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Montana 1948
by Larry Watson

 
To:     KGXC73A    GAIL SINGER GROSS     Date:    06/21/95  
From:   PKHF06A    ADELE STRATTON        Time:     3:31 PM

...
   With all the talk of Pochahontas hereabouts, I thought   
I'd recommend a little gem with an American Indian focus I  
stumbled upon this month: MONTANA 1948, by Larry Watson. I'm
a sucker for family tales seen and told through the eyes of 
children (a la COLD SASSY TREE), and this one did not       
disappoint. According to the cover it won the 1993 Milkweed 
National Fiction Prize...
                                   
=================Reply    9 of Note   39 =================

To:     PKHF06A    ADELE STRATTON        Date:    06/23
From:   KGXC73A    GAIL SINGER GROSS     Time:    11:01 AM

greetings ADELE...                                          
                                                            
   i also read MONTANA 1948 By larry watson..who has a new  
one out titled JUSTICE...thanks to our CERTIFIED BOOK JUNKIE
i devoured MONTANA 1948 and would recommend it...           
                                                            
                                                            
   i just reserved PATRON SAINTS and VANISHED...love to hear
new titles that tintillate...                               
 gail..a passionate reader in sunny and warm and glorious   
SAN FRANCISCO..                                             


=============== Note 44 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: ALL Date: 01/14/97 From: VRCH78A ALLEN CROCKER Time: 10:27 PM AN INTERNETTER DISCOVERS C.R. Yesterday I received an e-mail from an unexpected quarter - a school librarian by the name of Bernice Cox who came across our Web site and found some material there to share with her own (real-world) book discussion group. She requested that I ask if any of the CRs were familiar with a book titled MONTANA 1948 by Larry Watson. Her note: Dear Allen: I have recently discovered Constant Reader through my efforts to find reviews or discussions of books I have recently read or am currently reading. I belong to a small book discussion group in Gainesville, Georgia. Last month we greatly benefited from the discussion found on this site regarding The Optimist's Daughter. We are wondering if any of your readers have read Montana 1948 and what they thought of it. Any response will be appreciated. Thank you, Bernice Cox ******************* I immediately wrote back to Bernice, thanking her for her attention and asking if she had anything she might want me to post her for her and she elaborated a bit: Briefly, I can say that I found Montana 1948 to be a deceptively simple coming-of-age story. The characters were well developed and the tension of the story kept the pages turning. The moral dilemma faced by the sheriff left me with qustions to ponder long after I finished the last page. It's a quick read but worthwhile I feel. I am sure I will have much to say after our group discusses it. That's the advantage of a group - someone always sees something I didn't. ******************** Naturally, I extended an invitation to Bernice and her book group to come join us here, but also offered to relay anything you folks might post on to her. If you'd prefer to contact her directly, I'll send you her e-mail address. It's fun to know we're having influence beyond our borders, isn't it? Who knows may be out there reading along with us? Allen =============== Reply 1 of Note 44 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: VRCH78A ALLEN CROCKER Date: 01/15/97 From: ZRPD32A RICHARD HAGGART Time: 12:33 PM Allen: 'Montana 1948' was on 'Radio Reader' (Dick Estelle, University of Michigan Public Radio) a few years ago, if I recall correctly. All I can remember is that it was a hard, spare book, full of action and great, outdoorsy detail. Dick in Alaska, not quite as hard and spare as the book =============== Reply 2 of Note 44 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: ZRPD32A RICHARD HAGGART Date: 01/15 From: KGXC73A GAIL SINGER GROSS Time: 9:59 PM greetings.... MONTANA 1948 was introduced to me by our CERTIFIED BOOK JUNKIE.. btw who should be popping in any day now... and if i am not mistaking the author is larry brown...unless i got it confused with the one who wrote the book about fireman.... excellent also.. i'd advise using homework helper for additional information..that program is a goldmine... i liked the book very much ..it received oneof those awards..like MILK WEED ...a short book...and one i would highly recommend...gail.hp =============== Reply 3 of Note 44 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: VRCH78A ALLEN CROCKER Date: 01/17 From: BTXF40A LINDA THERKELSEN Time: 2:29 PM Milkweed is a smallish Minnesota publisher -- they give out their own annual "best book" kind of award. The award winner is usually a "small gem" kind of book like Montana 1948, always worth reading. In fact, most of their stuff is at least worth looking over, they have lots of "little gems." Larry Watson doesn't live in Minnesota but has many ties here. Also check out Minnesota writer Bill Holm published by Milkweed, especially Coming Home Crazy and The Heart Can Be Filled Anywhere on Earth: Minneota, Minnesota. I liked Montana 1948 very much. If you also read the prequel, Justice, by Watson, you sort of get to pondering how much of the story is driven by character. That is, the set of stories in Justice shows how the character and flaws and integrity of the individuals in Montana 1948 is already set much earlier. It seems, then, that the conflicts in the novel are absolutely inevitable results of character. Linda Just happened to be browsing by.... =============== Reply 4 of Note 44 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: BTXF40A LINDA THERKELSEN Date: 01/17 From: KGXC73A GAIL SINGER GROSS Time: 6:23 PM greetings LINDA.. so good to hear your voice...and hope you will contribute more often...i think i made a mistake and called him LARRY BROWN.. i get the two mixed up... LARRY BROWN..wrote ON FIRE ..and FATHER and SON.. LARRY WATSON is of MONTANA 1948 fame and JUSTICE. TONS of thanks... gail..hp..a passionate reader in cool san francisco..and no rain.. =============== Reply 5 of Note 44 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: BTXF40A LINDA THERKELSEN Date: 01/17 From: NCSH82B BARBARA MOORS Time: 10:01 PM Linda, Please pass through and post regularly...very interesting note. Where do you get information about Milkweed's best book award list? Barb =============== Reply 6 of Note 44 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: NCSH82B BARBARA MOORS Date: 01/20 From: BTXF40A LINDA THERKELSEN Time: 10:10 AM Barb, Gee, I just find it around by browsing the bookstores, especially The Hungry Mind. I always look over new Milkweed books. But I guess if I look at a book there would be an address (don't know of a web site, however, I just loaned out my newest Milkweed edition). Ah, here's an address from 1990; P.O. Box 3226, Minneapolis MN 55403 (says books may be ordered from the above address). Linda =============== Reply 7 of Note 44 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: ZRPD32A RICHARD HAGGART Date: 01/20 From: VRCH78A ALLEN CROCKER Time: 10:06 PM Dick, gail and Linda: Thanks for the feedback on MONTANA 1948. I'll be passing your notes on to Bernice, to whom I've already sent the posts relating to the book that I turned up by searching the P* BB Archive. BTW: According to Tonya, we should soon have some kind of forum set up on the C.R. home page, so we can have dialogues with Internet folks directly! Watch for more news on that development in the weeks ahead. Allen
