A Trail of Heart's Blood Wherever We Go

Robert Olmstead, Author
Robert Olmstead, Author Random House (NY) $19.95 (401p) ISBN 978-0-394-57539-1
Reviewed on: 06/05/1990
Release date: 06/01/1990
A New Hampshire town is the microcosm of a world on the edge of damnation in this sprawling, offbeat saga. Eddie Ryan, Vietnam vet and frustrated poet, is a mortician who believes ``death is the opposite of love, not life.'' Cody, a footloose, renegade logger, bulldozes his way into Ryan's family life, along with one dead buddy snowpacked into the plow of his truck. Cody longs for reconciliation with his estranged wife, drinks too much, rails at human folly and acts as godfather to Eddie's children. The friendship of the two men, punctuated by deaths tragic or bizarre, unfolds in a series of adventures evoking the themes of guilt, redemption, fatherhood and the pained realization that ``sometimes there are no good choices.'' Olmstead ( River Dogs ; Soft Water ) peoples this reflective yet picaresque novel with assorted oddballs, including a mortician's aide who brings her pet iguana to work, an ex-motocycle daredevil and his pious 500-pound wife, an accused arsonist and a Vietnamese boat refugee/local doctor/herbalist who laces his lollipops with sedatives. (June)
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