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Freight (2011)

by Mel Bosworth(Favorite Author)
4.36 of 5 Votes: 3
1610191013 (ISBN13: 9781610191012)
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review 1: When I was a wee fellow, I could transform tree branches into ray guns, bed sheets into fully functional flight mechanisms, and crawdads into intergalactic sea creatures. My dirt-scrapingly dull pocket knife could save the world, and on particularly clear nights I could ting a pebble off of the moon with my slingshot. I was a kid: oblivious, blissful, and overflowing with wonder.Reminiscing is a means by which we explore our various eras, phases, mistakes, and elations in order to evaluate the person/s we have become. At the very least , reminiscing allows us a means by which we may perpetuate our child-like wonder, re-explore that which defines our respective constructs of love, or lack of love—the pigeon-toed girl wearing the stretched out V-neck T-shirt, the gentle ne... moreo-hippie prancing barefoot in the sand—reminiscing is visceral, terrifying, addicting, thick, and adjective upon adjective upon adjective. However, in its purest incarnation, reminiscing simply takes us home.In Mel Bosworth’s debut novel, Freight, we find ourselves led through a non-chronological-if-you-so-wish collection of encoded memories by our nostalgic narrator: a nameless, occasionally matter-of-fact, occasionally hyperbolic fellow who is searching—for that which is largely determined by the respective conglomeration of muck and paper airplanes and funerals and laugh-until-you-cries which coalesce uniquely within each of us—but ultimately, our narrator is searching for that place he defines as home, whether figuratively or literally.Iconic objects permeate this multi-tiered search and each performs a specific, often overwhelmingly polar emotional function: tackling a freshly built snowman, our narrator’s hands coming together as womb, results in a profound declaration of love and demonstrates the lengths to which our narrator will go to express his love, even if only for his recently destroyed snowman. This type of behavior thickly populates Freight and ensures that we challenge our own mastery of self-awareness. Despite the heft of the freight with which our narrator is grappling, we know that he knows what he likes and in this knowing we connect intensely, almost telepathically with our narrator and fight through the muck to rediscover, and possibly redefine home. Sometimes, however, our narrator confuses those items he likes—cedar chest as time machines, a cute, drunken blonde girl—for those inherently deep affirmations he needs: it’s okay that he assassinated the baby birds when he was husky; it’s okay that he can’t fix everything. In both this confusion as well as in the numerous snapshots stuffed with tranquility and clarity, Freight reminds us to savor every moment regardless of where each may land on the good/bad spectrum and to remain relentlessly and unapologetically alive. After all, that is what the search is all about, right?
review 2: I loved Freight. I ate it up. Fast. I wanted to. It was easy. Such a tenderness. Such a way of looking at life in terms of carrying. Of putting down. Of throwing up. Boxcars and boxcars of everything we experience in this life trailing behind us like the heaviest of ants. Invisible, but so very there.Freight helped me understand that I am not by myself in the carrying. In the putting down of things not always good for me, but yet, still choosing to put them down. Freight made me realize that as life gets longer and longer the carrying gets more and more and if you are smart, you can choose to throw some things up that you don’t need to carry around anymore or you can be really smart and not pick them up in the first place. Freight made me feel less bad about having carried a lot of heavy things in my life that were not my choice to carry. Sometimes kids are given the hardest, heaviest things to carry and do you know what that does to their little bodies??!!! It shapes them wrong. On the inside.Freight helped me remember a lot of people in my life—both alive and dead—that I carry with me every day whether I know it or not. Like, yesterday, I walked into a bar I had only been in one time many years ago. I walked over to a tiny corner with a tiny table surrounded by stained glass windows where I spent three hours catching up with a dear, long lost friend one cold February night. We drank and spoke of everything in our lives, EVERYTHING, that had transpired since we had lost touch. It was pure joy. We were finally reconnected! I didn’t know then that it would be the last time I would ever see that person. Two months later he would never turn 29. Two months later he was dead. I still carry him.I loved the voice of Freight. It was simple, sincere, kind, childlike, vulnerable and honest. I wanted to hold this book tight against me and tell it I understood. I wanted to thank Freight for reminding me—in such a beautiful, easy way—that I am not alone in all of the carrying. Even though my carrying might be different from your carrying or his carrying or hers, we are all still holding on to things, people, places, experiences whether we like it or not. All of us heavy with our freight. less
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LOVED it. Will be re-reading this in the near future!
Creative and original. Read this one outside the box!
It was sheer joy to edit and publish this book!
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