=============== Note 37 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: ALL Date: 06/13/97 From: WSRF10B SHERRY KELLER Time: 2:57 PM MONTANA 1948 by Larry Watson I may be the last one here to read this, but I couldn't resist writing about it. This is short, beautifully written, deeply moving and a page turner. What more could you ask for. It asks a very important question: how do you do the right thing, when it may mean losing everything you know? Family relations, race relations, small town politics--specifically how a small town can overlook the glaring sins of its citizens, especially its powerful ones--are examined through the eyes of a twelve year old boy. We talked about similar issues during our discussion of PARIS TROUT. Just recently I bought his latest, WHITE CROSSES. It is about the same small town, but in 1957. Anybody want to read it with me? Sherry =============== Reply 1 of Note 37 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: WSRF10B SHERRY KELLER Date: 06/13 From: KGXC73A GAIL SINGER GROSS Time: 9:18 PM greetings SENSATIONAL SHERRY.. yes...MONTANA 1948 was a gem...and one of my BOOKIES is reading WHITE CROSSES..i just ordered it but not sure when i will get around to it... if i am not mistaken..didn't he write one inbetween..JUSTICE? off to read...so nice to be free....gail..hp..a passionate reader in sunny and lovely san francisco where my tizzie lizzie's are flourishing.. =============== Reply 2 of Note 37 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: WSRF10B SHERRY KELLER Date: 06/14 From: TQWX67A ANN DAVEY Time: 10:19 AM Sherry, This sounds like a good one, but I'm still engrossed in A CUNNING MAN, which I hope to finish before the discussion is over! Ann =============== Reply 3 of Note 37 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: TQWX67A ANN DAVEY Date: 06/14 From: PKHF06A ADELE STRATTON Time: 6:21 PM Hi Sherry, My book (very new and evolving) book group read Montana 1948 on my recommendation. I thought it was so well done--so sparse and yet so intriguing. A very discussable book, I thought. They didn't agree. I don't think they "got it". This is what makes me SO grateful for CR. I am looking forward to Watson's newest one, which was reviewed in our paper on Friday. At first I thought it was a negative review--but after I re-read the review, it sounds like similar to M1948, in that it gives the reader a lot to ponder. My kind of book! Adele, who likes to think about her books =============== Reply 4 of Note 37 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: WSRF10B SHERRY KELLER Date: 06/15 From: PKHF06A ADELE STRATTON Time: 1:12 PM The most intriguing issue of M1948 for me was the decision to imprison his brother in the basement instead of jail. Seemed to me such a (oh I'm going to be sorry for this) "male" reaction to the situation. I wish I knew a better name for it. Trying to do the right thing, yet trying to save some kind of face (on something that maybe didn't deserve saving). And in many ways this was more humiliating to the brother than jail would have been. The sheriff- brother was between a rock and a hard place (between his father and his brother, between right and wrong) to be sure, but why did he do it this way? And yet, I understood why he did it. So interesting. Adele, ducking for the bashing that may be due her, the mother of all male children--both teenagers now--so be kind. =============== Reply 5 of Note 37 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: PKHF06A ADELE STRATTON Date: 06/15 From: WSRF10B SHERRY KELLER Time: 5:07 PM Adele, That was the action in the book that intrigued me the most, too. He wanted to have it both ways. He wanted to do the right thing, did not want to seem like he was one-upping his brother, but he really put his family in danger. My son just called from Oregon, so I'll finish this later. Sherry =============== Reply 6 of Note 37 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: WSRF10B SHERRY KELLER Date: 06/15 From: PKHF06A ADELE STRATTON Time: 10:05 PM Sherry, It's been a few months since I read this (for the second time), and I don't own a copy, so I can't refer back. But after thinking about this some more, I got to wondering about what might have happened had the sheriff put his brother in jail. In some ways the outcome hurt the sheriff more than the "right" way would have--and yet the outcome, however painful, did put a stop to everything--the crimes against the Indian women. I surely wasn't sorry the brother was dead. And what about the grandfather's cavalier attitude about his son and his feelings that his shennanigans with Indian girls were not something to be so concerned about, since they were *only* Indians. Disturbing, but very believable given the time and place. What a simply complicated story. A little masterpiece, I thought. Adele =============== Reply 7 of Note 37 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: PKHF06A ADELE STRATTON Date: 06/15 From: MXDD10A DALE SHORT Time: 10:44 PM Adele: I haven't read Watson's novel yet, but I must say that my head was spun around by your phrase "a simply complicated story..ie, a little masterpiece." I think I know exactly what you mean. I promise to steal the term "simply complicated" many, many times in the months/years to come, when I'm talking about literary forms. I only hope you haven't found a good phrase-copyright attorney here on line, or else I'm history. >>Dale in Ala. =============== Reply 8 of Note 37 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: MXDD10A DALE SHORT Date: 06/16 From: PKHF06A ADELE STRATTON Time: 8:44 PM Dale, I wish you would read Montana 1948, and join in here. Would really enjoy your take on this. Adele =============== Reply 9 of Note 37 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: PKHF06A ADELE STRATTON Date: 06/16 From: WSRF10B SHERRY KELLER Time: 9:30 PM Dear Dale, I second Adele's request. This book is right up your alley. (I don't think I'm being TOO presumptuous here). He reminds me a little bit of Larry Brown. Not so much in style or even in content, but in a kind of male take on things. I'm a sucker for blue collar sensitivity. Sherry =============== Reply 10 of Note 37 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: WSRF10B SHERRY KELLER Date: 06/16 From: MXDD10A DALE SHORT Time: 11:52 PM Sherry, Adele & All: I accept your challenge re: MONTANA 1948. Remembering vaguely from my college calculus studies, if you plot a graph of "the male take" on any issue, overlaid with "blue collar sensitivity," the resulting response, when digitized and pixellated, looks an awful lot like me. More soon, >>Dale (unless I keep confusing Larry Watson with Sterling Watson and Brad Watson, and Larry Brown and Tim McLaurin, which seem hopelessly entangled at the time) in Ala. =============== Reply 11 of Note 37 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: MXDD10A DALE SHORT Date: 06/17 From: PKHF06A ADELE STRATTON Time: 8:23 AM Great Dale! The more I chew on this, the more I see some interesting parallels with TSSP. Good vs. evil for sure. Only in M1948, it's not clear who wins. Waiting for your ideas here. Adele =============== Reply 12 of Note 37 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: WSRF10B SHERRY KELLER Date: 06/22 From: KDEX08B RUTH BAVETTA Time: 5:44 PM I got MONTANA 1948 out of the library yesterday afternoon and gulped it down before 8 o'clock. What a terrific book. Excellent writing, believable