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Sweet Thunder Paperback – August 5, 2014
Intrusion: A Novel
A loving couple, grieving the loss of their son, finds their marriage in free fall when a beautiful, long-lost acquaintance inserts herself into their lives. Learn More
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Praise For Sweet Thunder
"A remarkably solid and prolific novelist in the tradition of Wallace Stegner… [Doig’s] writing and characters are delightful." –USA Today
"Doig, who holds a Ph.D. in history, is at his best in his historic novels, and he unspools this compelling tale among the clatter of typewriters and the 'sweet thunder' of printing presses… Marvelous… yet another Montana book worthy of Doig’s prodigious talents." –Seattle Times
“Doig…makes us feel a part of the very landscape and era about which he is writing while…telling a story that keeps the pages turning… Sweet Thunder stands alone beautifully…and when combined with Doig’s Whistling Season and Work Song makes a powerhouse trilogy that belongs on the bookshelf of any reader who enjoys the history of the West.” –Montana Magazine
"Ivan Doig is one of the finest novelists writing today… Doig knows how to spin a tale, and he does so here with wonderful language that flows effortlessly from his rich and diverse characters… after finishing this fine novel, one just wants more." –Portland Oregonian
"There have been many charming rogues through literary history, and Mr. Doig brings us another one: Morrie Morgan… Doig has a gift of making oddballs believable and lovable, as well as a gift for capturing place and personality in deft strokes… an entertaining story at a high intellectual level." –New York Journal of Books
"Filled with an abundance of rich characters… it is Butte itself, a tough-fisted city of plungers and promoters, bootleggers and union workers, sharpers and window men and crooked boxers, that binds the story together. Doig re-creates one of America's legendary cities and fills it with characters to match." –Denver Post
"Enchanting and different… a great end of summer read." –Bethanne Patrick, New York 1
"It is always a pleasure to read Ivan Doig, who is consistently able to capture the innocence of another era. It is an innocence that, living in today’s world, seems fairy tale-like in the telling. But again, that is what Doig has done exceptionally well throughout his 12 novels, which stand more like bridges to the past than mere tales conjured from his imagination." –Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star
"Not only are Morrie and his buddies fascinating characters, but so is Butte… [Sweet Thunder] is a celebration of Doig’s love of language and poetry." –Helena Independent Record
"With a master storyteller’s instincts and a dollop of wry humor, Doig evokes a perfect landscape of the past with a cast of memorable characters. A treasure of a novel." –Library Journal (starred review)
"[A] stirring tale of greed, corruption, and the power of past sins… Doig's attention to detail, both historical and concerning characters of his own creation, is as sharp as ever. Long-time fans will recognize familiar names from previous novels and readers both seasoned and new will fall under the spell of Doig's Big Sky Country." –Publishers Weekly
"[A] marvelously atmospheric portrait of the bygone newspaper trade and an engaging cast of characters sketched with the author’s customary vigor… welcome evidence that Doig, in his 70s, is more prolific and entertaining than ever." –Kirkus
"Think Shane but with dueling journalists instead of gunfighters… A stirring tale given a melancholic edge by the fading influence of print newspapers in our very different modern world." –Booklist
From the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Morgan is a former Chicago sharp moved to Butte, Montana. He is a literary savant and has classical references for almost every situation. Once in Butte, he joins the mine workers' battle against the leviathan Anaconda Mining Company. He writes editorials for the workers' newspaper.
There are positive aspects of this book. The newspaper war and editorial battles between the mine workers' are amusing, literary and sharp. The constant literary references are at times amusing, at times challenging, but always interesting. Some of the supporting characters are strong, such as the former vigilante turned librarian and Russian Famine, the young teen taken under wing. The historical aspects of Butte as a mining town and the domination of the huge Anaconda was instructional - it was the company town of song and story, but real in 1920.
But there are also weak points. I never had any empathy for Morgan. His life was a succession of coincidental and unlikely events. The events begged credulity. Grace, his wife, was shallow and thinly drawn. The ending was quickly contrived as if the story had to finished somehow. The writing is good, but that is a comedown from Mr. Doig's usual beautiful lyrical writing.
This was an okay book, it just did not resonate with me.
I dont intend to give you the story but Morrie Morgan, with his wife Grace, returns to Butte, Montana, to take over a mansion from his former boss. Add the army of miners and the stranglehold of the Anaconda Copper Mining Company and you have a career busting setup. But there is more. Morris takes the job of editorialist for the Thunder, a new union newspaper and you are witness to a really great story. Add the cast of some new and old characters along with the deeply personal battle of Morris and, well, this is really good reading.
Sweet Thunder is a really good read by a classic American novelist. The roaring '20s and the unforgetable cast of characters will keep you guessing at every turn. This is one of those really good reads from a great novelist.
This said, once again, Mr. Doig has given us a tasty little narrative to chew on once again. It's still a 'war of words' as it was in 'Work Song', but it's a different battlefield this time around. Compared to 'Work Song' I didn't think Sweet Thunder measured up to it as far as overall quality is concerned. The pacing of the action didn't seem quite as brisk, and the specter of The Anaconda Copper Company wasn't quite as threatening.
Now, I'm not saying that 'Sweet Thunder' isn't good. Quite the contrary - it's VERY good, but I've been sort of spoiled by the earlier parts of the overall story that occur in the previous works. As in movies, sequels rarely live up to the standard set by the original piece. However, we are talking about the founding of the first independent newspaper in Montana that wasn't under Anaconda Company control here, so it's a significant piece of state and Butte history we're talking about as the book's subject.
One very bright spot in the narrative is the development of the young lad, Russian Famine, who begins his journey to becoming a man in these pages. This process is tied nicely to the main character, Morrie's sordid past during his Chicago days.
In all of his works that I've read to date, Mr. Doig does a beautiful job of weaving his characters together as he propels the story forward.Read more ›
As "Sweet Thunder" begins Morrie is at the tail end of a one year honeymoon, following his marriage to Grace, a former Butte boarding house owner. He and Grace receive an unexpected legacy and return to Butte just as Morrie's bank account is approaching zero.
Relationships begun in "Work Song" resume and Morrie soon finds himself embroiled again in the bitter struggle between the immigrant miners of Butte and the oppressive and exploitative Anaconda Company. This time Morrie is writing for a new labor newspaper, the fictitious Thunder, attempting to provide a voice for the labor movement that will match the company-owned Butte Daily Post.
Doig is expert at weaving many characters together, each with their own story that illustrates the complex immigrant character of Butte in the 1920's. But the plot is deceptively simple and expectations of something a little more weighty and meaningful are soon disappointed.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The third book in the Morrie Morgan trilogy. Although not as good as the first book in the trilogy THE WHISTLING SEASON, it does move along at a good pace, with plenty of... Read morePublished 10 days ago by Joan M Searcy
Works of Ivan Doig are among customer's favorite reading just as this one is....simple as that.Published 1 month ago by Richard J. Barrie
Writer successfully combines union strife in the Montana copper mills with romance, politics and the workings of the press with a memorable cast of characters resulting in a "can't... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Kindle Customer
I like these stories, having read 3 of his works. they are entertaining and very well written, some parts erudite.Published 5 months ago by jbro141