton Moon, has revealed his "Rosebud."

While the story itself can hardly be described as cheerful, the author injects humor in small but frequent doses, and has a talent for the clever turn of phrase, even when describing the mundane, that will cause you to mark dozens of pages for later reference (or highlight the phrases on Kindle!)

"She is still here, always, just alongside or behind or above my conscious thoughts, like a fingerprint on a windowpane."

"The smart fella says that the only sure things in life are death and taxes. Well, there's a thing or two more that's sure in life, and for them things there's indoor plumbing..."

You needn't have lived in Minneapolis, I don't think, to see the city through Horton's eyes (although I admit I once knew a "stucco-covered house out near Lake Nokomis.") McInerny's casual, but evocative imagery effortlessly paints the city in both the drab colors of poverty and crisp hues of winter sunshine, as he introduces us to characters both familiar and strange. The dialog's authenticity adds the final layer to bring Horton Moon's world fully to life.

While Moon's trip ultimately is not a voyage of discovery, or even of self-examination, neither is it a detour. His are not the bold adventures of Odysseus nor the towering achievements of Charles Foster Kane. In the end, he perhaps demonstrates only John Lennon's observation that "life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By 99Spoons on March 3, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was hard to put down. And hard to finish. Horton Moon is not a lovable character, but his tale is an intriguing one. Set in Minneapolis during the Depression, Horton's "fickle" heart causes him to fall in love with a young woman, abandoning his pregnant wife and young children. When a crime he commits catches up to him, he leaves his mistress too and his journey begins. McInerny breathes life into the characters with his vibrant imagery and a knack for story-telling. The reader is ever-present, following Horton like a voiceless conscience.

McInerny's exquisite writing takes us through the seasons of Minnesota from feeling the heat plastering hair to the backs of our necks to struggling to find warmth in the winter.

"The summer has passed all hot and slow like the cottonwood drippings drifting across the flat brown water of the Powderhorn Lake."

"The air hangs on you. It kind of sticks in your mouth when you breathe."

"Their emptied sand beaches and silent, unmown picnic lawns make me sad."

"Close enough to smell the smell of her breath-cloud in the frost between us, and close enough to practically taste the way the winter sunlight turns her thick, yellow hair new colors."

Horton's travels through Minnesota allow him to meet several different characters who he discovers all carry the burden of their own secrets.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By StearnsLaLaLand on March 23, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Powderhorn" is a beautifully crafted depression-era tale of one man's journey into the consequences of not having any self-control. The title character, Mr. Horton Moon, is at once as charming and disarming as he is loathsome and despicable--the reader finds it often difficult to figure out which at any turn. Mr. McInerny's writing, carefully and slowly draws the reader into a lush and richly described story of sadness, poverty and struggle, but twists into it a lead character that the reader never quite fully understands, yet can't seem to get enough of.

This sleepy little story is filled with characters that are bold and strong survivors, that meander around Mr. Moon in a swirl of love, passion, sympathy, hatred, disgust and unknown fascination. The reader is often along for the ride as Mr. Moon exposes his many sides.

Mr. McInerny has delivered a wonderfully sad tale that leads the reader into a bleak world of a hopeless man trying to deal with his personal demons and poor decisions. "Powderhorn" is captivating from start to finish.
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More About the Author

Joseph McInerny was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He has made his living as a vintage-clothing store clerk, a night watchman, a proofreader, a delivery driver, a real estate agent, an advertising copywriter, and by selling pretzels in the Greenmarket of New York City's Union Square.

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