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Customer Review

on April 16, 2004
Chet Raymo's "The Dork of Cork" follows the night sky ruminations and meanderings of Frank Bois, diminutive bastard son of Bernadette Bois, an ambiguously sympathetic character whom you`ll either love to hate or hate to love. She is of a most rare beauty and a rarer-yet ethos and morality, particularly where she and her dwarf son have ended up: in manically-embattled Christian Ireland (and briefly in the dusty Bible Belt of America.)
Trapped in his absurd dwarfism and his mother's life of amoral hedonism, Frank takes us along on his life-long quest for existential value and a platonic ideal of beauty. This duality is made all the more profound, poignant, and ironic by the stark contrast between mother and son wherein each complements the other in a sort of yin-yang template of who we all are. Where one is grotesquely stumpy and grounded in his life, the other is breathtakingly aquiline and ethereal in hers. Yet for each, the essence of self belies the exterior image and hones in on the narrative's excellent opening directive: "Begin with beauty." Mr. Raymo, for his part, does, then maintains its presence to the tale's satisfying conclusion.
Narrative gems like this, "discovered" after a decade's wait on the shelves, again remind me: Good literature waits for us as long as necessary.
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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