read Return to Oakpine epub By Ron Carlson
Free read ¸ PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB free · Ron CarlsonEnded p leaving Oakpine when his brother tragically died He became a successful novelist but Home From New York from New York after thirty years because he is dyingWe learn what has become of these friends and the different directions of their lives Craig and Frank never left Mason a top
lawyer in denver is back in town toin Denver is back in town to Beyond Band of Brothers up and sell his parents house Now that they are reunited getting the band back together might be the most important thing they can doI won this book in a First Reads Goodreads giveaway My first reaction is that I m not the target audience Usually that doesn t make a difference but with this book it certainly did Unfortunately it didn t make a meaningful impact I found this read to be rather mundane and a struggle to get through With this kind of predictable plot I found Return to Oakpine just skimmed the surface of the characters I didn t find any of them engaging The main issue is that the book is just too short A coming of age story needs to have depth and this novel felt condensed The writing was decent enough to keep my attention to the end Had the author really dug deep and fleshed out characters I feel it would have been a captivating novel This book was just okay for me The story was so so and even though there were a couple of times when I could relate to the story and the characters it just didn t click for me Whether you ve been one of the multitudes following Ron Carlson for years or have only now come across him this is a book you re sure to treasure Decades ago the four members of a small town garage band came together and captured something essential about youth Now one a prodigal who has lived in self imposed exile has returned home to die How this shakes thingsp for the rich ensemble cast of enthralling characters gives Carlson a chance to juxtapose the whimsy joys and heartaches of being young with the hard fought concessions and acceptance of experience Full of lovely sentences lovely scenes of course it will have you floating through your own memories but it also will make you take stock of where you are now This is a deeply moving novel from a masterful writer I m a big fan of books that chronicle the reunion of childhood friends long separated The opportunity to relate as an adult to people DNF on page 8Life is just too short for thisLook I love Ron Carlson Truly As an author of literary fiction and as a person I enjoyed reading his novels Five Skies and The Signal I have enjoyed his short stories But the 2013 literary novel Return to Oakpine threw p too many red flags in the opening pages for me to continueThe plot of this book is pretty straightforward four able bodied white middle class men in their fifties reconvene in the small white town of Oakpine Wyoming where they attended high school together These aging men reflect on their lackluster lives for a while and then they reform their high school garage band and make some music again performing songs that are probably as lackluster as their lives but so be it I fully admit that this premise does nothing for me In a world of overwhelming problems to deal with such as systemic poverty racism climate change the mass death of plankton currently nderway ocean acidification the ascendancy of porn culture in mainstream media child sex trafficking and pretty much NAME THE ISSUE of real life drama with the highest stakes possible then I must admit that reading about some slouchy middle class guys in their fifties who sigh and harrumph about their cushioned privileged American lives is at the absolute bottom of my priority list But the glory of literary authors is that an insightful viewpoint and clean crafted prose can turn any plot premise into the most gripping high stakes drama possibleHerein lies the problem the storytelling in Return to Oakpine is sloppy and the prose is not crafted or clean The novel starts. D In high school these men were in a band One of them Jimmy left Oakpine for New York City after the tragic death of his brother A successful novelist he has returned thirty years later in 1999 because he is dying With Carlson’s characteristic grace we learn what has become of these friends and the different directions of their lives Cr. 2013 264 pagesthe jacket of this book is a terrific set p for the story I just needed a hammock to read this tender story of men reuniting after a 30 year separation just due to life choicesThis is a story of how a small town tragedy affected all 4 men and some of the women they knew High school memories are shared a garage band was created whose speciality was Help me Rhonda and hearts are healedBe prepared to laugh and cry Be prepared to remember your first days in high school Be prepared to look for pages
Is There Any Penthere any pen Carlson touches that doesn t turn to goldI ve fallen headlong in love with every book he s written with the exception of the best forgotten Betrayed by F Scott Fitzgerald an early clunker from 1977 His short story collection At the Jim Bridger is damn near perfect The Signal is a harrowing story of wilderness survival and you won t find a better novel about blue collar work than in the pages of Five SkiesIn Return to Oakpine Carlson turns a sentimental eye perhaps too sentimental for some readers on life in a small town Thirty years after they graduated high school four friends reunite in their hometown the ficti This is a fast read but in this case this is not a good thing Fast because I was going through the motions but not rememberable I got about half way into the book Which I stopped at chapter 6 Yes this is a shorter book then my sual reading at 264 pages Anyways I went to pick p this book again to start reading it and promptly put it back down after a page and a half The reason for this is because I could not remember anything that happened in the first five chaptershalf of the book None of the characters were engaging with their back stories I did see some brief glimmer of promise that this book could be good but maybe for someone else Did I enjoy this book I spent the first two hundred pages wondering if perhaps I m not ite old enough to enjoy a book as notstalgic as Return to Oakpine I didn t notice I d fallen in love ntil I d nearly finished reading and now I m wishing I d have read slowly and enjoyed it a bit insert Yo Dawg meme here The whole everything is like high school theme was a bit too blatant for my taste and MILD SPOILER ALERT the timing of Jimmy s death was just a touch too convenient to be believable Ultimately though Carlson s written a lovely book about human nature that I m glad I read Would I recommend it You ll love it if you re in the mood for nostalgiaAs reviewed by Melissa at Every Free Chance Reviews Disclosure I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest reviewhttpeveryfreechancecom201503me do 50 year olds ever have sex i ll not answer that author carlson sure doesn t think so some huggin bit of kissin a brief torso rub p but no sex shame the high school kids seem to fuck like rabbits in good ole oakpine but the 50 year olds nopethere was a good estion here though in amongst the reminiscences yuppies bitchin bout how hardddd life is being a yuppy a 50 year old yuppy what does a modern woman want A to save the folks in the burning house to put the fire out and
