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While I was reading this book I was struck by two things. First, I was reminded of books by one of my favorite authors, Richard Brautigan. Jones handles unusual settings and characters with a sense of whimsy and self confidence similar to Brautigan’s. The matter of fact meets magical realism in a sort of odd couple chemistry that is baffling and endearing. Jones has the energetic, muscular imagination and the economy of style that I love so much about Brautigan, though he is no imitator. Instead, Jones seems like a worthy successor to Brautigan, bringing a dose allegory and content that begs careful analysis to the realm of American magical realism particular, until now, to Brautigan and maybe one or two others. The other aspect of this novel that I’ve been thinking about since I finished it is how like a myth it feels. I had the feeling that I was reading a kind of seasonal myth, a modern re-telling of the Homeric Hymn to Demeter, skewed just so. All the hallmark tropes of classical storytelling are here, in this tight, whimsical book. The supernatural weather and its agent, magical abductions, mysterious resurrections, a confrontation between a god and men, and a resolution that accommodates all the players. I’m trying to avoid critical analysis here, but my god I am so excited about the parallels. They’re reason enough for me to read the book again. If you read this book, and like it, I’d like to suggest one or two others you might also enjoy. Of course if you haven’t yet, you’ve got to spend some time with In Watermelon Sugar by Richard Brautigan. Also try The Ballad of the Sad Cafe, by Carson McCullers, The House of Paper, by Carlos Maria Dominguez, or Tonto and The Lone Ranger Fistfight in Heaven, by Sherman Alexie. -Michael Kocinski 137

Splat Art Magazine May/June 2011  

underground art magazine

Splat Art Magazine May/June 2011  

underground art magazine

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