characters. A good story, but the emphasis on how the characters react to the events, rather than on the events themselves. I used to love a long, involved story that evolved over generations, like DANCING AT THE RASCAL FAIR. Lately, my favorite reads have been like this book, closely focused on a moment. The moral dilemma here is one that has been addressed time and time again in literature and in art. Loyalty to family or to honor. The story was resolved, but nothing was solved. This was a situation in which there was no right answer. By not solving it, Watson has given us a gift, something to think about long after our reading is over. Thanks Sherry and Dale, and others, for recommending this book. Ruth, in balmy California =============== Reply 13 of Note 37 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: KDEX08B RUTH BAVETTA Date: 06/22 From: WSRF10B SHERRY KELLER Time: 9:22 PM Dear Ruth, I thought you would like this. Very concise beautiful book. I went right to WHITE CROSSES. I like that as well. Life has prevented me from gulping it, but as soon as I get back to normal, I will finish it. I don't think it's the classic that 1948 is, but well worth while. Sherry back from Up North where I missed the big Milwaukee Flood of 1997 =============== Reply 14 of Note 37 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: KDEX08B RUTH BAVETTA Date: 06/22 From: KGXC73A GAIL SINGER GROSS Time: 9:31 PM greetings dddRUTH... and just think now you have his latest to add to your list...WHITE CROSSES... gail..hp..a passionate reader in the throes of THE SPARROW... =============== Reply 15 of Note 37 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: PKHF06A ADELE STRATTON Date: 07/01 From: NCSH82B BARBARA MOORS Time: 8:30 AM Just finished MONTANA 1948 on tape. It was produced by Recorded Books and read by Beau Bridges. I was kind of surprised to see that name because, though Recorded Books does use stage actors as readers, they haven't used a well known "Hollywood" actor before...that I've noticed. In any case, he did a good job and I definitely recommend it. And, wow, what a good book! I now see what everyone has been talking about. It had many of the things that I love about a good short story, really zeroing in on the moment as Ruth said. And, yet, it was long enough to spin it out and give us more dimensions. That father reminded me a bit of the one in A THOUSAND ACRES. I know that there were a lot of differences as well, but that strong, western person who has such a capacity for hurting his children rung a bell. I had the sense that he saw the brother as such a projection of himself and admired him so much that he would have been willing to sacrifice the other son and his family to save him. SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm not sure that Frank's (do I have his name right?) suicide rings true for me though. Given his cavalier attitude toward his crimes and his father's attitude toward them, I couldn't imagine him feeling this kind of despair about the situation. Though he felt some closeness to his brother, I didn't think he would stop short of mowing him down to survive. Comments? BTW, hope Prodigy will still post this on the original thread. Barb =============== Reply 16 of Note 37 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: NCSH82B BARBARA MOORS Date: 07/01 From: KDEX08B RUTH BAVETTA Time: 12:17 PM Barbara, I felt exactly the same way about the suicide. Just didn't ring true. I had the feeling it was kind of a *deus ex machina* to tie things up and come to some kind of an ending. Ruth =============== Reply 17 of Note 37 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: NCSH82B BARBARA MOORS Date: 07/03 From: MXDD10A DALE SHORT Time: 3:05 PM Barbara & All: I just finished Watson's MONTANA 1948 and now I see what all the fuss was about. One hell of a book, isn't it? Intriguing, the range of emotional effects he can achieve with such spare, restrained writing. I agree with you guys in having reservations about Frank's fate, but I'm hard-pressed to come up with a different ending that would work. I'd love to read an interview with Watson where he discusses that subject. I'll check on Homework Helper and see if there's one there. What a beautifully done scene, where Frank's breaking the canning jars. I don't know how Watson did it, but the sense of fear and threat was even stronger for me than in the shotgun scene that came just before. And an epilogue, pardon the expression, to die for. Most epilogues are letdowns for me, but what a gorgeous way of closing out such a book: the image of playing football in the leaves with Marie, and the final scene at Thanksgiving dinner where father slams his fist down and says "Don't ever blame Montana." Such strong characters, throughout. Whew. A life-interrupter, for sure. After I recover from this one, I'm going to track down WHITE CROSSES. >>Dale in Ala. =============== Reply 18 of Note 37 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: MXDD10A DALE SHORT Date: 07/03 From: KDEX08B RUTH BAVETTA Time: 3:23 PM I'm glad you enjoyed it Dale. I thought it was terrific. MONTANA 1948 and Allan Gurganis's (sp?) WHITE PEOPLE are the best things I've red this year. Ruth =============== Reply 19 of Note 37 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: KDEX08B RUTH BAVETTA Date: 07/03 From: MXDD10A DALE SHORT Time: 3:58 PM Ruth: Speaking of Gurganus, I've got an excellent interview with him from Poets & Writers magazine. I'll drop it in the mail to you this weekend. >>Dale in Ala. =============== Reply 20 of Note 37 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: MXDD10A DALE SHORT Date: 07/03 From: WSRF10B SHERRY KELLER Time: 6:47 PM Dear Dale, I'm so glad you liked this. I thought you would. I disagree with the others in that I think the suicide seemed to fit. It was almost like some sort of morality play or Shakespearean tragedy. I can't wait for you to read WHITE CROSSES; I've been dying to discuss it with someone. Sherry in the cold and dreary north woods of Wisconsin. Look like IN THE LAKE OF THE WOODS out there. =============== Reply 21 of Note 37 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: WSRF10B SHERRY KELLER Date: 07/03 From: MXDD10A DALE SHORT Time: 7:54 PM Sherry: Good to hear from you! My mind still boggles at the miracle of "talking" to somebody in a cold and dreary climate. The sun was broiling here today, and the humidity brought the heat index up to 110 at one point. Perfect time for my car's A/C to go out, which it did. Luckily it's a "relay switch," $75, and not the compressor. I suppose I'm living right. I look forward to reading Watson's WHITE CROSSES, for sure. And your reference to IN THE LAKE OF THE WOODS makes me realize that O'Brien's novel is one of a handful the mention of whose very name makes my heart ache. I worry about those people, till this day. The ultimate achievement of a fiction writer, I would think, and O'Brien--for all his tortured "real" life--is definitely one of the best we've got. >>Dale in Ala. =============== Reply 6 of Note 2 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: MXDD10A DALE SHORT Date: 07/04 From: VMMN97A FELIX MILLER Time: 11:00 AM RE: MONTANA 1948 I read this book in one sitting, and was really locked in. The characters and the situations manage to be both very strong in a sense of a particular time and place, and still ring true for people in general. The attitudes of the father and the "golden boy" Frank remind me of many of the people I grew up with, back in the bad old days of the 1950s in the south. Substitute African-Americans