James Lee Burke is a dear friend to me even though we have never met. His writing resonates wih my Southern White Man ways and education and regard for the fairer sex. Enjoyed your noble authorship since I turned 16 years old and now I am 62 and counting on your contant friengship. Just now catching on to yout artful mind. Thank You Sir. Dr. Tom (Ret.)
great review. Anxiously awaiting the release of the book. Mr. Burke is one of my favorite writers. Would love to meet him.
Wonderful review Skylar. Thoroughly enjoyed! --pb
Only one quibble with this excellent article. Wayfaring Stranger and House of the Rising Sun are two of the best books I have read in a long, long time, and by the man who I consider our best living writer. But Wayfaring Stranger is actually set in 1946, not 1956.
Only one quibble with this excellent article. Wayfaring Stranger and House of the Rising Sun are two of the best books I have read in the last several years, and by the man who I consider our best living writer. But Wayfaring Stranger actually takes place in 1946, not 1956.
What a thoughtful review. I'm happy to see it in The Independent. This is an important novel for Missoulians to read and discuss.
I find posts like this to be very frustrating.
The author seems oblivious to the blatant prejudice being expressed here against people of religious faith. Identifying religious faith as the equivalent of poverty and domestic abuse?
Additionally, we have a case here of factually incorrect accusations being made against a religious minority. The Mormon church excommunicates polygamists, labels them heretics, and has since the late 1890s. There is no interaction between mainline Mormons and polygamist Mormons. There are polygamists groups in Arizona, and Alberta, but they are isolated and do not interact with mainline Mormons.
It would be like claiming the Catholic Church is responsible for the actions of Lutherans.
The implied dynamics of a mainline Mormon marrying his daughter off to a polygamist is bizarre and farcical without any connection to the actual life experience of Mormons.
Yet this is eaten up and believed. Why? Because the prejudice against Mormons is so great that lies like this delight you.
Let's cut to the truth here. Mormons are not hated because they believe in God, nor because they are devoted church goers. Mormons are hated because they reject the sexual revolution and continue to hold to a sexual morality that most people today resent because it makes them feel guilty about their choices. Mormons are hated because they say God forbids drug use.
That's why Mormons are hated.
Yet if one considers it, is refusing to use drugs evil? Is refusing to have sex before marriage evil? Why?
Ultimately the claim comes down to that you don't like being told that what you are doing is wrong. It's the resentment of a petulant child who doesn't want to be scolded. Therefor you seek the destruction of those that refuse to abandon the standards that you have abandoned. You will tell lies and slander them, because truth doesn't work to destroy them.
Articles like this do not call Mormons into judgement. They call you into judgement for your decision to spread slander about those you disagree with.
Would it be a comedy if it was written with the man as the victim?
Thanks for your comments and for the correction on Holy the Firm, Mitchell. We made the change.
Forgot to add: good review.
Even those familiar with Dillard (and I've been reading her since 1974) can be surprised by her. I'd always thought her deadly serious, in a philosophic way, then had the experience of hearing her live and realized that while she may indeed be dealing with subjects that are deadly serious, she's also a comedian. Going back and rereading her I find puckish humor I had original missed in the dazzle of her language. For those new to Dillard, I suggest keeping an eye out for the tongue in cheek and the joke. You'll find things it took me years to discover. Oh, and it is Holy the Firm, not The Holy Firm. Though the second does sound funnier.
wow. you nailed it. I feel more alive just reading your review. it's clear Annie Dillard's expansive & exploratory consciousness has taken hold. in you - and now in me.
This review completely misses the depth of the story...one of loss and redemption. Of course, if someone expects genre hack mystery pulp, this will surely disappoint. The heavy weight champ of lyrical story and prose is at his very finest.
Great review, CLT. This one definitely goes on my list. Some day we shall share epic stories of road trips with dogs over beverages. My worst/favorite involves duct tape, iced beach towels, and trapped near death in the hell called Needles.
It's worth pointing out that while ponderosa pine pines are a very important tree specie throughout the west, they actually make up a very small percentage of total forest ecosystems, as little as 10% in most areas, and perhaps even less in Montana.
This is important to keep in mind because often times timber-industry friendly scientists and politicians make it seem as if all forest ecosystems in the west are, or were, dominated by ponderosa pine...and that's entirely false, except for a few spots in the southwest US.
Also, these same folks often make it seem as if historically all the forests of the west (not just ponderosa pine forests) burned with a high frequency, but a low intensity. That's also entirely false, as new science and research is finding every day. See this for example: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?i…
Sure, give the book a read and learn more about ponderosa pines, but please don't think that higher elevation spruce/fir forests or many of the mid-elevation mixed confirm forests burned historically like ponderosa pine forests did. Heck, we are even finding that many ponderosa pine forests didn't burn historically like some would like us to believe.
Go David! Keep up the work. You're not done yet.
Thanks, for the correction, Shaun. We have updated the cutline online.
The baby in the photo in this article is McCarthy's godson, Missoulian Max Smith.
Excellent review of an excellent book.
One clarification: Krakauer did not rush the book. The book was complete early this year, and was slated for fall release. Rather, Doubleday rushed publication in response to Rolling Stone retracting its story about an alleged gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity.
(He talked about this in an interview, possibly with Charlie Rose.)
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