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Where the Rivers Flow North (Hardscrabble Books-Fiction of New England) Paperback – August 12, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Mosher writes stories, almost folk tales at times, built out of lost and forgotten history, rooted in a strong sense of place, inhabited with colorful characters. His terrain may be specific, but his themes are universal.”―USA Today

“Mosher is a remarkably good observer of nature as well as a born storyteller.”―Boston Herald

“Mosher has a fine knack for evoking natural beauty―an otter sliding off an icy log, a loon whooping over a dark lake―and he has a convincing sense of adventure.”―Los Angeles Times

“With each book, Mosher fleshes out more of his literary turf, a frontier brimming with men and women who follow their own rules.”―Boston Globe

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5 1/2 x 8 1/2 trim.
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Product Details

  • Series: Hardscrabble Books-Fiction of New England
  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Vermont; 1st University of Vermont Press/UPNE Ed edition (August 12, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1584653639
  • ISBN-13: 978-1584653639
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #233,330 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Larry L. Looney on June 23, 2001
Format: Paperback
I'm saddened to see far too many people pigeon-hole Howard Frank Mosher as a 'writer of regional interest' -- maybe only those who live along the Mississippi should read Mark Twain, then. True, Mosher's books all take place in Vermont -- but these are such well-written, absorbing stories, the characters so unforgettable, that any one who appreciates fine literature can thoroughly enjoy them.
This volume collects 6 of Mosher's short stories along with the title novella -- the latter being possibly his most well-known work, having been made into an exceptional film with the amazingly-talented Rip Torn in the role of a lifetime as Noel Lord, Mosher's cantankerous ex-lumberjack. Lord is mentioned in some of the other stories, as well as in some of Mosher's novels -- and other characters make appearances in more than one work as well.
Set in 1927 Vermont, 'Where the rivers flow north' takes the familiar theme of the rugged individualist going up against the evil, unfeeling corporation, and breathes new life into it. Mosher's flowing style, combined with his incredible ability to bring to the printed page all the nuances of his characters' personalities -- warts and all -- give this and all of his works the finishing touches that only a fine craftsman can give. Noel Lord's Native American housekeeper/wife, Bangor, is one of the most memorable characters you'll ever run across. She and Lord have a classic yin-yang relationship that, most likely, neither one would acknowledge. A reader from any part of the nation can get inside these people, can feel and experience everything that happens to them -- and any time we can do that, we can learn and we can grow.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 25, 1998
Format: Paperback
Outstanding. Suggested to me by a Vermont lover, it's my first Mosher book, and I cannot wait to delve into his others. This book begins with six short stories, and then the "novella" that is the title of the book. A joy to read - I hated to see it end. Colorful characters living in the Vermont of old. I wonderful addition to my collection of "Up North" books that are meant to be read while sitting by a wood stove in a northern cabin on a snowy day!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Wendresma on December 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
After I found out that former my in-laws knew Howard Mosher personally and my ex-husband had him as a teacher and coach in school and hung out with Howard's kids in high school I HAD to read a book written by him. This is the first book I read by Howard and I can't wait to read more. What a great illustration of Vermont in the early 1900's!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Justin Mclaughlin on February 24, 2006
Format: Paperback
I made my way to Howard Frank Mosher via Edward Hoagland, another Vermonter and writer of considerable talent. Hoagland mentioned Howard in a few of his essays on Kingdom Country and apparently the two were friends and competitors. Since I find Hoagland so good, I figured any writer he considers a peer must be worth a gander. After having read Where the Rivers Flow North I see that the two are peers and competitors. This book consists of six short stories and one novella of just over a hundred pages.

Starting with the short stories. They are quiet salient, well-crafted works that succeed universally, as literary stories about men and women grappling with the weighty issues of life, and as quasi-historical vignettes that pull back the veil on an interesting region of our country. None of them exceeds fifteen pages, but within that short space Mosher packs a lot of action, intrigue, humor, and drama. Nearly all of the characters are of a low social economic class, men and women struggling to eek out a living in the north woods, either as farmers, bootleggers, gas station attendants, loggers, aspiring race?car drivers, prostitutes, deer hunters, wardens, or what have you. Mosher knows his world well - and it's a harrowing world at that. Nature - the woods, the mountains, the snow and cold -becomes almost another character in these stories; but it's not just beautiful. Any tourist could write about the beauty of a landscape. Mosher is so talented because he takes you, with his well-crafted characters, into the heart of the landscape, to learn what it feels like to wrestle with it from inside. The nature of Kingdom Country that Mosher conjures up is vengeful - there is no surface level sentimentality here - this is the real deal.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 22, 1999
Format: Paperback
I read this every November, when the days start to get short and the first snow flies. This collection portrays a lost and disappearing Vermont, a way of life on the verge of extinction.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By "llmc123" on March 30, 2003
Format: Paperback
I am a hypercritcal reader and I love it when I pick up a book I cannot stop reading. I have subsequently ordered all of Mosher's books and cannot wait to read them. Mosher is not a good writer he is a great American writer. He builds character and place like the master he is. Thank you Mr. Mosher.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J on December 27, 2008
Format: Paperback
Where the Rivers Flow North is a wonderfully written book of tales from the northeast. Anyone who is a fan of New England or it's history and folklore would love these very vivid tales written by Mr Mosher, a master storyteller.
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Where the Rivers Flow North (Hardscrabble Books-Fiction of New England)
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