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Little Wolves Kindle Edition
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|Length: 352 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top Customer Reviews
The writing is haunting and transporting. In the language that Maltman uses, I am transported to country that I otherwise know very little about. The mountain, unseen for much of the narrative, looms over the country landscape. The town hunkers down in a seemingly doomed quest to survive. But the book is not all about setting. The plot compels the story onward constantly. There is always more to understand.
I can picture Seth, the young shooter vividly. His father in despair is drawn deeply. How does a father go on after a child has killed another person and then shot himself? I have often thought of this horrible place when stories present themselves to the news. This man is deeply caring, unused to expressing private thoughts, and haunted. Finally the pastor's young pregnant wife who has been drawn to the town by the death of her mother there just after her birth. She records the stories that her father has told her of the mountain, yet he has never told her her mother's name. And who was Will, the victim, highly respected and highly feared? The culmination of the forces of these characters is relentless, without melodrama, but full of emotion. This is a book that restores the pleasure of reading the language.
Clara's story intersects with that of Grizz a local farmer whose family has long been given roles as community scapegoats. Grizz led a sad life that becomes even more tragic when his only child Seth, one of Clara's high school students, commits a sudden murder and then kills himself. Clara is drawn in to these sad events as a favorite teacher of Seth's as is her husband who is the local pastor to both the murder victim and the suicide.
The first part of the book where the mysteries are set up is by far the best as the climax of the book deteriorates when the author uses a well worn heroine kidnapped by evil plot device. Author Thomas Maltman does do a great job of creating a vivid sense of place and fully developed memorable characters. However I was left with the feeling that the book could have been so much more than it is if the author had abandoned some of the thriller conventions and concentrated more on the literary.
As a fan of more literary fiction, I ordered this book because it promised a thriller haunted by poetry and mythology. I really couldn't wait. And the book delivers that, as one of the main characters is a highly educated (if not degreed) scholar. Clara's sleepwalk of a pregnancy is good reading, her strange legend tales compelling, and her background in myth is impeccable.
Here's the trouble: I fear the parts of the book that intrigued me the most will be the parts of the book that turn off many readers; the elaborate plotting, the endless literary allusions, the intricate interior monologues. What can I say? I love that stuff. When the plot really got to cooking, it lost me. That's probably where most thriller readers will be relieved!
It is hard to read books like this right now (December 2012). We are all seeking answers as to what's going on out there with angry young men and guns. A novel like this one or Empire Falls can only give us a novelist's imagining of what's gone wrong. Let's hope we find more than just our stories to give us answers.
One thing should be affirmed from the start. Maltman is a talented writer. His themes and characters are innovative and captivating. His writing is superb. He can set a scene with some of the best authors of today. His final product is illusionary and of wide perspective, almost dreamlike in its effect on the reader. The landscape is vast and empty, almost Daliesque, but much darker.
I'm not sure it works. As a reader I pushed on, trying to pull everything together into an experience I would care for and remember. I mention Dali, the surrealist painter. He too spread many elements through vast, open spaces; each perfectly rendered but eerily altered, as he created a final work that defied explanation. I feel that way about Maltman's book.
The symbolism gets lost at times and wanders away from the story and I'm not sure there are any likeable characters. Most seem terribly disturbed and unable to cope with the reality of life. And the realities of life as presented by the author are almost too difficult to accept as being realistic. The story is intriguing but somehow too bleak.
I would recommend this book for the analytical reader, someone who is searching for symbolism and how it enters and affects our lives. There are many readers who live for that experience but, unfortunately, I'm not one of them. My apologies to Mr. Maltman.
Schuyler T Wallace
Author of TIN LIZARD TALES
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is the first book I have read by this writer, it is different, strange, eerie, and frightening and might go beyond credibility for some. But it is entertaining. Read morePublished 22 days ago by josephine briggs
Bored me and never really went anywhere. Dark and depressing.Published 4 months ago by Vicki L Collum
Opened this book and was immediately hooked. Atmospheric, compelling, and more than a hint of the sinister. Read morePublished 4 months ago by H. Johnson
It was a very unique book--beautifully developed characters--the theme was dark but powerful--the characters were so real and the side story of the coyotes was so much an integral... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Chi and Kenzi
It was interesting...most unusual....The beginning has to be read carefully .....in order to follow the thread and finish with an idea of how this fictional story could have... Read morePublished 7 months ago by joansteele
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