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L Return to OakpineIn the ate 1960s Craig Ralston Jimmy Brand Mason Kirby and Frank Gunderson were inseparable friends in the small town of Oakpine Wyoming During high school they formed a band called interchangeably The Rangemen Wildfire and Life on Earth The band brought a fervent excitement to their ives and their small town and through all of the practices and performances their friendships deepened until one day a tragic accident claimed the ife of Jimmy s older brother Matt the town s most highly regarded athlete Unable to deal with his parents reaction to the accident as well as his own homosexuality Jimmy Me Write Book left Oakpine shortly thereafter moving to New York to become a well established writerThirty yearsater Jimmy destitute and dying of AIDS returns to Oakpine Banished by his father to Cosmological Enigmas live in the refurbished garage Jimmy renews contact with his old friends Craig and Frank nevereft the town Craig took over his family s hardware store while Frank owns a restaurantbar Mason became a successful At Hells Gate lawyer in Colorado but returns home to sell his parents house and finds himself caught up in his friendsives again while dealing with the dissolution of his marriage and uncertainty about his futureMeanwhile Craig s son Larry a high school senior is dealing with many of the same problems his father and his friends did 30 years ago Caught between oyalty to his best friend Wade and his ove for Wade s girlfriend Wendy he is ready to eave Oakpine for good after high school although he and Wendy develop a close relationship with Jimmy And Craig and Frank both must deal with the women in their ives as wellIt is both nostalgia and Jimmy s Hunted by Herne (Otherkind Kink: Horned Gods, looming mortality that push the four to reunite their band This decision opens up old feelings brings backong forgotten memories and joys and pushes them toward the future but a future faced together not apartRon Carlson is a fantastic writer In his previous books I ve Lady Lorena’s Spinster’s Society loved both his use ofanguage and imagery to capture both emotions and the evocative nature of the West But I feel he s utterly outdone himself with Return to Oakpine It s a familiar story one you ve read before and one whose ending you can predict but it is so beautifully told so emotionally poignant it s still as powerful as if you had never read a story with this plot before While some of the characters uirks particularly in dialogue took a On the First Night of Christmas little getting used to I found myself torn between wanting to devour the story as uickly as possible and wanting to savor it for asong as I could because I knew I would be sad when it endedIf a person was raised here he knows the way the P.S. Im Pregnant light falls in this town on any given week even you who have been absent for years That isn t true for any other place for youGoing home after being away for soong isn t always easy and reconnecting with old friends doesn t always work the way you hope it will But Return to Oakpine made you Tigress for Two (Alaskan Tigers, long for those feelings and captured them so perfectly I know I m a bit of a sap but I thought this was really terrific This is a fast read but in this case this is not a good thing Fast because I was going through the motions but not rememberable I got about half way into the book Which I stopped at chapter 6 Yes this is a shorter book then my usual reading at 264 pages Anyways I went to pick up this book again to start reading it and promptly put it back down after a page and a half The reason for this is because I could not remember anything that happened in the first five chaptershalf of the book None of the characters were engaging with their back stories I did see some brief glimmer of promise that this book could be good but maybe for someone else Return to Oakpine is a portrait of western Americanife Set in the small town of Oakpine Wyoming four men are trying to make peace with who they are in the worldDecades ago these men were in a band while in high school Jimmy ended up Cult Science Fiction Films leaving Oakpine when his brother tragically died He became a successful novelist but returns home from New York City after thirty years because he is dyingWeearn what has become of these friends and the different directions of their Crime and Punishment lives Craig and Frank nevereft Mason a top Sailor Moon Episode Lists lawyer in Denver is back in town to fix up and sell his parents house Now that they are reunited getting the band back together might be the most important thing they can doI won this book in a First Reads Goodreads giveaway My first reaction is that I m not the target audience Usually that doesn t make a difference but with this book it certainly did Unfortunately it didn t make a meaningful impact I found this read to be rather mundane and a struggle to get through With this kind of predictable plot I found Return to Oakpine just skimmed the surface of the characters I didn t find any of them engaging The main issue is that the book is just too short A coming of age story needs to have depth and this novel felt condensed The writing was decent enough to keep my attention to the end Had the author really dug deep and fleshed out characters I feel it would have been a captivating novel. Aig and Frank nevereft; Mason a top Attentions Throbbing lawyer in Denver is back in town to fix up and sell his parents’ house Now that they are reunited getting the band back together might be the most important thing they can do Return to Oakpine is a generous tenderook at friendship family and the roads not taken by a writer at the peak of his craft.
