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The Woods [Kindle Edition]

Ronald Geigle
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.99
Kindle Price: $3.99
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Book Description

Blasting railways into the side of mountains, scaling Douglas firs that tower 200 feet. These are the visions that draw 18-year old Albert Weissler to a job with the Skybillings Logging Company in the high mountains of Washington State in 1937. But a train crash on a mountainside that kills a friend, and Albert’s discovery that it was sabotage, quickly dash boyhood dreams and launch a saga of love, grand dreams, and transformation in the turbulent world of big-timber logging and labor unrest in late-1930s America.

This is The Woods, part coming of age story, part historical novel. It is the story of Albert learning to survive in a dangerous and unforgiving environment; Albert’s mother, Lydia, struggling to restart her life after Albert’s father is killed in the woods; WWI veteran and Skybillings owner, Bud Cole, trying to rebuild his dream after the market crash destroyed him; and savvy firebrand Clare Ristall campaigning to win a political election, build a new union—and win Lydia's love.

The Woods is a beautiful panorama of lives and dreams during one of the most defining moments of American history, as have’s and have-not’s, the powerful and the ordinary, struggle to survive in the wake of economic upheaval. This is a book that paints the inner complexities and nuances of its characters as beautifully as it portrays the raw splendor of the Northwest’s ice-topped peaks and unrelenting, natural power of the woods themselves.

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Kirkus Reviews, February 2014:

Geigle brings to life the logging industry in the late 1930s in his historical fiction debut. 

Geigle's sweeping novel opens with a dramatic train derailment, which may have resulted from sabotage. Set against the backdrop of the Pacific Northwest logging industry, the epic narrative goes on to follow a large cast of characters devastated by the Great Depression, including Bud, the owner of the Skybillings Logging Company; Albert, a young worker; Clare, a union boss; and Lydia, Albert's mother and Clare's love interest. Bud tries to keep his company from going under by taking out loans to build a railroad trestle that would enable his men to work in a dangerous, remote area. Clare, a man of wealth and a champion for the poor, may not be whom he appears to be. Albert, whose late father co-owned Skybillings, searches for his place in the world as he tries to understand his fellow workers and the political games of the unions. Also in play is a larger story--at times hard to follow--of real historical events such as the disputes between the CIO and AFL labor unions.... Geigle handles his main characters well, ...giving each an interesting background and inner life. Standout moments come in the form of the daily struggles and comradeship of Albert and his co-workers, who talk--often in rough language appropriate to their work--of God, life and women. In the dangerous business of logging, these men must trust each other to stay alive. The novel captures the voice and character of each, yet brings together all the plot elements to create a suspenseful conclusion played out dramatically on a railroad trestle where people's true colors emerge and not everyone makes it out alive.

From the Back Cover

Everything is broken. The foundations of society have been split wide open by the Great Depression. Yet the people and their dreams persevere.

Blasting railways into the side of mountains, scaling Douglas firs that tower 200 feet. These visions draw 18-year-old Albert Weissler to a job with the Skybillings Logging Company in the high mountains of Washington State. But a train crash on a mountainside that kills a friend, and Albert's discovery that it was sabotage, quickly dash boyhood dreams and launch a saga of love, grand dreams, and transformation in the turbulent world of big-timber logging and labor unrest in late-1930s America.

This is The Woods, part coming of age story, part historical novel. It is the story of Albert learning to survive in a dangerous and unforgiving environment; Albert's mother, Lydia, struggling to restart her life after Albert's father is killed in the woods; WWI veteran and Skybillings owner, Bud Cole, trying to rebuild his dream after the market crash destroyed him; and savvy firebrand Clare Ristall campaigning to win a political election, build a new union - and win Lydia's love.

The Woods is a beautiful panorama of lives and dreams during one of the most defining moments of American history, as have's and have-not's, the powerful and the ordinary, struggle to survive in the wake of economic upheaval. This is a book that paints the inner complexities and nuances of its characters as beautifully as it portrays the raw splendor of the Northwest's ice-topped peaks and unrelenting natural power of the woods themselves.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1181 KB
  • Print Length: 434 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0991271319
  • Publisher: Polidais LLC (January 7, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00H59NIHQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #459,406 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
The Woods, is an amazing book - a sweeping examination of an era, an industry, and the political forces that swirled around both. But more than that, it is story of emotions and relationships that are timeless.