for Native Americans, and you have an exact parallel. The father is a recognizable type, Western, Southern or otherwise, a man of absolutes and intolerant of any differing views or of anybody who doesn't measure up. Like the son who was good enough to mind the store at the sheriff's office, but who could not compare to the War Hero/Athlete/Doctor son. I found it easy to believe the suicide of the "golden boy," because he was essentially without any real character, just an assemblage of skills. Having never known anything but admiration and unqualified approval, he was totally unprepared for the sort of humiliation and public exposure facing him in a trial. This is a keeper. From the very hot mountain, Felix Miller =============== Reply 7 of Note 2 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: VMMN97A FELIX MILLER Date: 07/04 From: KDEX08B RUTH BAVETTA Time: 12:33 PM And I found it hard to believe the suicide, for almost the same reason, Felix. This guy seems so completely tuned into himself, so completely unable to see that his actions were in any way beyond the Pale, you know, one of those people who think if they did it, it was justified, that I couldn't believe he would knock himself off. I was sure he would just go on, no matter what happened, with his head locked in the same box. Nevertheless, this book is right up on the top of my list this year. Ruth =============== Reply 8 of Note 2 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: MXDD10A DALE SHORT Date: 07/04 From: KDEX08B RUTH BAVETTA Time: 12:37 PM Dale, I'm looking forward to reading the Gurganus interview. If that excerpt is an example, it should be very, very interesting. My subscription to P&W appears to have dissolved. I hate it when magazines start dunning you to renew so far ahead of time that by the time the sub actually runs out you can't remember if you renewed or not. Ruth, in Redlands where the forecast is for 102 =============== Reply 9 of Note 2 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: KDEX08B RUTH BAVETTA Date: 07/04 From: NCSH82B BARBARA MOORS Time: 2:21 PM You perfectly articulated the reason for my disbelief, Ruth. But, I'm with all of you on the quality of this book...definitely a life interrupter. Barb =============== Reply 10 of Note 2 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: NCSH82B BARBARA MOORS Date: 07/08 From: PKHF06A ADELE STRATTON Time: 5:16 PM I saw the the suicide as selfish and cowardly, the same emotions, along with others, that would drive a rapist. When his daddy couldn't free him, Frank got mad and decided suicide would be the easiest way to go out and humiliate his brother in the process. So the suicide worked just fine for me. Sorry this is late..couldn't get on here for quite a while. Sherry, I will be starting WHITE CROSSES tomorrow, but don't have much time to read right now. Hope I'm not too late to join the talk about it. Adele, with primer and paint everywhere. =============== Reply 11 of Note 2 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: PKHF06A ADELE STRATTON Date: 07/08 From: WSRF10B SHERRY KELLER Time: 5:23 PM Dear Adele, No problem. I'll be joining your primer and paint with my wallpaper remover solution and scraper. There hasn't been any discussion of WHITE CROSSES yet. I'm the only one here who's read it so far. I'm looking forward to your take on it. Sherry =============== Reply 12 of Note 2 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: WSRF10B SHERRY KELLER Date: 07/13 From: AHBR34A RON DILLON Time: 8:13 PM I was a little disappointed in Frank's suicide. Watson did little to give you any insight into how Frank thought and what would prompt him to take such a drastic step. One can only assume that Frank couldn't "face the music" when daddy failed to free him. Or maybe he was just trying to embarass or get even with his younger brother. I wish Larry Watson had given Frank's wife a bigger part. Perhaps that would have given us some insight into Frank's motivation. That's my 2 cents. =============== Reply 13 of Note 2 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: AHBR34A RON DILLON Date: 07/13 From: KDEX08B RUTH BAVETTA Time: 9:16 PM That was the only part of the book that didn't ring true to me, either, Ron. Seems that Frank was WAY too self-centered to even realize what damage he had done. Ruth =============== Reply 14 of Note 2 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: AHBR34A RON DILLON Date: 07/14 From: WSRF10B SHERRY KELLER Time: 8:29 AM Dear Ron, Welcome to Constant Reader. I hope you take part in other discussions as well. I thought the suicide was in character, even if you have to extrapolate a bit. We only see Frank's character through the eyes of others, and although he is indeed very self-centered, I think suicide is very self-centered. I certainly don't think his suicide was caused by his belated belief that he actually did anything wrong. I think it was caused by his agony at not being on top. Of course he knows what he did is wrong, but he doesn't care, and for his whole life, no one else has cared either. Now he's caught and he can't stand it. He's trapped in his brother's basement--his brother who he's spent a lifetime being better than, glorifying in being better than, and this brother is responsible in his mind for his downfall. He's angry as hell. He's trapped and he can't do anything except break jars. And when breaking things gets no reaction, he realizes that he has lost. And he can't stand it. He breaks himself. It's the only thing left to break. That's my two cents. Sherry =============== Reply 15 of Note 2 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: AHBR34A RON DILLON Date: 07/14 From: NCSH82B BARBARA MOORS Time: 9:19 AM Great to hear your two cents, Ron. I think maybe your point about Frank facing the music when Daddy didn't come through immediately might have been Watson's viewpoint. That doesn't make sense to me either though because he hadn't given him much time, though time may seem a little different in a root cellar. I just found Frank far too sure of his own superiority to end up in suicide. The development of Frank's wife would've been interesting. Watson seemed to be implying that she knew nothing of what he was doing with the Indian women and that seems impossible to me. Or, maybe he meant that she accepted the same double standard. I haven't seen you before on CR. Tell us a little bit about yourself, what you're reading and some of your all-time favorites. Please? Barb =============== Reply 16 of Note 2 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: WSRF10B SHERRY KELLER Date: 07/14 From: KDEX08B RUTH BAVETTA Time: 11:28 AM Great note, Sherry. You almost talked me over to your point of view. Ruth =============== Reply 17 of Note 2 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: NCSH82B BARBARA MOORS Date: 07/14 From: AHBR34A RON DILLON Time: 8:35 PM Barb, I am an avid reader. Right now I am reading London by Edward Rutherford. I enjoy historical fiction, science fiction, classics, history and novels. I tend to read just about anything. =============== Reply 18 of Note 2 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: AHBR34A RON DILLON Date: 07/15 From: NCSH82B BARBARA MOORS Time: 8:33 AM Oh Ron, have you found the right place! If you're interested, Sherry Keller has a list of the books we read and discuss together at intervals. Do you have that already? And, have you been around here before and I've just missed you? Also, it's amazing to me how often I've posted a note about a book I've been reading and have found interest from