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The Mary Smokes Boys (2010)

by Patrick Holland(Favorite Author)
3.43 of 5 Votes: 5
0980571790 (ISBN13: 9780980571790)
Transit Lounge Publishing
review 1: Recently I've been drawn to stories with roots in nature or characters who are connected to nature in some way. I like how moods and events are linked to the setting and the weather; it feels very "Australian Bush". Everything about Mary Smokes Boys is so familiar to me (particularly as I live half an hour down the road from where it is set); I can clearly see the countryside and the characters seem like a patchwork of fellows I could meet at my local pub. It didn't really drag me in. I'm not good at distinguishing things I don't like so I can't put my finger on it but I just didn't really enjoy the book. It's tragic, dark and deeply intense in parts but that's not usually off putting for me. The writing feels very masculine but again, I have thoroughly enjoyed much mo... morere male oriented writing. I did like the relationship between Grey and Irene. It is not like any other relationship I've ever read and I found the love between two poor outcast souls strange and warming. In any case, I'm glad I read it.
review 2: This a haunting story of lost boys on the fringe of today's modern world, living outside the norm, but peering back through the window pane to find a way in. Patrick Holland's writing is spare and quite beautiful. We slowly get to know Grey North, his sister Irene, his father and the wild boys who are as much his family as those who share his blood. This is life on the edge, life that clings to existence by the finger tips, precariously surviving against the odds.Grey will stay with me for some time. His love of Irene, his confused identity, his ambiguous longing for a future where he can make his way in the world and yet his fear of that world. Very well drawn.But where Holland really excels is in his descriptions of the natural forces, wind, water, fire, the eternity of the stars. My rating just makes it to 4 stars. This reads like an early novel, but an early novel from a writer with depth and real potential.Have a read and make your own view. Holland deserves to be widely read. less
Reviews (see all)
Really enjoyed this. A well told story. Could be 5 stars but a little tough medicine to swallow.
Evocative and poetic writing. An absolute delight to read.
Moving, haunting, beautifully written!
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