What Salmon Know

Reid, Elwood

Verlag: Doubleday, 1999
ISBN 10: 0385491212 / ISBN 13: 9780385491211
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Inhaltsangabe: From the author of the critically acclaimed If I Don't Six, brilliant stories of men in extremis that remind one of the works of Thom Jones, Rick Bass, and Raymond Carver--tales of tough men coping in a world tougher than they are.

Elwood Reid's powerful, bruising stories examine the soulful underside of the American male and the violence that sometimes accompanies disappointed dreams. The subject of these stories are all working men, part of a culture that's no longer relevant in a shinier America.

From the title story, in which two drunken Alaskan poachers fight some GIs over a bucket of salmon, to "All That Good Stuff," in which a softball team of alcoholic wrecks tries vainly to attain a tiny measure of redemption, to "Dryfall," in which a college dropout barely hanging on as a housepainter must save his brother from violent self-destruction, Reid gives the reader an American landscape where blue-collar manliness is a value besieged from without and corrupted from within.

Review: Fans of Elwood Reid's football novel, If I Don't Six, shouldn't be surprised to find his first collection full of men at the fourth down with 10 yards to go. Not literally--in fact, there's not a gridiron in sight in What Salmon Know. But Reid has a disarming gift for putting his characters into dramatically fraught situations; his sense of story is infallible. In "Overtime," a plant manager forcefully suggests that a worker skip his daughter's volleyball game to work a second shift; when the girl is abducted and murdered after the game, the manager is left with a lingering, life-changing sense of responsibility. The main character in "Happy Jack" is a YWCA self-defense instructor who finds himself playing predator to one of the very students he's meant to be empowering. And in the title story, two drunken Alaskan good ol' boys watch with horror as a pair of GI's from Kentucky fillet a live salmon. Revenge on the fish's behalf is, of course, extracted. But then, Reid's men usually do come up bloody-fisted.

In more ways than one. Workingmen all, these characters live by their hands... or what's left of them, anyway. One fellow observes a pinkie-less coworker: "Now he looks like everybody else on the job--tainted with the work. The closest I've come is a Sawzall across my forearm when some pimple-faced rookie got cocky and kept zipping through a crooked doorframe, forgetting I was on the other side pulling shiners."

Unfortunately, Reid doesn't always seem to know what to do with his tough talkers once he wrangles them into these cleverly devised scenarios. In the aftermath of tension, generalizations fly: "And now what? Hours to push through. Work and water to put under some bridge?" To use another (all too appropriate) sports metaphor, Reid steals the ball every time, but occasionally fails to convert. --Claire Dederer

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Bibliografische Details

Titel: What Salmon Know
Verlag: Doubleday
Erscheinungsdatum: 1999
Einband: Hardcover
Zustand: New
Auflage: First Edition.

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Reid, Elwood
Verlag: Anchor
ISBN 10: 0385491220 ISBN 13: 9780385491228
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Buchbeschreibung Anchor. PAPERBACK. Buchzustand: Fine. 0385491220 First edition. Fine. Quality, Value, Experience. Media Shipped in New Boxes. Artikel-Nr. BING15007

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