Sunday 15 May 2011

Last Night in Twisted River

Finished May 10
Last Night in Twisted River by John Irving, read by Arthur Morey
This was a long one (20 CDs), and it moved slowly, but was beautifully written. There were times when you could tell what was coming, because he gave you a little bit of plot and then he went back and gave you years of other plot, and eventually came back to the event you knew was coming and were dreading.
He really played with the whole anticipation thing. And played well.
This is a great story, occurring over many years. It begins with the young father and widower Dominic and his 12-year-old son Daniel. Dominic is the cook at a logging camp in Twisted River, New Hampshire. The event the novel is structured around is the night that Daniel mistakes his father's lover for a bear and hits her with a frying pan, killing her. The novel moves backward, showing us how Dominic came to be where he is, and forward, showing what happens to the two as they live a life as fugitives. Daniel eventually becomes a novelist, with many of his novels exploring bits of his own life, and thus the story of their lives is also the story of a novelist, and his stories. The main characters here are really developed into complex people with complicated lives and thoughts. Many of the minor characters are passing and are shown just enough to intrigue.
The pace is slow and, sometimes predictable and yet even those predictable events have enough of surprise in them that they are still interesting.
This was a great read.f

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