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West Of Here (2011)

by Jonathan Evison(Favorite Author)
3.33 of 5 Votes: 3
1565129520 (ISBN13: 9781565129528)
Algonquin Books
review 1: I have been anticipating West of Here for quite some time having heard of it several months before it was released and was really looking forward to reading it. The novel tells the multi-generational story of Port Bonita, Washington, chronicling her residents in early 2007 and their ancestors of 1890. The earlier stories relate the exploits of those who came to tame the wilderness and the clash between whites and native; the later stories follow those who live in the modern, replete with malls and fast food restaurants; the older generation trying to conquer the vast new land to which they have removed, and the the later generation trying to find meaning in a life where everything has been tamed for them. I really enjoyed the Evison's writing in this book. He used a differ... moreent voice when he wrote about the modern people than when he wrote about the first settlers, and all of them sounded authentic. Each story was well told and the characters were appealing. That said, I found it hard to draw a cohesive whole around all of the stories. I needed the parallels and lessons of the intertwined stories to be more explicit. As it was I felt that the stories were just well-drawn episodes that didn't follow from each other. A good, not great book.
review 2: Not a great book, per se - the writing is sometimes a little flat, and many characters were uninteresting or dropped without sufficient explanation. But I did enjoy reading it and I was surprised that I preferred the modern sections, as I love Westerns and historical fiction and was drawn to the novel on the basis of that. I think that the evocation of 21st century Port Bonita and its often dissatisfied but ultimately rootable inhabitants was impressive, and I would be interested in reading more of the author's work. less
Reviews (see all)
The characters and their dramatic natural surrounds dragged me through this messy historic tale.
Story about the Olympic Peninsula, both when it was settled and modern times.
Really Love the embelished history / wild frontier stories!
Editorial glitches intruded on an otherwise decent read.
On hold for now.
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