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Mammoth: A Novel Paperback – September 6, 2016
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"Bursting with vigor and electrified characters and with an ending the author stamps with a knowing wink." - Kirkus Reviews
"Douglas Perry's edgy debut novel MAMMOTH is as taut, moody and full of characters as his nonfiction tales. Perry ignites our nerves and then feeds the unease until the very last page." - Julia Heaberlin, author of Black-Eyed Susans
"Mammoth is a gripping thriller built on conundrums -- and not necessarily the 'whodunit?' kind. The puzzles it presents are the ones we face every day. Why do people do what they do? What makes us who we are? Why do bad things happen? Fittingly for its title, Mammoth is that rare crime novel that takes on the biggest mysteries of them all." - Steve Hockensmith, Edgar Award finalist for Holmes on the Range
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What I enjoy about Mr. Perry's style is that unlike so many authors he is authentic and you can relate to the characters. I simply thought the end was brilliant and I really did not see it coming! Bravo Mr. Perry and welcome to the world of fiction. I anxiously await your next novel, sir.
There’s a huge cast of characters and a series of terrible events, seemingly unconnected, that meld together to form a dark and furiously stark book. Because of the large cast, it takes the reader a while to really get to know anyone, but when you do, you discover unexpected complexities in each of them.
While there’s some violence in the book, it’s more of an overwhelming sense of menace as you witness a town and its people devolve in the face of an unknown terror.
The author does disclose the truth behind the terror, but it’s almost at the end of the book. It’s ultimately a satisfying reason, but there was a part of me that wished the truth was vastly different.
Note that the characters (again that huge cast) also have a lot of backstories – and many of them felt unimportant. I really didn’t need to know the histories, hopes, dreams, and motivations of every character – but I got to read them!
Four stars. It’s a weighty book and may not be to everyone’s taste, but if you stick with it, you’ll start to find that the various characters and stories meld into a meaty and satisfying read.
*ARC Provided by Net Galley
The characters, events and places are so well-drawn that it verges on pure genius. The author has an extraordinary talent for describing simple things -- such as the way light filters through a window, down a hall and through slanted blinds to create alternating lines of sunlight and shadow -- that evoke perfect pictures in your mind. He includes some of the inane thoughts we all have, unbidden, even in times of extreme stress; these random, often silly, thoughts bring the characters to life in a way few other authors seem capable of doing.
The story is told from the perspectives of over half a dozen individuals: a talented young 16-yr-old girl sent to a camp in the mountains above Mammoth View designed specifically for up-and-coming runners; her father, living a secret life of petty theft until his involvement in a major and deadly bank heist in the town below; an aging but determined Sheriff and his young Deputy; a has-been DJ with an long-time unfulfilled desire to break into acting; a pair of lifetime criminal brothers with a penchant for violence.
It's difficult to imagine, at first, how all these characters' lives could possibly intersect (except, of course, for the pursuit of the obvious criminals on the run), but miraculously they do... often in the most unexpected of ways. There were a couple of scenes that stretched credibility a bit, thus the one-star demerit; however, the richly-drawn characters and the interactions between them were so perfectly nuanced that you nearly forget the plot as your concentration is drawn inexorably back to those characters. While the ending is not how I wished it to be (sometimes fairytale endings just don't happen), it was completely realistic.
This is definitely a book I'd recommend to anyone looking for something that will inspire deep connections with the people and places depicted. It's well worth the time to read and savor every line.
*** This book was provided to me by the author and/or publisher for free through NetGalley, and in exchange for my honest review. ***
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