others here. Please stick around and post your impressions. In addition, there's CR Salon for non-book related talk. And, last but definitely not least, please check out Classics Corner. We're currently talking about OF HUMAN BONDAGE and will be discussing THE HOUSE OF MIRTH by Edith Wharton next month. I don't know anything about LONDON. Is it fiction? Barb =============== Reply 19 of Note 2 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: AHBR34A RON DILLON Date: 07/15 From: PKHF06A ADELE STRATTON Time: 5:16 PM Ron, seems to me you'd be a perfect fit for Constant Reader. Welcome aboard! Adele =============== Reply 20 of Note 2 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: WSRF10B SHERRY KELLER Date: 07/15 From: PKHF06A ADELE STRATTON Time: 5:24 PM Regarding Frank's suicide, I wonder if he would have done the same thing had his brother followed normal procedures and put Frank in jail. Frank's brother was trying to save face a little for Frank (whether or not he deserved face-saving is another matter), but inadvertently made things worse instead of better, and not just for Frank. As to Frank's wife, I thought that her not knowing--or wanting to know--what Frank was doing was quite plausible. Remember this was back in the 50-60's (wasn't it?) when being a Mrs. Dr. anyone was enough for many women. Adele =============== Reply 21 of Note 2 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: PKHF06A ADELE STRATTON Date: 07/15 From: MXDD10A DALE SHORT Time: 5:29 PM Adele: What an interesting post. Much food for thought. And BTW, if *you* don't use your so-very-cogent phrase MRS. DR. ANYONE as the title of a piece of fiction, I will. >>Dale in Ala. =============== Reply 22 of Note 2 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: PKHF06A ADELE STRATTON Date: 07/15 From: WSRF10B SHERRY KELLER Time: 5:40 PM Dear Adele, I thought of that too. I worried that putting Frank in the house was a big mistake. As it turned out, it was a mistake in a different direction than the one I anticipated. Sherry =============== Reply 23 of Note 2 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: WSRF10B SHERRY KELLER Date: 07/15 From: VMMN97A FELIX MILLER Time: 9:08 PM Sherry, I think you are exactly right-"[Himself] is the only thing left to break." Great summation of Frank's attitude. Regards from the mountain, Felix Niller =============== Reply 24 of Note 2 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: VMMN97A FELIX MILLER Date: 07/15 From: KXBZ24A ANNE WILFONG Time: 10:28 PM It's been a few years since I read this, but I remember feeling that the suicide didn't ring true. People don't kill themselves out of anger (as in after throwing all those jars & venting that anger--that's actually healthy!) Suicide generally follows a deep depression, when there's absolute despair, when there's no way out of this pit. And it's when this curtain of depression begins to lift that one finds the energy to commit this totally selfish act. I never felt the guy had it in him. Now I guess I should reread to see if that's still my take. Anne, with too much to read already! =============== Reply 25 of Note 2 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: KXBZ24A ANNE WILFONG Date: 07/16 From: PKHF06A ADELE STRATTON Time: 5:06 PM I am determined to convince at least a few of you skeptics that Frank's suicide was plausible . Suicide is an act of cowardice. Isn't a rapist a kind of coward--a violent, childish, selfish one? I think it is a mistake to assume a maturity in Frank that just wasn't there, despite his age and education. Neither has anything to do with maturity. And from what we know about Frank's life--the way his father doted on and rescued him--it would be almost impossible for Frank to have developed any level of adult maturity. Assuming that Frank had an overblown self-esteem which would have prevented him from committing suicide I think is also a mistake. Self-esteem comes from deserved pride in true accomplishment and responsibility, not from parental ego-boosting, stroking, and undeserved hero-worship. So, if we take away the assumptions of maturity and too-high self-esteem, then it becomes plausible, even likely, that Frank assumed that he could "get away" with the suicide--that is, he was pretty much incapable of foreseeing and acknowledging the consequences, even to himself, in his childish snit over what his brother had done to him. I think Frank's suicide was an act of impulse by a coddled, overgrown 2-year-old, not a calculated maneuver, or the result of any depression or attack of conscience/guilt. Now, does anyone want to address what made this book so masculine to me? The smell of Old Spice practically wafted off the pages! Is this a genre with which I should be more familiar, or is this as unusual as I thought? Adele, who made it to page 21 of WHITE CROSSES last night. =============== Reply 26 of Note 2 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: PKHF06A ADELE STRATTON Date: 07/16 From: WSRF10B SHERRY KELLER Time: 5:53 PM Adele, What a good post! But then of course I agree with you . Can't wait to discuss WHITE CROSSES with you. I hope I still remember some of it. And yes, very masculine indeed. I think that's one reason I really liked it. Sherry =============== Reply 27 of Note 2 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: WSRF10B SHERRY KELLER Date: 07/16 From: PKHF06A ADELE STRATTON Time: 9:16 PM So Sherry, what made M1948 so darned masculine and manly? I've never experienced anything quite like that in a book. Wonder if I've ever experienced a feminine story, but overlooked it because it was too familiar, or something I am slogging through WHITE CROSSES. Thus far it has not grabbed me like 1948, in many ways seems strikingly opposite. Wordy. I know more about the sheriff than I want to already. But perhaps this will make sense down the road. Hard to read with the pounding going on in the kitchen this week. (Workers are here replacing floor and countertops.) Adele in HOT Columbus, Ohio =============== Reply 28 of Note 2 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: PKHF06A ADELE STRATTON Date: 07/16 From: KDEX08B RUTH BAVETTA Time: 10:23 PM Gee, Adele and Sherry, I didn't catch the overwhelming aura of the Y chromosome in M1948 like you two apparently did. Yes, it was a story about men. But what I liked about it was that unlike some stories about men, it dealt with emotions and characters, rather than action. Maybe I'm reading you wrong when you say "a man's book", but I think of that phrase as something indicating action and heroes/badguys and maybe some violence. There was some of that here, but I didn't see it as the focus of the boo. It seemed to me to be dedicated to "inner" things rather than the "outer". Can you explain to me what you two mean? Ruth =============== Reply 29 of Note 2 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: KDEX08B RUTH BAVETTA Date: 07/17 From: WSRF10B SHERRY KELLER Time: 8:01 AM Ruth, That's the point. It told the story of the inner workings of a man. I also liked Larry Brown's ON FIRE for the same reasons. Lots of books I like have been written by men, of course, but this point of view is one I find refreshing -- sort of blue collar intellectual. Sherry in windy Milwaukee =============== Reply 30 of Note 2 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: WSRF10B SHERRY KELLER Date: 07/17 From: KDEX08B RUTH BAVETTA Time: 11:12 AM Okay, Sherry, if that's what you mean, I'll buy it. It's one reason why I enjoyed the book, too. Ruth =============== Reply 31 of Note 2 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: