River Dogs

Robert Olmstead, Author
Robert Olmstead, Author Vintage Books USA $6.95 (240p) ISBN 978-0-394-74684-5
Reviewed on: 03/01/1987
Release date: 03/01/1987
The appealing characters in these short stories are mountain loggers, farmers, stonecutters and truckers in upper New York State and northern New England. They lead simple, rustic, routine lives that, in certain moments, which the author captures succinctly and movingly, are broken by poignant, unsettling occurrencessome of which flicker for only a second while others begin a chain of events that alter lives forever. In ""Cody's Story,'' a logger in the woods falls down an icy rock face, nearly dies and remembers events from his life. (Later, while listening to a diesel engine running, he imagines ``a thousand small explosions going off inside its block, like all the scenes he couldn't remember and never would.'') In ``Onions,'' much of Raymond Knowlton's farm equipment is sold to satisfy a bank debt, leaving him with 200 tons of onions in a glutted market, at which point he and his unhelpful father begin playing a stubborn, deadly game. These fast-paced, invigorating tales are at times cold and cruel, at times warm, and the reader will be intrigued. (April)
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