Like Dylan Thomas’ Under Milk Wood and Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio, Brian Doyle’s stunning fiction debut brings a town to life through the jumbled lives and braided stories of its people.
In a small fictional town on the Oregon coast, there are love affairs and almost-love affairs, mystery and hilarity, bears and tears, brawls and boats, a garrulous logger and a silent doctor, rain and pain, Irish immigrants and Salish stories, mud, and laughter. There’s a Department of Public Works that gives haircuts and counts insects, a policeman who is addicted to Puccini, a philosophizing crow, beer, and berries. An expedition is mounted, a crime is committed, and there’s an unbelievably huge picnic on the football field. Babies are born, a car is cut in half with a saw, and a river confesses what it’s thinking.
This is the tale of a town, written in a distinct and lyrical voice. When the book ends, listeners will be more than a little sad to leave the village of Neawanaka, on the wet coast of Oregon, beneath the hills that used to boast the biggest trees in the history of the world. Download and start listening now!