The story of Loyal Blood, a man who spends a lifetime on the run from a crime so terrible that it renders him forever incapable of touching a woman The odyssey begins on a freezing Vermont hillside in 1944 and propels Blood across the American West.
Postcards The story of Loyal Blood a man who spends a lifetime on the run from a crime so terrible that it renders him forever incapable of touching a woman The odyssey begins on a freezing Vermont hillside in
Why have so few of my GR friends reviewed this brilliant book by such a well known author Note The first two pages have a rather brutal scene though the details are vague , but there s nothing else like that in the rest of the book, and everything that follows, arises from this incident.This is Proulx s first novel, published a year before the excellent The Shipping News It s equally good, but has a very different structure, and the language is not as distinctively clipped or telegraphic.It tell [...]
Proulx is fucking brilliant The first book I read by her was Shipping News and I was blown away at how she, like ee cummings used punctuation or the lack thereof to make words hang like actual things.I think Postcards was her first book but that she couldn t get it published until Shipping News was out and did so well I think she wrote it in college This makes it even startling to me Postcards is raw and rough and very male But this woman can write men, particularly men from the heartland trave [...]
It s like every sentence you have to hack out of the rockface, it takes forever to read the thing, it s like some kind of titanic struggle you have with it, but when you finally do finish the damn thing you feel like you ve been through some kind of experience Not sure I need another going over by E Annie Proulx, but this one was memorable.The author Say my name PB Ooof, E Annie Pow, kick, bash.The author Say my name PB Cough I already said it E Annie Proulx E ANNIE PROULX The author Yeah Okay W [...]
Don t come out my farm no with your damn insemnation racket We got rid the Holstins Guess we stick with god local Jersey stock Do it the old fashion way with a BULL Minkton M Blood It s a rich, dark, often humorous, in ways painful, epic escapade Annie Proulx has her characters experience all kinds of biblical catastrophes Stuck in a mine explosion with cold water up to the knees so that the feet swell up and eventually the soles of the feet come off when the boots are removed following rescue [...]
To be honest, I picked this book up because I thought I wouldn t like it and could remove it from my TBR Not the case Even though subjects as fossil hunting and uranium mining aren t at the top of my interests, those subjects are covered briefly There is a ton of research in this book This is a very dense book and a reader will get from it as much as s he puts in Some of the reviews here are almost Cliff Noteish on things I never caught On the other hand the postcards that start each chapter can [...]
if anyone had told me that i could open a book that began with a rape and murder and by the end of the book actually empathise with the male character, i d have called them nuts but i did.
Annie Proulx 2009 Postcards London Fourth Estate HarperCollins 7.99 12 340 pages.Finished 6 September 2011 In a recent email to my brother John, I wrote, Am reading Annie Proulx book Postcards Just when ya think things can t get worse, they do Strangely reassuring, that woman s writing is At least one knows what to expect Postcards is every bit as awful, full of violence and regret as Proulx lovely The Shipping News So why does her writing inspire us Why does it so faithfully describe some aspec [...]
A hard book not difficult to read, but the characters are hardened, their lives unforgiving, the land stark and mean Bones jut up out of the soil and rock of this book, suddenly exposed and horrifying Proulx contrasts well against Kingsolver, who is all life, growth and healing, while in this book Proulx draws the living dead Farmers who have lost everything, including limbs A young man driven from home by guilt that wracks his entire life Forty years of wandering the West without love or friend [...]
On the front of my copy is a quote from a review by Frederick Busch of the Chicago Tribune A rich, dark and brilliant feast of a book Perfect description In the first few pages I felt this would go on my fictitious top ten list Annie Proulx is an extraordinarily gifted author Postcards was her debut.The postcards at the beginning of each chapter give us information from outside the story we might not get anywhere else They give us a timeframe for the setting of each chapter, or perhaps something [...]
The of Proulx I read, the of Proulx I want to read In this book she frames the passage of time and place through postcards sent to and from the characters in the novel The protagonist, Loyal Blood, careens through life trying to flee from or reconcile a youthful evil deed When we meet the man, he is a laconic youngster, wary and skeptical We watch him evolve, into and out of relationships, into and out of professions, and finally from silent to loquacious as his sharp mind begins to wander, lo [...]
I thought I had a great idea I saw this on my bookshelf and assumed it was one of those slice of Americana books which would put me in the holiday mood.Oops Holiday mood How about Deliverance meets Looking for Mr Goodbar, with a side of rural Pulp Fiction I purchased this book a few months back after falling hard for Proulx s brilliant The Shipping News I have not changed my mind about Annie Proulx s writing, but this novel was a horror to read.Every part of this world presumably our world is fi [...]
I m not sure if I m enjoying this book or not it s so bleak and the characters all seem doomed to a horrible end and are certainly experiencing pretty terrible middles Nonetheless, it s really well written and my endless optimism leaves me hoping that something amazing will happen for the characters.
A challenging author at times, Annie Proulx uses an onslaught of words to illuminate the action or scene and sometimes uses the same technique to wrap the scene in a deliberate mist A story set in the 1930 s 40 s and 50 s and a family whose members led lives of upheaval Loyal Blood, one son becomes a itinerate traveller and we are shown different sides of the country He finds some evil, history, geology, and faces death At the end, we are left to wonder about the effect of the existence of that [...]
Annie Proulx can write, she is a genius with description The problem lies in the depressive nature of the story and in the assumption that we will understand her obfuscation about Billy s death and the nature of what is wrong with Loyal She describes but doesn t explain I realized that I would never see resolution nor gain understanding I think that the incident with Billy was rape and murder, I think it may not have been the only time But these are not laid out as clear truths, we don t know fo [...]
