book reviews tagged posts

Close Range Review

Close Range coverI came to this book with some unease. My first encounter with Annie Proulx’s collection subtitled “Wyoming Stories,” was the final one, “Brokeback Mountain,” in which a cowboy discovers, as an adult, that he’s gay. Uh, yeah, sure. The story was a “political” assignment by one of my English professors, and it set my expectations when, probably 15 years later, I finally picked up the book again.

Proulx starts “A Lonely Coast” late in the book this way:

“You ever see a house burning up in the night, way to hell and gone out there on the plains?… And you might think about the people in the burning house, see them trying for the stairs, but mostly you don’t give a damn.”

That seems like a fitting metaphor for the entire book...

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Sea Species

Small 1-star rating on dark blue background

I really wanted to like R. L. Clayton’s debut novel, Sea Species. Unfortunately, the more I read, the easier it became to put this book down and the harder it became to pick it up again. By the time I got about a third of the way through, I could go no farther. Skipping ahead to see if things got better didn’t offer any encouragement.

What went wrong? The problems are the kinds that happen when a new writer doesn’t get the outside advice and critique on the draft that he should have and publishes the book before it’s ready.

Clayton’s good guys, the scientists of the Kihhim science colony in Arizona are indistinguishable except by name and gender...

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