- File Size: 2936 KB
- Print Length: 250 pages
- Publisher: Open Road Media (July 2, 2013)
- Publication Date: July 2, 2013
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00DBLREHW
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,279,616 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Digital List Price:||$17.99|
Save $7.00 (39%)
The Willow Tree: A Novel Kindle Edition
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
“A major American author of a stature with William Burroughs and Joseph Heller.” —Los Angeles Times
“Though not for the faint of heart, this book is recommended.” —Library Journal
About the Author
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Prior to picking up The Willow Tree, I'd never heard of this author. Imagine my surprise when, after reading a few chapters and going online to check out his published works, I'd find a whole line-up. Then I started thinking of the literary criticism that could be done on these books and I was overwhelmed. There are so many fantastic themes hidden throughout the distinctive style of Selby - from gender relations to social criticism, it's all there in various stages and levels.
I thought that Selby was taking on too much with incorporating the story of Moishe into the story of a young, black Bobby and what happens to him and his latina girlfriend. I was overwhelmed by how much sadness there is in this story (warning: do not read this book if you are wanting a light-hearted, fun read). I felt joy when Bobby and Moishe shared ice cream, but it was a bittersweet joy as I remembered where Bobby came from and what he had to look forward to for the rest of his life - unless things changed drastically.
The Willow Tree was originally published in 1998 I believe, but it's being re-released by Open Road Media and I recommend at least giving it a shot. I think you may be surprised at the strength of the story and how strongly it will suck you in.
The Willow Tree, like most of Selby's work, is deep, deep underground life. Life is bleak and then it gets bleaker and never stops its downward spiral. Hope, doesn't exist in the inner city: Drugs violence, racial hatred, and the realization that that is all there is. His work reflects the darkness he experienced his whole life. The rare instances where there is beauty,"Then starting the descent through the cool refreshing air, feeling an exquisite ecstasy as she floated free of the flames & ugliness..." come at a great price.
Selby developed his own writing style. At the first look, you might think that there is a error in the ebook format or on the press. Paragraphs end, sometimes randomly, sometimes in mid sentence. The next paragraph starts without a tab indention or maybe three tab indention or right on the right margin. Conversations are written as they are spoken and spelled in the same manner. Quotation marks and even a references as to whose turn it is speaking are nonexistent. "Didn't" was typed as "didn/t" because the the "/" key was easier to reach. Periodically, he typed words in all capital letters too. All this might seem a bit annoying to the reader, but it all seems to fall in place and work well. His style seems to add to the story.
Selby sets the tone of the book in the opening sentence: "Bobby lay in bed listening to the rats scratching and squealing in the wall a few inches behind his head, the rats sounding as if they were ready to gnaw through his skull and chew on his eyeballs from the inside." Bobby, just a kid, is looking forward to summer, getting a job, earning some money, and spending it with Maria. Classic Romeo and Juliet or West Side Story comes into play. Bobby is black and Maria is Puerto Rician and although they are in love others see a problem. Bobby and Maria are attacked by a group of young Puerto Ricians. Bobby barely crawls away and Maria ends up with a face full of lye. Maria ends up at the hospital and even there she is view by some of the staff as either a prostitute or a drug user, that working people will have to pay for her care. Bobby, is saved by an old man name Moishie. Bobby filled with hate and learns from the old man with a numbered tattoo on his wrist about hate and life...and the story begins.
Selby combines an unique literary style, a coherent Burroughs maybe, and a gritty, tough, New York City story. As dark as his writing can be it is also compelling and hard to put down. The characters are mature and at times it is hard to believe they are in their early teens. The Willow Tree is a powerful and moving book that is sure to stay with you for a long time. Unfortunately, the world lost Selby almost ten years ago and no one has been able to step up and take his place.
Top international reviews
Moishe and Bobby have this strange, and extremely unfunny, 'humourous' bond. The dialogue is stilted, and none of it rings true. I rarely give up on a book, especially by an author I rate, but I got 80 pages into this and binned it.