THE LAKE, THE RIVER, AND THE OTHER LAKE

Steve Amick, Author
Steve Amick, Author . Pantheon $25 (365p) ISBN 978-0-375-42350-5
Reviewed on: 03/14/2005
Release date: 05/01/2005
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-0-375-42376-5
Paperback - 365 pages - 978-1-4000-7994-0
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-299-08566-4
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The town of Weneshkeen, Mich., on Lake Michigan's Gold Coast, may be little, but a heck of a lot goes on there. This smart, punchy first novel is a smalltown soap opera, burning and churning through the summer of 2001. Amick develops a group of disparate characters, each one with a dilemma to solve or an axe to grind, and then passes the story line from one to the next in a game of literary tag. The novel's primary force is Roger Drinkwater, a no-nonsense Ojibwe Indian who served in Vietnam and coaches the local high school swim team. The calm of his peaceful lakeside home has been shattered by screeching jet skis driven by obnoxious young Fudgies (slang for tourists), and he vows to use his military training to try and silence the mechanized nuisance. Amick peppers his plot with other vexed individuals, including a recently retired minister grappling with an Internet porn addiction and a bigoted orchard owner whose son and daughter betray him by choosing foreign mates. At the start, the novel feels a bit quaint, but it quickly develops a sharp edge. Bitterly comic and surprisingly meaty, this roiling tale of passion, anger, regret and lust is dark fun for the Garrison Keillor demographic. 7-city author tour. (May)

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