Dunces! The epilogue is brief, just a single paragraph, but I think it merits its own analysis. The first line provides: “In the dawn there is a man progressing over the plain by means of holes which he is making in the ground.” (p. 337). The dawn? Is this dawn of the next morning? The dawn of time? Who is this man? Continue reading
So here it is, the second half of the last chapter in the book. The kid, now 45, is in a riotous saloon in Griffin, Texas, known in the area for its whores and evil. At the center of all of this, probably not surprising to any of our readers, is the judge. “Watching him across the layered smoke in the yellow light was the judge.” (p. 325). What will happen? Continue reading
Time continues to pass. This chapter begins in the later winter of 1878. Born in 1833, the “kid” is 45. He’s in the north Texas plains. It’s cold and windy. He goes to set up camp for the night, and as soon as gets his fire going, he notices another fire across the way. Like his, it warmed one man alone. Continue reading
I am just about finished with Sara Blaedel’s The Forgotten Girls. As crime fiction goes, it is pretty standard fare. What I didn’t realize until after I started reading it, however, is that Blaedel is from Denmark. And looking back, the last several crime fiction books I’ve read have also been from that part of the world: Stieg Larsson and his Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Series (Sweden); and his Detective Harry Hole series (Norway); and maybe not exactly crime fiction, but along these same lines, Herman Koch (born in the Netherlands, but having spent some time in Finland)(I recently devoured both The Dinner and Summer House With Swimming Pool. Excellent!). Continue reading
More time passes in this chapter than in any other chapter in the book (save maybe the first, when we go from the kid’s birth to the present). We learn some interesting things in this chapter. For one, we learn the age of the kid. Referred to only as “the kid” throughout the novel, we have no way of knowing how old he actually is. Until now. Though years and some historical events have been mentioned. Recall the first page of the book: “Night of your birth. Thirty-three. The Leonids they were called.” (p. 3). What does thirty-three mean? 1933? 1833? Well, it’s the latter, as the “Leonids” reference would provide. Continue reading
When last we left our fearless heroes, the ferry crossing had become an extremely dangerous place to be a white man. The natives are pissed and looking for blood. This chapter kicks off with just two from the band of scalp hunters, the kid and Toadvine, trying to escape, and battling as they go. At some point the kid took an arrow to the leg, and it is up against his leg, making it slow and painful going. But as he himself points out, what choice does he have but to go on? Continue reading
In the spirit of the magic book recommender, let me just briefly recommend five books to be read together if you’re feeling stuck in your career or mid-lifey or just wanting to vibe on the disconnect of today’s society and find yourself wondering “how did I get here, and why do I stay?”
I read this book several years ago. Read it closely, marked it carefully, had every intention of posting a thorough and thoughtful analysis at the time. Life got in the way (and let’s face it, life is still in the way). But I was doing some reorganizing lately, and I saw several tabbed passages in the book, and started re-reading some of the portions I marked. And while I can’t remember the book in its entirety, the tabbed portions alone tell a story that is still close to my heart. Anyone else grinding it out in corporate America (or corporate anywhere, for that matter, or just grinding it out in life in general) will probably relate to at least some of these.