Tag Archives: H.L. Davis

Most Vivid Reads #4

Entry #4 in my “Most Vivid Reads” list (“most vivid” being a very similar but slightly different list than just a straight “My Favorites” — the books highlighted here are the ones that have been the most memorable reading experiences, the most vividly injected into my brain (and therefore life), whether or not I re-read them to death). Previous posts in this series can be found here.

The Road — Cormac McCarthy

If you’ve read it, you knew it was coming on this list. The Road is not just engrossing, it’s enveloping. It’s spare writing (I swear 90% of the book is white-space) but each sentence paints such a vivid picture in your head you’ll feel you watched it on screen (they did make a movie of it, but it feels like there’s really no need to see it (I didn’t, even though it starred Viggo Mortensen!) because the novel is so visual, so vivid). Continue reading

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Reading the NW

Recently finished Brian Doyle‘s lovely fiction debut Mink River, magical realism of the sort you might expect from a book that crosses Irish and coastal Native American stories and styles. It’s rich, delightful, and satisfying and I kept thinking as I read it that if it didn’t turn out to remain so all the way through the end I should be horribly disappointed.

I wasn’t. Every time I thought the storylines might get too plot-less, or the interweaving (sentence to sentence, in some sections) might unravel, or the lush repetition might overwhelm, what needed to happen happened, in some unexpected and wonderfully blooming way.

Mink River is set in a town on the Oregon coast, not, as Doyle explains at the beginning, “an especially stunning town, stunningtownwise” — there are

no houses crying out to be on the cover of a magazine that no one actually reads anyway and the magazine ends up in the bathroom and then is cut to ribbons for a fourth-grade collage project that uses a jar of rubber cement that was in the drawer by the back stairs by the old shoebox and the jar of rubber cement is so old that you secretly wonder if it fermented or a mouse died in it or what.

One way to put it is that the rest of the book tells you what the town is.

Continue reading

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