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Confusing the Seasons Paperback – March 14, 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

DAN CAVALLARI is a freelance writer and photographer. He holds an English degree from the University of Maine, and he is a former high school English teacher. His stories and poems have appeared in several magazines and publications both online and in print, and he is the editor of the online literary magazine Waterlogged August Magazine (www. waterloggedaugust.com). He lives in Flagstaff, Arizona with his wife, Rachel, and their dog, Molly, where he is currently working on his next novel, Men Waiting For Sleep.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 310 pages
  • Publisher: Brown Tie Publishing (March 14, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615437087
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615437088
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,319,811 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm pretty certain, as much as I'd like to think I am insightful and in tune with people's motives, I've never reached the understanding of the human condition Dan Cavallari has achieved in his debut novel. The narrative voice in his writing wields a deft omniscience, peeling back layers of the lives of the characters and showing the fragile weave of connections one often senses must be there, but, rarely sees with such clarity. This book will linger with me for a long time.
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Format: Paperback
[This review also appears on Andi's Book Reviews.]

Dan Cavallari's debut novel, Confusing the Seasons, is an intense story chronicling the men of the Coates family. Einar William Coates is adjusting to life without his beloved wife, who recently passed away. She was the glue that held them all together. She always knew what to say and how to handle all of their precarious situations. Jason, the younger son, is adjusting to life without his wife, who left him after finding out he had an affair. Robert seems to still hold a grudge against Jason for childhood battles and for causing his limp. Einar's daughter Bethany has her own problems, with a husband named Askar who can't seem to put down his phone long enough to acknowledge her existence.

Each member of the family is completely screwed up in one way or another. No one seems to know how to have a productive relationship with anyone else. They don't even seem to love themselves. Secrets in all of their pasts seem to continue to eat away at their lives and snowball as more revelations surface. When they try to mend their relationships and resolve some of their past issues, they only seem to succeed in making everything worse. You go from feeling sorry for a character to wanting to punch him in the face and to shake him for being so small-minded and stupid. But you can't stop reading. I found myself waking up in the middle of the night, unable to sleep, until I had read a couple more chapters.

The story of the Coates family is a painful one. Cavallari doesn't attempt to sugar coat anything. He doesn't come up with tidy resolutions to conflict. People like to read something that wraps up everything with a big shiny bow. You aren't going to get that here. Life doesn't work that way.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Confusing the Seasons is well-paced thriller and the author has to be commended for the way he manages the several plot lines and the characters driving them forward.

Be forewarned: there's a lot of pain in this book. And just when you think you (or the characters!) can't take any more of it, the author turns the screw a little more. And then again, a little more!

The setting is strong and the language is at times beautiful and poetic, making you want to linger. But the author doesn't let you linger for long as he ratchets up the tension slowly and steadily until the final heart-stopping scenes.

Though the sudden POV changes were a bit jarring at first I soon became used to the way Cavallari gets into everyone's head and fleshes out each of the character's motivations, including all the nuances of both light and shadow -- love and anguish -- that eventually play out in the concluding pages.

It's not a story for the faint of heart, but it is worthy, and if nothing else, could be used to remind us all to live with a little more grace and forgiveness towards those we claim to love the most. And ourselves most of all.
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Format: Paperback
I hardly ever read 200 pages in one sitting of anything but I just couldn't find very many stopping points in this novel, lots of intriguing action to encourage non-stop page turning. There were lots of characters in this story and not one of them was a lightweight; I'd say character construction is a strong point for Cavallari, not one of them was a hack prototype or a cliche, they were each and everyone believable and relatable to people I've known in my life. There were strong elements of suspense and thriller packed in this story and even some horror as well, but overall this was much more than simple genre fiction due to the interwoven story lines tying together all of the different characters that were all rooted in a very authentic storyline.

What started out as a story about a family steadily grew to include the local towns and ultimately the entire region and many of its people. At the end everything went to hell in such complete chaos it was amazing that anyone survived but some did. That was the predominant note of this novel to me, resilience, no matter how complete the destruction, something, somewhere will survive and push on. No matter the size of the tragedy there will always be someone who lives through it who has to get up everyday and just keep living.
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Format: Paperback
I picked Confusing the Seasons for my book club based on a recommendation. It was well written and I was hooked from the start. The characters were well developed and the story was an interesting mix of interrelated events from the past and present. It also generated a lively discussion at our meeting. I look forward to more from this author.
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Format: Paperback
Dan Cavallari's debut novel, Confusing the Seasons, is as well written as it is compelling. Reminiscent of Ken Kesey's Sometimes a Great Notion it its scope and topic, Cavallari takes the reader on a deep physic dive into the heart of his characters, peeling back their emotions as well as revealing their fatalistic flaws. The writing style mixes screen play story board scenes, that wonderfully illustrate context, with preludes that range from vignettes to (almost) short stories. Confusing the Seasons is guaranteed to keep you turning the pages until the end. The writing is gut punch honest. I hope that this author continues to put the pen to the paper...

I have two suggestions to offer when this novel is adapted to the screen:

1) Don't change the ending
2) Cavallari should play the mechanic in Waterbury

Thanks for reading,
Bob
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