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Do 50 year olds ever have sex i l not answer that author carlson sure doesn t think so some huggin bit of kissin a brief torso rub up but no sex shame the high school kids seem to fuck Spinetinglers Anthology 2008 like rabbits in good ole oakpine but the 50 year olds nopethere was a good uestion here though in amongst the reminiscences yuppies bitchin bout how harddddife is being a yuppy a 50 year old yuppy what does a modern woman want A to save the folks in the burning house to put the fire out and to be saved from the burning house by those strong armscarlson is probably writing as beautifully as he ever has and cadences and plant Angélique à Québec (Angelique: Original version life and political and social issues all spot on iike it better when his stories are about poor people though his yuppies are so sexless perhaps carlson has spent too Body Image, Eating Disorders, and Obesity long in huntington beach califa that could very easily skew anyone s perspective horses and broke cowboys next time please ron carlson ps i DID cry during the battle of the bandsbest buddy dying of aidsboy girl hookup finale aittle anyway Whether you ve been one of the multitudes following Ron Carlson for years or have only now come across him this is a book you re sure to treasure Decades ago the four members of a small town garage band came together and captured something essential about youth Now one a prodigal who has The Doughboys lived in self imposed exile has returned home to die How this shakes things up for the rich ensemble cast of enthralling characters gives Carlson a chance to juxtapose the whimsy joys and heartaches of being young with the hard fought concessions and acceptance of experience Full ofovely sentences 魔法使いの涙 [Mahou Tsukai no Namida] lovely scenes of course it will have you floating through your own memories but it also will make you take stock of where you are now This is a deeply moving novel from a masterful writer Is there any pen Ron Carlson touches that doesn t turn to goldI ve fallen headlong inove with every book he s written with the exception of the best forgotten Betrayed by F Scott Fitzgerald an early clunker from 1977 His short story collection At the Jim Bridger is damn near perfect The Signal is a harrowing story of wilderness survival and you won t find a better novel about blue collar work than in the pages of Five SkiesIn Return to Oakpine Carlson turns a sentimental eye perhaps too sentimental for some readers on Futurity life in a small town Thirty years after they graduated high school four friends reunite in their hometown the fictional Oakpine Wyoming Frank a hardware store owner and Craig a bartender nevereft Mason a freshly divorced Ouija in Suburbia lawyer comes back to Oakpine from Denverooking for a change an end some new chapter in this old Reclaiming Authentic Fundamentalism life And then there s Jimmy whoeft Oakpine f DNF on page 8Life is just too short for thisLook I Lenora love Ron Carlson Truly As an author ofiterary fiction and as a person I enjoyed reading his novels Five Skies and The Signal I have enjoyed his short stories But the 2013 iterary novel Return to Oakpine threw up too many red flags in the opening pages for me to continueThe plot of this book is pretty straightforward four able bodied white middle class men in their fifties reconvene in the small white town of Oakpine Wyoming where they attended high school together These aging men reflect on their ackluster Desire Sensibility lives for a while and then they reform their high school garage band and make some music again performing songs that are probably asackluster as their ives but so be it I fully admit that this premise does nothing for me In a world of overwhelming problems to deal with such as systemic poverty racism climate change the mass death of plankton currently underway ocean acidification the ascendancy of porn culture in mainstream media child sex trafficking and pretty much NAME THE ISSUE of real ife drama with the highest stakes possible then I must admit that reading about some slouchy middle class guys in their fifties who sigh and harrumph about their cushioned privileged American The Faerie Godmothers Apprentice Wore Green lives is at the absolute bottom of my priorityist But the glory of The Sorcerer of the North (Rangers Apprentice literary authors is that an insightful viewpoint and clean crafted prose can turn any plot premise into the most gripping high stakes drama possibleHereinies the problem the storytelling in Return to Oakpine is sloppy and the prose is not crafted or clean The novel starts from the point of view of Craig Ralston one of the four slouchy white men who will be reconvening in Wyoming His opening pages are dull and unmemorable but I was thinking Okay whatever boring white guy is just boring I Practicing History ll keep pushing on Because readers do thingsike that for authors they ove Then page 4 arrives and the narrative shifts into the point of view of Craig s 17 year old son Larry Larry speaks in dialogue that no teenage boy would ever speak in because only an alien from Planet Xenon would ever talk this wayLarry talking to himself outside the house after a run I ran around the town That town is captured in its entirety page 4 and 5Larry speaking to his mother after he walks into the kitchen You going to get a tattoo I m sorry for asking because your son is not a smartass bu. From a widely admired author a poignant novel about homecoming friendship growing up and growing old for fans of Richard Ford and Richard Russo In this finely wrought portrait of western American ife Ron Carlson takes us to the small town of Oakpine Wyoming and into the ives of four men trying to make peace with who they are in the worl.
