"As quick and smooth as oil." The San Francisco Review of Books
With his wild recklessness, his magic touch, and his rash ways, Hiram Jameson was a born wildcatter, staking his life and livelihood drilling for oil in unlikely places. But oil would twist Hiram and kill him, and take a price, finally, from his family -- the women who basked in his coppery brilliance, even when they were no longer blinded by the myth of his own creation. An unforgettable reading experience, alive with passion, dark with greed and desperation!
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A feature writer for the San Francisco Chronicle debuts with a multigenerational Texas-set saga--partly realistic, partly fablelike--that centers on the energy and recklessness of Hiram, a wildcatter and larger-than-life figure. ``Texans are strange animals--huge as giants and angry as children.'' This sort of comment and others like it are delivered so flatly throughout that it's never quite clear how seriously Nix means for us to take them. Hiram is from a mythical family, and, surrounded by women, he carries on the tradition. In a landscape of alkali flats and oil rigs, he and the various branches of his family (and his wife's) are remembered by his granddaughter, who, she tell us, was 15 when he died. It's rumored that Hiram killed his mother, Lee, who ``sometimes when she looked at him...saw her own death.'' His first love is for Nakomas Sorrel, an Indian who brings an unborn child to his house. Meanwhile, the mother of his first wife, Anise, is simply known as Big Mother, and her husband as Big Joe. The story heats up and begins to take on some force and logic of its own when Hiram, sick, is nursed back to health by Big Mother; Anise returns from a year in New York City, where she'd gone to ``learn the things that writers needed to know.'' Hiram begins to wildcat for oil, and the rest of the narrative works out the complicated soap-opera details--Big Mother's death in 1976; Anise's cancer; Hiram's marriage to Francine, a preacher's widow; a financial struggle between Hiram and Drake (who married daughter Amelia), etc. Hiram lives long enough, at last, to appear on horseback in Ronald Reagan's inaugural parade. Dallas meets Twin Peaks. Nix overreaches, but, still, this is an ambitious entertainment for popular-fiction fans. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Publishers Weekly:
This first novel about four generations of a Texas oil family both fascinates and frustrates. On page one, a nameless 25-year-old narrator tantalizes the reader with allusions to madness, emotional injuries "too horrible to speak of" and a charismatic grandfather, Hiram Jameson, whose death she feels responsible for. But almost immediately this intriguing narrative voice dissolves, and the tale develops as a detached third-person chronicle of an extended family's history sprinkled with Southwestern mythology. The plot is too episodic and the characters too detached to convey the sense of connection and consequence necessary for a multigenerational saga. Fortunately, in the second half of the book Nix begins to dramatize the Jamesons' destructive relationships instead of making elliptical references to them. A family squabble over land and oil rights brews; the characters, who previously seemed to lead isolated, dreamlike lives, begin to take actions that affect one another. Nix's often hallucinatory prose will likely be compared to magic realism, but only when she gives substance to her flashy style by using it to relate a character-driven story do we see glimpses of a powerful writer. Major ad/promo; author tour.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Buchbeschreibung Ballantine Books, 02.07.1994., 1994. Buchzustand: Gut. Auflage: Reprint. Als Mängelexemplar gekennzeichnet 20-03-c Sprache: Englisch Gewicht in Gramm: 260 17,0 x 10,4 x 2,8 cm, Taschenbuch. Artikel-Nr. 23153