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The Adventures of John Carson in Several Quarters of the World: A Novel of Robert Louis Stevenson Hardcover – March 28, 2017
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"Picaresque...Doyle has mastered the trick of channeling the Scot's distinctive voice and cadence through his own memorable style." ―The Oregonian
"An affectionate homage...a loving reconstruction of an era of storytelling now lost." ―The New York Times
"[A] triumph...If a writer is going to put on Stevenson’s voice, he’d better, as the poets say, “bring it.” Reader, Doyle has brought it...Adventures is a tonic for our bitter times." ―Washington Post
“An accomplished writer celebrates the nascent inspiration of a legendary one in this tender, affectionate, and terribly fun homage to the joys of storytelling and storytellers.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“Doyle’s irresistible novel, which practically begs to be read aloud, is a triumphant ode to the power of storytelling.” ―Booklist
"Rich prose and a unique perspective on one of the world’s most beloved authors...A fine homage to the writing of Stevenson that will suck you into the mind of a working writer." ―Publishers Weekly
"A tale of bounding energy with a delicate touch, driving always towards the beautiful and the true." ―Helen Garner, author of The Spare Room
“In Brian Doyle's The Adventures of John Carson in Several Quarters of the World, a character describes the Bay Area as notable for ‘a certain profligacy of creation.’ That's an apt descriptor for the book itself, a richly layered, altogether enchanting re-imagining of a few months in the life of Robert Louis Stevenson. An homage to the great Scottish writer, a collection of tales both adventurous and romantic, a love letter to San Francisco--it is all of these things. But most of all it is a compelling and profound meditation on the power of stories and story-telling to console and clarify, to carry us out of ourselves, and to connect us each to each in our common humanity. A rare book that is both entirely entertaining and entirely good for you.” ―Naomi Williams, author of Landfalls
About the Author
BRIAN DOYLE (1956-2017) was the longtime editor of Portland Magazine at the University of Portland, and the author of numerous books of essays, fiction, poems, and nonfiction, among them the novels Mink River, The Plover, Martin Marten, and Chicago. Honors for his work include the American Academy of Arts & Letters Award in Literature. He lived in Portland, Oregon.
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A tour de force ... and also a page turner. I read it almost straight through -- well, over a couple of days. Couldn't let loose of it till I finished it. Brian
Doyle has Stevenson's own talent for plucking exactly the right words from all the words in the language to express the exact image or idea at hand. You don't trip over the word choices while reading, but you do have to smile and nod with appreciation ... though never losing the thread of the story.
Frankly, I didn't know much about Robert Louis Stevenson's personal life and I researched a bit after reading this novel. The course of true love is often odd. I can't figure out the attraction of Stevenson to Fanny, a matronly 10 years his elder and already the mother of 3 kids before their marriage. This book doesn't clear that up either.