KDEX08B RUTH BAVETTA Date: 07/17 From: PKHF06A ADELE STRATTON Time: 4:47 PM Yes, "blue collar intellectual." Good phrase, Sherry. If could explain this, I guess I'd understand it. You're right that ON FIRE is another example of this phenomemon. Hmmm. Also perhaps "regular guy intellectual" ? A certain simplicity of outlook for sure. But still, all male. I'm about 100 pages into Watson's WHITE CROSSES, and it does not have this same element for me. Adele, with the kitchen coming along. =============== Reply 32 of Note 2 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: PKHF06A ADELE STRATTON Date: 07/18 From: NCSH82B BARBARA MOORS Time: 1:22 PM Well, Adele and Sherry...you're slowing inching me along toward belief in this suicide. Actually, Adele, your view of it as a childish snit that he could "get away with" is the most convincing for me. I agree that what Frank had was not true self-esteem, but I couldn't buy in him the kind of despair that I usually associate with suicide. I agree absolutely that suicide is an ultimately selfish act though I don't really condemn it depending on how it is carried out. However, the selfishness alone was not enough to make it seem real in Frank's case. Inability to fully realize consequences does fit. And, (gosh, I feel like I'm being disagreeable these days), I really don't see this book as a representative of either gender. It's one of those wonderful books that seems simply human. However, it is very nice to have a book written about men that conveys so many inner feelings without self-consciousness. Barb =============== Reply 33 of Note 2 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: NCSH82B BARBARA MOORS Date: 07/18 From: KDEX08B RUTH BAVETTA Time: 5:59 PM You make a good case, Sherry and Adele, and you, too Barb. And I'm willing to concede that Frank's suicide was a selfish act. It usually is. But I also felt that Frank was the type that would go on bending the facts to suit his vision of reality all his life, and therefore would never be so desparate as to kill himself. I think if Watson had developed Frank's character a little more, had perhaps made him a little less of a walking ego, I would have accepted this end better. I needed to know Frank a little better. Ruth =============== Reply 34 of Note 2 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: NCSH82B BARBARA MOORS Date: 07/19 From: MXDD10A DALE SHORT Time: 3:50 PM Barbara: I gave MONTANA 1948 to a friend who's a publications writer/editor of the highest order, and while she maintains the viewpoint is obviously male (*nice* male, but still) she's also fallen in love with Watson's writing style and is pointing out facets of it I didn't recognize the first time through. For instance, Melanie has "always loved parentheses," and thinks Watson uses them with genius--often setting up the surface, or "approved," or community viewpoint in one of his long, graceful sentences and then, in her words, "telling the truth inside the parentheses." Perceptive woman, this. Makes me want to read it again... >>Dale in Ala. =============== Reply 35 of Note 2 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: MXDD10A DALE SHORT Date: 07/19 From: NCSH82B BARBARA MOORS Time: 5:34 PM That's interesting, Dale. I have to confess that I didn't even notice his use of parenthesis which must say something for his subtlety of using them...or my total fog. I *am* going to skim through the book a bit and look for them now. Do you mind sharing anything else that she pointed out? Barb =============== Reply 36 of Note 2 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: KDEX08B RUTH BAVETTA Date: 07/19 From: NCSH82B BARBARA MOORS Time: 5:34 PM I agree, Ruth...I find myself doing a lot of fence straddling here, but, gut-level, it still doesn't quite fit for me. Barb =============== Reply 37 of Note 2 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: NCSH82B BARBARA MOORS Date: 07/19 From: KDEX08B RUTH BAVETTA Time: 8:13 PM If you're in a fog, Barb, then I am, too. I never noticed the parentheses either. I got this one out of the library, so I can't check back and look. If you do, I'd love to see an example. Ruth =============== Reply 38 of Note 2 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: KDEX08B RUTH BAVETTA Date: 07/19 From: PKHF06A ADELE STRATTON Time: 11:33 PM Barb--I guess if you read it BOT style, you wouldn't notice the parentheses. That's one little disadvantange of BOTs. Ruth--I may not remember, but did Frank actually deny that he was fooling around on the reservation? My (quite possibly faulty) recollection is that he just didn't think there was much wrong with it and why would anyone care if he was. Adele, who read it twice and doesn't remember the use of parentheses either =============== Reply 39 of Note 2 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: PKHF06A ADELE STRATTON Date: 07/20 From: KDEX08B RUTH BAVETTA Time: 1:11 AM My recollection coincides with yours, Adele. It seems to me that Frank was the kind of person who couldn't see anything wrong in whatever he chose to do. Ruth =============== Reply 40 of Note 2 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: KDEX08B RUTH BAVETTA Date: 07/20 From: NCSH82B BARBARA MOORS Time: 9:08 AM Adele, Do you think this is part of the fog or evidence that the bot was simply very well-done? How embarrassing! I had totally forgotten that I listened to this book on tape. Somehow, I visualized it sitting on my book shelf. Ahem...well, I will check out those parenthesis at the library.... Barb =============== Reply 41 of Note 2 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: NCSH82B BARBARA MOORS Date: 07/20 From: KDEX08B RUTH BAVETTA Time: 12:25 PM Barbara, when you said you'd forgotten you listened to this on tape instead of reading it, I laughed. That is, until I remembered that I often have trouble remembering whether I've seen a particular piece of art "in person" or only in reproduction. Ruth
=============== Note 67 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: ALL Date: 06/29/97 From: WSRF10B SHERRY KELLER Time: 5:03 PM WHITE CROSSES by Larry Watson This is an engrossing book. I didn't like it as much as MONTANA 1948, but it is a different kind of book and examines different issues. The main character is the sheriff of Bentrock, Montana, the locale of M1948. Some of the themes are similar, but looked at from a very different angle. Two people are killed in a car wreck. One is the principal of the high school and the other is a teenage girl who just graduated. The sheriff feels an enormous sense of responsibility for keeping the truth hidden from the town. He manages to convince everyone that the principal's son was the one running away with the girl and that the principal was only helping him out. Watson gets us deep inside the sheriff's head. So much so, that we get to hear just about everything he thinks to himself as the book progresses. This is an interesting technique. In the process we hear his fantasies, his fears, his desires, his hopes. Since the sheriff mulls things over quite a bit, we are witness to a lot of this mulling, some of which seems superfluous to plot. But this is not so much a plot-driven book, although there is lots of plot, and especially around midway you really want to know what is going to happen. Adele, were you going to read this with me? Sherry up in the North Woods =============== Reply 1 of Note 67 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: WSRF10B SHERRY KELLER Date: 06/29 From: KDEX08B RUTH BAVETTA Time: 6:32 PM I like a book that