Posts Tagged ‘adventure’

Eric Hoffer Awards stormed the meaning of Listener in the Snow with its review published in US Review of Books, June 1, 2017. The legacy award states:

Unlike many in the industry, we think good books last longer than one season.”

Here is the review of Listener:

Listener in the Snow: A Novel, Tim Jollymore, Finns Way Books – In this riveting tale of the north, the author weaves unfamiliar and diverse strands to craft a surprisingly suspenseful and intriguing novel. The bitter cold of northern Minnesota, the solitary ice fisherman lodged in his darkling hut, the heritage and ambivalence of the Algonquin peoples as they mingle, often tragically, with the rest of us, the contrast of a comfortable busy life in Pensacola to a simple pure one in the forested north—these and other elements flow naturally into the story. The book is temporally layered, told retrospectively as a tale recounted in an ice house to a brother-in-law on frozen Thief Lake. It is intellectually layered as the author moves about seamlessly from simple story, to existential reflection, to gripping, totemistic Algonquin spirituality. Best of all it is a very human story as a secret past unhinges Tatty and Mary’s marriage and carries them on a journey unexpected and dreadful.

 

Cover imageI have a special interest in David Landau’s work: he edited Observation Hill, my second novel due for release August 1, 2015. Perhaps I wouldn’t have selected this book out of thousands, millions, of others, but that is the way of books. They come to us in many ways: assigned, gifted, recommended by older brothers, found on airplanes, selected from shelves because of title or cover, touted by their authors.  Death Is Not Always the Winner, once in my hand, burned in my mind and still burns there. Let the review speak for itself.

Death Is Not Always the Winner by David Landau

David gave me two books a sunny day in North Beach; in his off handed, jovial fashion he said, “Don’t hurry to read them.” Then he laughed. I was definitely going to read them, if not immediately, as fast as I could work through my cue. He filled the balance of our lunch time with stories of “mischief” he was stirring in Guatemala, confounding a corrupt far-left and an empowered far-right. Until I read Death Is Not Always the Winner, something he’d penned a few years ago, I had little idea just how “mischief” informed who David Landau is.

The current resurgence of interplay between the civilian US population and Cuba and the immanent un-cooling (does one dare say warming?) of relations and hope for social commerce, this book is one we must read. We must read it lest we be ignorant of subterfuge on both sides, lest we forget the lessons our government (and Cuba’s) should have—but did not—learn in the last half century, or lest we miss the sense of who Cuban truly are and who they have been. Perhaps we may also learn why.

In 9th grade social studies I asked Mr. Trochel, “Is there going to be war?” Krushchev and Kennedy were at loggerheads over missiles in Cuba. That is as much as I ever knew about Cuban relations. Now, I feel better informed, wiser, attentive.

Landau’s hero, Rodrigo, a nom de guerre, proves his dedication to revolution and his mettle as both a man and a counterrevolutionary. His fortunes and misfortunes are concerning, but both he sets below his work: “It was a beautiful play [on the part of the CIA], and it should have worked with any man – but Rodrigo was not any man.” Rodrigo’s life fighting Batista, Castro, the net of spies and informers living off Castro’s revolution, is our narrative thread through history, a history we must keep in mind as we go forward. His story gives the lie to most of what we hear about Castro’s Cuba and, in a straightforward way to much of what we suspect we know about our government’s activities. Far from being just a history lesson, Rodrigo’s story is a hornbook of culture demonstrating what El Nouevo Hearld said about Landau: [he] “knows the Cuban mind and history better than most Cubans do.”

We begin the story with death, Rodrigo’s impending, promised death. Near the end, we visit the wall of the firing squad with the same man—he, of course, politely refuses the blindfold. Tension, thrilling action, and enough sex even for a quintessential Latin, pepper the hard historical tutelage clothed in a fictional garb of intrigue. It is a breathtaking tale. A story for past times and for today.

Peter Geye in The Lighthouse Road has successfully captured, perhaps immigrated, the chill reality of Nordic life found in such stories as Knut Hamsun’s Growth of the Soil and Ib Michael’s Prince bringing them to new life in the New World.

Geye tells tales set against wilderness and sea (Lake Superior), fraught with willful living and near-sinfulness. Twined in a hidden fixating past are Odd Eide’s beginnings—orphaned near birth and raised side by side with his future lover/sister, the much older Rebekah—and his bondage to Hosea Grimm his adoptive, overbearing father (and Rebekah’s as well).

If Odd’s story is about breaking away, it is as much about making a way to live under dire and difficult circumstances. His life is both baneful and desolate. He loses an eye to a hibernating she-bear to prove to himself he is not a coward. Odd dissembles against his employer-father, taking what he will of Hosea’s ungenerous wealth, and insists on the impossible: to provide for his own son a loving mother. His undaunted skill and hardihood match the unforgiving spirit of water and wilderness but are no match for twisted spirit of human want and wantonness.

The story is haunted by the same unworldliness Ib Michael brings us to on the Titanic in Prince and the same earthiness grounding all of Hamsun’s Growth of the Soil. Geye’s hard edged telling is as merciless as a Lake Superior storm, and as powerful too.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT:  Walter Lumppio, 510-387-2662
Email: walter@finnswaybooks.com
http://www.finnswaybooks.com/listener-in-the-snow.html

 

FINNS WAY BOOKS LAUNCHES MINNESOTAN’S DEBUT MYSTERY NOVEL: LISTENER IN THE SNOW

Readers of mystery, American-Indian story, and adventure set in the natural world will love this book:

Native mojo and a windigo vision stir up a storm of adventure along the path to save a marriage, as Tatty Langille, the Mi’kmaq storyteller, follows his wife’s crooked trail. Events explode in surreal settings, through winter storms, and during tavern brawls in rural Minnesota, weaving Native culture with odd Scandinavian characters.

 

Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 18, 2014 (Finns Way Books) — Oakland, California publisher, Finns Way Books, launches long-time Minnesota resident and writer, Tim Jollymore’s debut novel LISTENER IN THE SNOW, September 13, 2014.

LISTENER, reminiscent of the work of Minnesota writers Thomas Maltman and William Kent Krueger, employs local detail, Ojibwe story and motif, and compelling conundrums that lead Jollymore’s readers through a labyrinth of turbulence and troubles to an icy and surprising end.

LISTENER IN THE SNOW is available through the Ingram distribution system of independent book stores and on-line sources beginning September 13, 2014. The e-book release is scheduled for December 8, 2014.

Jollymore, a writing teacher for 17 years, is a masters graduate in literature of the University of Minnesota. http://www.tim.jollymore.net

 

About Finns Way Books: Finns Way Books promotes titles of wide literary and personal interest. We favor books that may have been overlooked by harried agents and publishers jammed by the tyranny of the market.