I describe Geigle, the author of, The Woods, as a landscape artist of the word. His descriptions are so finely layered and crafted, whole pages flew through my mind as if I was watching a movie. If I close my eyes now, I can see the trestle bridge that spanned the Three Sisters Ridge, high up in the Cascade Mountains, the depression era streets of the town of Seakomish, the remote Skybillings Logging Camp, the Shay locomotive chugging along, loaded with huge logs, the shantytown - Hooverville - on Seattle's waterfront.

This review would be remiss if it didn't highlight a few snippets of Geigle's descriptive voice. In every case it is the juxtaposition of images that is so riveting. The horizon swam from its blackness to a murky grey; St. Bride hitched up his pants over a melon belly; he scrambled easily over the matchbox chaos of fallen firs; the feathery blue water of Puget Sound; most people wrote him off as another meaty logger, uneducated and coarse; describing the city of Everett - a small, ugly fighter, never standing a chance in the fight; describing the Seakomish River - the white-water anger at the upper elevations churned clouds of pine needles; ravines so steep winter leaves only on the summer wind; an image of the loggers at work - stripped to their waists, the steam rose from their shoulders as the sharp curls of red, oily wood sprung outward from the ends of their saws, like spools of confetti in New York ticker-tape parades; and finally, Lummi Island - rising like a humpback whale out of the water.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful Book March 3, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
Set in the late 1930′s, in the Cascades Mountains area of the state of Washington, centered around the city of Everett, you just know logging is goingb to enter into the picture.
Much of the area had been bought up by the railroads and sold to the big logging operations, but there were many small-time operators cutting down trees as well. The Woods concerns a small logging company or ‘show’, as they were called, run by the partner of Albert’s late father, who had been killed in a logging accident ten years prior.
It's a coming of age story, with history thrown in, and the writing shows that Geigle has done his homework.
Well written, interesting subjects, you can't go wrong here
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5.0 out of 5 stars Into the Woods We Go March 3, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
Laws a-mercy! what a beautiful book! I really LOVED this book!

It is set in the late 1930's, in the Cascades Mountains area of the state of Washington, centered around the city of Everett. It is a coming-of-age story of young Albert, just out of high school, and in need of a job in an economically-challenged area that depended mostly on the logging industry to provide jobs.

This was the era of railroad building, mining, and the growth of the two big unions, the AFL and the CIO. The day of the Wobblies, the IWW, which reached its peak in about the mid 1920s, was over, but labor unrest was not.

So although a coming-of-age story of one young man, it is perhaps the coming-of-age story of a certain time in the history of the county. It is the story of the politics of the time, the politics of the union activity and organizing, the politics of those with money trying to accumulate more money and power, the ones at the top of the heap manipulating each level below them, and this is their story.

The Woods is filled with beautiful descriptions of the terrain and the mountains without becoming overbearing or tedious. It makes you want to drop everything, grab your hiking boots and set off for the grandeur of the old growth forests.

It is the story of the loggers who risked their lives daily, of the struggles to provide the growing nation with building material, and to feed their families. If you like history, and a good story to boot, you, too, will like this book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very good novel captures the time and place well. January 11, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This very good novel tells the story of a small logging operation -- show -- in the North Cascades in 1937 and its place in the fictional town of Seakomish. The town and industry is still recovering from the Great Depression, and there are struggles over safety and union representation in the industry. Geigle has done a lot of research and there's a real solid feel for the time and place in this book; anyone interested in this time and place will get a lot out of the book. Beyond that, the characters are very well-drawn and the plot is quite involving.
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More About the Author

Ronald Lee Geigle grew up in the Pacific Northwest. He attended the University of Washington, then headed for Washington, DC, where he has spent the past thirty years as a speechwriter, congressional aide, and public relations consultant. He worked for Washington State Senator Warren Magnuson and US Representative Norm Dicks, and founded the public relations firm Polidais.

"You learn a lot about people over that many years," says Geigle. "And you learn a lot about politics. It is always a surprise to me--despite all these years in DC--what those two do to each other."

Geigle makes politics a central part of his novel, The Woods, which tells a coming-of-age story set during a period of significant labor unrest in the Pacific Northwest during the late 1930s. As the nation emerges from the Great Depression, both haves and have-nots struggle for financial survival and, more importantly, to achieve their dreams in the face of adversity, danger, and political ambition.



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