sticks to one POV, really gets inside one person's skin. This sounds promising, Sherry. I'm going to check to see if my library has it. Ruth =============== Reply 2 of Note 67 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: KDEX08B RUTH BAVETTA Date: 06/30 From: WSRF10B SHERRY KELLER Time: 0:19 AM Dear Ruth, I'll be interested to see what you think of it. It's not as short or as concise as M1948. Sherry =============== Reply 3 of Note 67 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: WSRF10B SHERRY KELLER Date: 06/30 From: KDEX08B RUTH BAVETTA Time: 0:28 AM I loved M1948. Checked the library and they do have WHITE CROSSES, but it's out until July 11. I wish we could do reserves by computer. Ruth =============== Reply 4 of Note 67 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: KDEX08B RUTH BAVETTA Date: 06/30 From: WSRF10B SHERRY KELLER Time: 9:34 AM Dear Ruth, I think my fuzzy brain can retain enough to have a discussion after July 11. Adele said she would read it too. Are you there Adele? I haven't been able to find any reviews of it on the web. Watson teaches at Univ. of Wisconsin at Stevens Point. I go right past SP every time I go back and forth from the cabin. If I were like gail I would look him up. Sherry listening to birdsong after a thunderstorm =============== Note 15 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: ALL Date: 08/05 From: PKHF06A ADELE STRATTON Time: 6:50 PM WHITE CROSSES by Larry Watson. Sherry and other CR's. Has anyone read this latest one by the author of our much-loved- and-discussed MONTANA 1948? I'm embarrassed to admit how long it took me to get through this one. In many ways like M1948, but in other ways a complete departure. So many things going on here, it took me a month to read this! In fact, if I hadn't admired M1948 so much, I probably would have given up on WHITE CROSSES way before halfway. For me, it got better--or at least more interesting--toward the end. What did you think? My gut reaction is what a paranoid, self-righteous, self-absorbed guy. He got what he deserved. But there was probably more here than I was able to take in, given my long pauses and my own distraction level, which is higher than I would like... Adele, who unfortunately now appears like a long-shot for Denver. My good friend and boss was diagnosed with lymphoma last Friday, and that means it is unlikely that I will be able to get the 2 days off work (the first week of school for us!) I would need. Arrrrrrgh! But, I am sitting tight, resisting the urge to ask my good friend, "just when do you think you will be starting this chemo? Do you think you could cover for me on your first day off of the year?" She has her first oncologist appointment on August 28. I really want to come; please do not count me out yet. =============== Reply 1 of Note 15 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: PKHF06A ADELE STRATTON Date: 08/05 From: YCVW72A JULIANN PHILLIPS Time: 9:01 PM Adele - jsut finished WHITE CROSSES - was looking forward to it after waiting 3 months for my hold at the libray and having read MONTANA 1948 in one afternoon. I plunged in, ready to be mesmerized. I have to say I enjoyed the book but would be hard pressed to recommend it to anyone for fear they would be overwhelmed by the sheriff - how did he ever get any work done with all the INTERNAL THINKING!!! It took me longer to finish than I expected. I agree - he got his just desserts. It must be hard to turn out a book after such a beauty as M1948. Juliann - a book fiend in Seattle =============== Reply 2 of Note 15 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: YCVW72A JULIANN PHILLIPS Date: 08/05 From: KGXC73A GAIL SINGER GROSS Time: 10:39 PM greetings JULIANN.. kindly meet me in the salon.. gail..hp..a p r =============== Reply 3 of Note 15 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: PKHF06A ADELE STRATTON Date: 08/05 From: KDEX08B RUTH BAVETTA Time: 11:21 PM Adele, hang in there for your boss the way you hung in there fore me. Having been hit with a nasty diagnosis, I know what it's like. Ruth, also hoping she can see you in Denver. =============== Reply 4 of Note 15 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: KDEX08B RUTH BAVETTA Date: 08/06 From: PKHF06A ADELE STRATTON Time: 8:22 AM Thanks Ruth, I will. I am still reeling from her diagnosis--she's been wheezing since this spring--everyone thought she'd developed an allergy. Lymphoma was just about the last thing on anyone's mind... I still may find a way to get to Denver, but for me it's scheduled at a bad time (the weekend after our first week, and the weekend before a huge event that we've been planning for 3 years--sponsoring a professional workshop for 200-300 given by Bev Bos of Sacramento, CA. We consider Bev the spirit of early childhood education. Barb Moors--have you seen/heard of her?) Adele, sorry to have moved this away from WHITE CROSSES, still hoping Sherry will pipe in about that... =============== Reply 5 of Note 15 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: PKHF06A ADELE STRATTON Date: 08/06 From: WSRF10B SHERRY KELLER Time: 9:14 PM Dear Adele, I've just gotten caught up with all the notes since I returned from my extended trip to Maine & Boston. I will reply to your note about WHITE CROSSES when I can gather my thoughts. Stay tuned. Sherry who is back in Milwaukee =============== Reply 6 of Note 15 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: PKHF06A ADELE STRATTON Date: 08/08 From: WSRF10B SHERRY KELLER Time: 4:20 PM Anything I say about WHITE CROSSES is filtered through about a month of traveling (by car, plane and minivan) and kids being home from college and two dogs vying for top banana and having my house painted and my kitchen renovated---so memory may fail me. I read WC because I loved M'48, and they are totally different. WC seems like an experiment that at times may not have succeeded, but to my mind, as a whole succeeded very well. We are in the unique position of being in the sheriff's mind all the time--and in no other mind. If you are the kind of reader who is able to surrender to this sort of focus, both intense, and at times trying, then I'm sure you will like this book better than if you like to have a more omniscient or balanced look at things. The sheriff is easy-going and likes to keep things simple and likes to protect. He digs himself a hole when he orchestrates an enormous lie that is supposed to protect the town. The events, unforeseen circumstances, unforeseen characters with unpredictable natures, serve to turn his lie into a giant whirlwind that he can't handle. He doesn't want to admit failure, he doesn't want to give up control, he doesn't want people to know that he orchestrated the lie, so he keeps digging further out and deeper down. I don't think he deserved what he got; I liked him. I don't think I could have read this whole book, staying inside his head for this long, without becoming a bit attached. I was quite surprised by the end actually. I did want to knock him upside the head and tell him he was screwing up, and to let the town take its licks, but he just wouldn't have listened, I know. He was quite stubborn. Coincidentally, I bought the book right after a trip to Montana, and there ARE white crosses marking places all along the roads. Very sobering. =============== Reply 7 of Note 15 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: PKHF06A ADELE STRATTON Date: 08/11 From: NCSH82B BARBARA MOORS Time: 6:03 PM Adele, Meet me in the salon...I want to know more about Bev Bos. Barb...who would love to read WHITE CROSSES....