T is dislocated by your behavior but what s the answer is a tattoo next page 6Larry talking to himself in the empty kitchen I ran around the town page 6Larry talking to his father again in the iving room Then I ran around the whole town page 6Ron Carlson usually writes McClellans Other Story lean careful prose but this novel is already repetitive as well as nonsensical Your son is dislocated by your behavior would mean that Larry had toeave the kitchen where his mother is which does not happen His mother walks out of the room so Larry dislocates her with his uestion He is annoyed that his mother is washing dishes in a black sports bra without wearing a shirt so Larry s tattoo uestion is meant to be off putting snark to drive his mother out of the kitchen and it succeeds So not only does Larry s dialogue sound inhuman it s not even accurate within the storyAnd then there are sentences Cant You Make Them Behave, King George? like this oneLarry found his burger under the bun in the cast iron frying pan on the stove and scooped it up with hiseft hand dripping grease along his palm which he Leonardo da Vinci licked away while opening the fridge with his right hand and grabbing the glass bottle of milk half full setting it down to pull the top off andifting it in a Enkätboken long cold drink page 6I m not opposed to multiple modifiers multiple prepositional phrases all using multiple modifiers or the kind of run on ish expository sentence that manyiterary authors favor My problem is the use of detail that does not matter is inherently useless and should have been struck In that sentence with his right hand is useless The reader can infer that if the burger is in his Introduction to the Spiritist Philosophy left hand then his right hand is the one opening the fridge and grabbing the milk Whether the bottle is half full or not also does not make a bit of difference This information is not signifying anything about this family or theirives it s just useless detail Literary prose has too high a standard to meet for drag Play Me, Im Yours like this to appear in a sentence Ron Carlson knows better too I just don t understand the verbosity Was this not edited Did an editor just assume Ron Carlson didn t need a red pen any just because he s Ron Carlson I can t explain this The worst offense is that the story is following Larry giving Larry an intenseevel of detail about what he is holding in his Health at Every Size left hand and in his right hand how he enjoys running around town and snarking his mother when this novel is NOT about Larry It s about his aging father Craig and his father s three aging friends reconvening in Oakpine Frank Gunderson Mason Kirby and Jimmy Brand This is a novel that will be packed with minutia about these four boring men and their high schoolives told from their points of view I sure as hell don t need to be spending time watching Larry drink milk and eat a burger his mother cooked for him I was hoping to sink into this novel the same way I have with Ron Carlson s other work enjoying his The Kings Witch (Frances Gorges Trilogy lean prose and careful observations ofife But Return to Oakpine is too poorly written and frustrating I still Polvere alla polvere love Ron Carlson but I can t even finish this book muchess recommend it Did I enjoy this book I spent the first two hundred pages wondering if perhaps I m not uite old enough to enjoy a book as notstalgic as Return to Oakpine I didn t notice I d fallen in Wyoming Triple Heat love until I d nearly finished reading and now I m wishing I d have read slowly and enjoyed it a bit insert Yo Dawg meme here The whole everything isike high school theme was a bit too blatant for my taste and MILD SPOILER ALERT the timing of Jimmy s death was just a touch too convenient to be believable Ultimately though Carlson s written a An Imperfect Spy (A Kate Fansler Mystery lovely book about human nature that I m glad I read Would I recommend it Youl Trial Run / Whip Hand / Twice Shy love it if you re in the mood for nostalgiaAs reviewed by Melissa at Every Free Chance Reviews Disclosure I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest reviewhttpeveryfreechancecom201503me This book was just okay for me The story was so so and even though there were a couple of times when I could relate to the story and the characters it just didn t click for me 2013 264 pagesthe jacket of this book is a terrific set up for the story I just needed a hammock to read this tender story of men reuniting after a 30 year separation just due toife choicesThis is a story of how a small town tragedy affected all 4 men and some of the women they knew High school memories are shared a garage band was created whose speciality was Help me Rhonda and hearts are healedBe prepared to ძვირფასი სიცოცხლე laugh and cry Be prepared to remember your first days in high school Be prepared toook for pages I m a big fan of books that chronicle the reunion of childhood friends I, Claudius long separated The opportunity to relate as an adult to people who knew you when you were younger to see howife has affected them and et them see how it has affected you are tremendously compelling narrative devices and if you combine those with a ittle bit of emotional poignancy you ve got a winner as far as I m concerned So it should come as no surprise that I was utterly taken in by Ron Carlson s wonderful new nove. D In high school these men were in a band One of them Jimmy Chicken Soup for the Soul left Oakpine for New York City after the tragic death of his brother A successful novelist he has returned thirty yearsater in 1999 because he is dying With Carlson’s characteristic grace we Misbehaving learn what has become of these friends and the different directions of theirives Cr.
Ron Carlson is an American novelist and writer of short storiesCarlson was born in Logan Utah but grew up in Salt Lake City He earned a masters degree in English from the University of Utah He then taught at The Hotchkiss School in Connecticut where he started his first novelHe became a professor of English at Arizona State University in 1985 teaching creative writing to undergraduates and