Wow I have to give this book 5 stars Proulx s writing was amazing and engaging, despite the story being about as bleak as possible Any romantic notions one might have had about rural Vermont living are pretty much ripped to shreds by this story It follows multiple characters across 40 years, watching the lives and farm of the Blood family unfold or implode, depending upon how you look at it The oldest son is forced to leave home under circumstances that are never really explained we know the out [...]
I am entirely not sure what to make of this book First and foremost I admire and applaud the author for thinking so far outside the box I despise novels that tie everything up into a tidy but absolutely impossible bow by the end of the book This one leaves many loose threads, but a thoughtful reader will have enough to make the stories coherent The characters in this novel grow, learn, and adapt but always stay on pitch Perhaps the greatest joy in this read is the breadth of place, time and char [...]
Another great, tragic Proulx novel She hits the nail on the head with human weaknesses and really tells it like it is This is what I love about her writing it s beautiful but very harsh at the same time.
The book starts with Loyal Blood killing his fiancee Billy and hiding her in a stone wall on his family farm He then flees and starts a trek across the nation He communicates with his family via postcards While the story focuses on him and his wanderings, there are occasional snapshots of the family that he left behind His angry father Mink, his complacent mother Jewell, his one armed brother Dub, and his dreamy sister Mernelle.The story has been described as the disintegration of a family I can [...]
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Considering I was on vacation while reading this book, and it still took me the whole week to finish, it obviously wasn t a page turner for me In fact, I nearly abandoned this book, which I don t do lightly In the end, I m glad I finished it as I eventually began to enter this world she painted of a lost family and appreciated her way of making you feel the character s hopelessness However, I ve never enjoyed steam of consciousness style of writing, ala Faulkner, so although I appreciated the co [...]
Loved this book for the same reasons I ve cared about all her books One thing comes back time and again Proulx s research and attention to detail No one else I ve read is as good at drilling down on a subject as she is trapping techniques in this book, for example She must love research.
I struggled to stay interested, and then I set it aside to read something lighter After finishing the other book, I realized that I just had no interest in going back to this one, so I m officially DNFing it I m not sure what the issue is, I think part of it is the author s writing style just does not appeal to me Regardless, it won t hold my interest and there are too many other books waiting for me.
Q What do you get if you play a country and western song backwards A You get your job back, you get your truck back, you get your woman back.That is literally the story of Loyal Blood s life, in this novel which is a series of vignettes of American life in the postwar era.Other reviewers have referenced Biblical overtones in the book I m struck by the names of characters Does the name Loyal Blood suggest the quintessential American, his mother Jewell the dependable treasure who keeps the whole t [...]
I do not think that Proulx s choice of a name for her lead character is one lightly arrived upon His name is Loyal Blood and his first act at the opening of this novel is to draw blood from a girl who he rapes and murders This is done almost off stage and while the act itself shapes Loyal and the rest of his life, this is not the story of a murder or a murderer With such an opening, it is almost impossible to believe that you could develop a feeling of empathy for Loyal, but you do Proulx knows [...]
The story of a rural family and the struggles they go through 1940s 1980s There s a lot going on here The oldest son flees the family farm in an attempt to cover up a murder or maybe an accidental death It s never really made clear what exactly happened with his girlfriend Most would probably conclude that he committed was rape murder in a crime of passion, but there doesn t seem to be much motivation for that My own conclusion was that it was accidental But in the end, it doesn t matter much, a [...]
Bleak, spare, stark, hopeless and still pretty darn smart, if not brilliant How does an author have the temerity to name a protagonist Loyal Blood Only if she is E Annie Proulx Still, the bleakness is heavy and hard to swallow Proulx seems out to show us that life sucks for everyone, not just from time to time, but always in the end and often all along the way The reader is led to believe that Loyal has killed his girlfriend Billy in a fit of lust We start to believe that he s not sorry, and, af [...]
I found this book to be deeply moving It is the poignant tale of a farm lad, Loyal, from a poor family in a harsh environment He is involved in the death of his girlfriend Believing that he would never receive a fair hearing if the matter went to court, he flees his home and leaves no forwarding address At irregular intervals over many decades, Loyal sends home a postcard to let his family know he is OK Annie Proulx uses the postcards as a literary device to mark intervals in the man s life, whi [...]
His loneliness was not innocent Proulx loads up meaning into her fewest possible words like the chocolate chip cookies they load into a cup at the Sweet Martha s booth in the Minnesota State Fair, so high you have to put your hand on top or you ll lose some as you walk away so once used to that, you get in the habit of quickly knowing all that is suggested.But, in this book, some suggestions are left even than that to the reader to fill in, like the one I started this review with One can know t [...]
My favourite of Proulx s books and I ve read it twice Elegiac, occasionally comical, poetic times I swam through the prose hoping somehow for a happy ending Loyal is one of the most pitiful, admirable and inarticulate characters ever conceived, I wanted to pluck him out of the book and nurture him like a wingless bird Proulx s depiction of American landscapes, nature and humanity is breathtaking.
Where is the lesson That bad luck dogs the guilty, who remain unredeemed forever, and that no one can be fulfilled or happy Is there no joy to be found anywhere in the human condition This book makes perseverance an undesirable trait punishable by terminal frustration, and could be entitled Stories of Rage and Other Sublimated Emotions Powerfully written, which elicits such a disturbing reaction.