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Minnesota Memoirs Paperback – April 19, 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
"Thirty pieces of silver kept echoing in Fergus's head ... He said that Minnesota history would always associate him with the eighty deaths of innocent men, women and children."
Interestingly, two of the main characters' last names in this tale are Foggy and Story, which appear again as the last names of secondary characters is several other stories in the collection.
Initially, it's hard to make out exactly how this first story sets the tone for the rest, especially because the remaining stories are much more contemporary (even experimental) in style. "Tattooed," for example, is told almost entirely in dialogue: A man tries to convince his adolescent step-son into getting a tattoo because it will make him more manly and desirable to women. In "Ways of Looking at a Blackbird," a young man visits a house/inn managed by two old men and an elderly woman with the intention of killing and robbing, but gets swept away by one of the old men's poetic (and crazy) theories of looking at black birds.Read more ›
These pages swarm with humanity: Unofficial and unpaid caregivers--the ones who sing to cows, take in unwanted children, and bear witness and give comfort when no one else can be bothered--braggarts, cheats, thieves, failures, mad word-drunk egotists, dope-smoking seniors, and the habitués of a rollicking gay bar. Many of the stories are linked by recurring characters; more importantly, they continually remind us of our essential interconnectedness. Here you'll find wisdom ("Stay warm. Bless your reveries," in one of many deft comic touches), cunning, love, frailty, murderousness, and compassion so surprising it takes even the compassionate by surprise.
Duff Brenna's prose rolls along at a profound pace, unhurried and seeming to touch everything, like a river through a dark landscape. "What I'd like to know is what's the point?" a character says wonderingly of life. This collection, as with the best art, bears its own answer.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
DUFF IS AN EXCEPTIONAL WRITER...HE WRITES WITH FEELING FROM HIS HEART AND THIS IS NOT ALWAYS THE CASE WITH OTHER AUTHORS. Read morePublished on January 23, 2013 by JANINE SHERRY