=============== Reply 27 of Note 14 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: KGXC73A GAIL SINGER GROSS Date: 12/22/97 =============== Reply 53 of Note 14 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: KGXC73A GAIL SINGER GROSS Date: 01/01 From: WSRF10B SHERRY KELLER Time: 11:49 AM These are the 12 books (decided not to acquiesce to base-10 prejudice) that I have read this year which have the highest Enjoyment/Value ratio. Some books not on the list have a very high Enjoyment number, but in the scheme of things I felt that they didn't have enough meat to make the final cut. There were some books with all meat (or gristle to stretch a point), and not enough enjoyment. And one was just too long to sustain the correct E/V balance--you will not be surprised to know that the author is Dickens and its initials are BH). So here is my ever-changing list, not including rereads (such as BONE PEOPLE). If you ask me the question next week, the list may very well change. In no particular order: MONTANA 1948, Larry Watson UNDER THE FROG, Tibor Fischer ALIAS GRACE, Margaret Atwood THINGS FALL APART, Chinua Achebe CRAZY IN ALABAMA, Mark Childress MADAME BOVARY, Gustav Flaubert TREE OF HEAVEN, R.C. Binstock BREAKFAST AT TIFFANYS (all 3 stories), Truman Capote COLD MOUNTAIN, Charles Frazier STRAIGHT MAN, Richard Russo MAGICIAN'S ASSISTANT, Ann Patchett TOWARD THE END OF TIME, John Updike An eclectic year--on to the next one. Sherry in sunny cold Milwaukee =============== Reply 54 of Note 14 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: WSRF10B SHERRY KELLER Date: 01/01 From: KGXC73A GAIL SINGER GROSS Time: 11:59 AM greetings to all in our UNIQUE COMMUNITY OF CR'S.. i am sitting here devising my list and i realize many of the books ..i read last year..such as ANGELA'S ASHES...BONE PEOPLE.. a few years ago.. MONTANA...alias grace... ALL SUPERB recommendations and indeed good considerations for BEST BOOKS OF 1997... so before i list mine i just want to add that these books would have been on my list also!!! tbc.... still doing a little mulling.. gail..hp..a p r..dashing off to film..but will return! thank you SENSATIONAL SHERRY for your list!!!love reading 'em! =============== Reply 20 of Note 42 ================= Board: BOOKS & WRITING Topic: BOOKS/FICTION Subject: CONSTANT READER To: FXBS39A WILLIAM BRIGODE Date: 02/03 From: REZG40D KARIN HANCHER Time: 10:55 PM I'm so glad you started this thread...at some time I was going to post a thank you to the CR regulars for the great reads I had in 1997. December marked a whole year of lurking (with minimal postings!) for me. Especially memorable reads were LAST ORDERS, THE SPARROW, A FINE BALANCE, THE COMMITMENTS, A GOOD SCENT FROM A STRANGE MOUNTAIN, LATECOMERS, MONTANA 1948, PATRON SAINT OF LIARS, CRAZY IN ALABAMA, READING IN THE DARK, and WHITE PEOPLE. Many thanks! I do need a bit of encouragement to finish DEBT TO PLEASURE...it didn't yell out at me so I quit on p. 75...is it just me? Karin in VA From: MXDD10A DALE SHORT Time: 9:32 AM gail & All: I couldn't hold my '97 Top 10 to 10 without a lot more thoughtful deliberating, which is hard to do this time of year, so here's my Top 13 in no particular order... --THE BONE PEOPLE, Keri Hulme --TREE OF HEAVEN, R.C. Binstock --FIRST LOVE, Ivan Turgenev --TABLOID DREAMS, Robert Olen Butler --ALIAS GRACE, Margaret Atwood --MONTANA 1948, Larry Watson --THE GREAT FIRES (poetry), Jack Gilbert --THINGS FALL APART, Chinua Achebe --NAKED, David Sedaris --THE LAST HOTEL FOR WOMEN, Vicki Covington --ORANGES ARE NOT THE ONLY FRUIT, Jeanette Winterson --THE HORSE WHISPERER, Nicholas Evans --HOSTILE WITNESS, William Lashner *** It's been my pleasure to read several of these in concert with CRs, which always makes a book better. Two explanatory notes: I had my gripes about HORSE WHISPERER, including some clunky writing and a few brushes with melodrama, but the story's so strong I find it stays with me. Also, HOSTILE WITNESS is a book I ran across by chance at the library. I haven't heard or seen it or the author mentioned anywhere else, but it's one of the most solid and entertaining courtroom thrillers I've ever read. Leagues above Grisham, a quirky sense of humor that's distinctively Lashner, and writing-wise almost up there with Scott Turow. Would make a great beach read, but don't wait till then if you can help it. >>Dale in Ala.

 

 
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