Friday, December 19, 2014

Return to Oakpine by Ron Carlson Book Review

This book is so atmospheric…and I mean that as a compliment.  Return to Oakpine by Ron Carlson is a bittersweet return to a quit midwestern town by some men who have left to now return, and some men who never left but perhaps see things differently as they grow older.

The weakness of the book is that is shifts perspectives too often and sometimes with a jolt.  But that is countered with a strength in explaining these men and what drives them (forward and back).  The town itself comes alive with beautiful descriptions.

And the town is middle Americana, a small town trying to move forward.  One man left to become a driven attorney and another to get Aids as a gay writer in New York.  Yet despite these seeming cliches, which do happen in life, we step back to the boys they were and watch the writer's brother, a golden boy, die in a stupid accident.

These boys had a band, dreams and the vigor of youth.  How did they end up?  Read the book.  The answer isn't as obvious as you'd assume.  It is, however, very touching.

I really enjoyed this book.

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