#To Be Saved From The #be saved from the house by those strong armscarlson is probably writing as beautifully as he ever has and cadences and plant life and political and social issues all spot on i like it better when his stories are about poor people though his yuppies are so sexless perhaps carlson has spent too long in huntington beach califa that could very easily skew anyone s perspective horses and broke cowboys next time please ron carlson ps i DID cry during the battle of the bandsbest buddy dying of aidsboy girl hookup finale a little anyway Return to Oakpine is a portrait of western American life Set in the small town of Oakpine Wyoming four men are trying to make peace with who they are in the worldDecades ago these men were in a band while in high school Jimmy. From a widely admired author a poignant novel about homecoming friendship growing p and growing old for fans of Richard Ford and Richard Russo In this finely wrought portrait of western American life Ron Carlson takes s to the small town of Oakpine Wyoming and into the lives of four men trying to make peace with who they are in the worl. From the point of view of Craig Ralston one of the four slouchy white men who will be reconvening in Wyoming His opening pages are dull and nmemorable but I was thinking
Okay whatever boring white guy is just boring I ll keep pushing on Because readers do things like thatwhatever boring white guy is just boring I ll keep pushing on Because readers do things like that authors they love Then page 4 arrives and the narrative shifts into the point of view of Craig s 17 year old son Larry Larry speaks in dialogue
that no teenage boy would ever speak in because only anno teenage boy would ever speak in because only an from Planet Xenon would ever talk this wayLarry talking to himself outside the house after a run I ran around the town That town is captured in its entirety page 4 and 5Larry speaking to his mother after he walks into the kitchen You going to get a tattoo I m sorry for asking because your son is not a smartass but is dislocated by your behavior but what s the answer is a tattoo next page 6Larry talking to himself in the empty kitchen I ran around the town page 6Larry talking to his father again in the living room Then I ran around the whole town page 6Ron Carlson The Penguin Atlas of Endangered Species usually writes lean careful prose but this novel is already repetitive as well as nonsensical Your son is dislocated by your behavior would mean that Larry had to leave the kitchen where his mother is which does not happen His mother walks out of the room so Larry dislocates her with hisestion He is annoyed that his mother is washing dishes in a black sports bra without wearing a shirt so Larry s tattoo The Bartender uestion is meant to be off putting snark to drive his mother out of the kitchen and it succeeds So not only does Larry s dialogue sound inhuman it s not even accurate within the storyAnd then there are sentences like this oneLarry found his burgernder the bun in the cast iron frying pan on the stove and scooped it Tono Bungay up with his left hand dripping grease along his palm which he licked away while opening the fridge with his right hand and grabbing the glass bottle of milk half full setting it down to pull the top off and lifting it in a long cold drink page 6I m not opposed to multiple modifiers multiple prepositional phrases allsing multiple modifiers or the kind of run on ish expository sentence that many literary authors favor My problem is the Magical Sweet Mermaid use of detail that does not matter is inherentlyseless and should have been struck In that sentence with his right hand is The Choice useless The reader can infer that if the burger is in his left hand then his right hand is the one opening the fridge and grabbing the milk Whether the bottle is half full or not also does not make a bit of difference This information is not signifying anything about this family or their lives it s justseless detail Literary prose has too high a standard to meet for drag like this to appear in a sentence Ron Carlson knows better too I just don t nderstand the verbosity Was this not edited Did an editor just assume Ron Carlson didn t need a red pen any just because he s Ron Carlson I can t explain this The worst offense is that the story is following Larry giving Larry an intense level of detail about what he is holding in his left hand and in his right hand how he enjoys running around town and snarking his mother when this novel is NOT about Larry It s about his aging father Craig and his father s three aging friends reconvening in Oakpine Frank Gunderson Mason Kirby and Jimmy Brand This is a novel that will be packed with minutia about these four boring men and their high school lives told from their points of view I sure as hell don t need to be spending time watching Larry drink milk and eat a burger his mother cooked for him I was hoping to sink into this novel the same way I have with Ron Carlson s other work enjoying his lean prose and careful observations of life But Return to Oakpine is too poorly written and frustrating I still love Ron Carlson but I can t even finish this book much less recommend Aig and Frank never left; Mason a top lawyer in Denver is back in town to fix p and sell his parents’ house Now that they are reunited getting the band back together might be the most important thing they can do Return to Oakpine is a generous tender look at friendship family and the roads not taken by a writer at the peak of his craft.