(Return to Oakpine) [EBOOK/PDF] ↠ Ron Carlson
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 up 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 arage 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 underway 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 uys in their fifties who sigh and harrumph about their cushioned privileged American lives is at the absolute bottom of my priority list But the lory of literary authors is that an insightful viewpoint and clean crafted prose can turn any plot premise into the most The Quest of the Holy Grail 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 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 unmemorable but I was thinking Okay whatever boring whiteuy is just boring I ll keep pushing on Because readers do things like that for 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 an alien 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 Dead Taboo going toet 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 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 his uestion He is annoyed that his mother is washing dishes in a black sports bra without wearing
A Shirt So Larry S shirt so Larry s 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 burger under the bun in the cast
frying pan the stove and scooped it up with his left hand dripping Mischief 24/7 (Sunshine Girls, grease along his palm which he licked away while opening the fridge with his right hand andrabbing the The Subtle Beauty 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 all using multiple modifiers or the kind of run on ish expository sentence that many literary authors favor My problem is the use of detail that does not matter is inherently useless and should have been struck In that sentence with his right hand is useless The reader can infer that if the burger is in his left hand then his right hand is the one opening the fridge andrabbing 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 just useless 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 understand 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 story is following Larry Having Tanner Bravos Baby (Bravo Family, giving Larry 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 it I m a big fan of books that chronicle the reunion of childhood friends long separated The opportunity to relate as an ad. From a widely admired author a poignant novel about homecoming friendshiprowing up and rowing old for fans of Richard Ford and Richard Russo In this finely wrought portrait of western American life Ron Carlson takes us 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. .iron frying pan
Ron Carlson ☆ 6 read & downloadLt 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 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 up but no sex shame the high school kids seem to fuck like rabbits in ood ole oakpine but the 50 year olds nopethere was a The Billionaires Runaway Bride good uestion 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 burning 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 aidsboyirl hookup finale a little anyway Did I enjoy this book I spent the first two hundred pages wondering if perhaps I m not uite old enough to enjoy a book as notstalgic as Return to Oakpine I didn t notice I d fallen in love until 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 Fifty Ways To Be Your Lover 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 This is a fast read but in this case this is not aood thing Fast because I was Caught on Camera with the CEO going through the motions but not rememberable Iot about half way into the book Which I stopped at chapter 6 Yes this is a shorter book then my usual reading at 264 pages Anyways I went to pick up 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 Wyoming Strong (Wyoming Men, glimmer of promise that this book could beood but maybe for someone else Is there any pen Ron Carlson touches that doesn t turn to Arabian Nights 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 theyraduated high school four friends reunite in their hometown the fictional Oakpine Wyoming Frank a hardware store owner and Craig a bartender never left Mason a freshly divorced lawyer comes back to Oakpine from Denver looking for a change an end some new chapter in this old life And then there s Jimmy who left Oakpine for New York City after the tragic death of his brother A successful novelist
he s come back to live with his estranged parents because hes come back to live with his estranged parents because he dying Carlson deftly captures the pull and resistance feeling of Enchanting Baby (The Birth Place going back to your roots You cano home again but it s never uite the same is it I speak as one who recently returned to his own hometown in Wyoming after a 15 year absenceAs Carlson writes of Larry Craig s ambitious track star son who runs the length and breadth of Oakpine on a daily basis Anybody with any dignity Wild Nights with Her Wicked Boss got out of OakpineLarry had no idea where he wasoing but he was Midsummer Night (Lady Julia Grey, going that was for sure Somehow Iet the feeling that if you pay a visit to Craig s hardware store ten years down the line you ll find Larry there behind the counter Return to Oakpine is full of sentences that I kept stopping to re read savoring Carlson s wordcraft For instance I could practically taste the afternoon of a small town in these fine sentencesThe two men sat in the uiet bar Suddenly the light dimmed again under a cloud and it was a moment that went out on them through the big plate Always You glass window across theray street and up above the town in a moment reaching past the last house and the few bad roads newly bladed into the prairie and the antelope in clusters on Wild at Heart (Sons of Chance, greengray hillsides beyond that and then hovering beyond and beyond the world their lives the fullravid sense of afternoon There was nothing to do or say except ride this part of the day together there both men feeling the weight register the men they d become It was a beery afternoon in their hometown 2013 264 pagesthe jacket of this book is a terrific set up for the story I just needed a hammock to read this tender story of men reuniting after a 30 Year Separation Just year separation "JUST TO LIFE CHOICESTHIS IS A STORY OF HOW "to life choicesThis is a story of how small town tragedy affected all 4 men and some of the women they knew High school memories are shared a arage band was created whose speciality was Help me Rhonda and hearts are healedBe prepared to laugh and cry Be prepared to remember your. Aig and Frank never left; Mason a top lawyer in Denver is back in town to fix up and sell his parents’ house Now that they are reunited etting the band back together might be the most important thing they can do Return to Oakpine is a Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti generous tender look at friendship family and the roads not taken by a writer at the peak of his craft. Ult to people who knew you when you were younger to see how life has affected them and let them see how it has affected you are tremendously compelling narrative devices and if you combine those with a little bit of emotional poignancy you veot a winner as far as I m concerned So it should come as no surprise that I was utterly taken in by Ron Carlson s wonderful new novel Return to OakpineIn the late 1960s Craig Ralston Jimmy Brand Mason Kirby and Frank Gunderson were inseparable friends in the small town of Oakpine Wyoming During high school they formed a band called interchangeably The Rangemen Wildfire and Life on Earth The band brought a fervent excitement to their lives and their small town and through all of the practices and performances their friendships deepened until one day a tragic accident claimed the life of Jimmy s older brother Matt the town s most highly regarded athlete Unable to deal with his parents reaction to the accident as well as his own homosexuality Jimmy left Oakpine shortly thereafter moving to New York to become a well established writerThirty years later Jimmy destitute and dying of AIDS returns to Oakpine Banished by his father to live in the refurbished arage Jimmy renews contact with his old friends Craig and Frank never left the town Craig took over his family s hardware store while Frank owns a restaurantbar Mason became a successful lawyer in Colorado but returns home to sell his parents house and finds himself caught up in his friends lives again while dealing with the dissolution of his marriage and uncertainty about his futureMeanwhile Craig s son Larry a high school senior is dealing with many of the same problems his father and his friends did 30 years ago Caught between loyalty to his best friend Wade and his love for Wade s irlfriend Wendy he is ready to leave Oakpine for ood after high school although he and Wendy develop a close relationship with Jimmy And Craig and Frank both must deal with the women in their lives as wellIt is both nostalgia and Jimmy s looming mortality that push the four to reunite their band This decision opens up old feelings brings back long forgotten memories and joys and pushes them toward the future but a future faced together not apartRon Carlson is a fantastic writer In his previous books I ve loved both his use of language and imagery to capture both emotions and the evocative nature of the West But I feel he s utterly outdone himself with Return to Oakpine It s a familiar story one you ve read before and one whose ending you can predict but it is so beautifully told so emotionally poignant it s still as powerful as if you had never read a story with this plot before While some of the characters uirks particularly in dialogue took a little etting used to I found myself torn between wanting to devour the story as uickly as possible and wanting to savor it for as long as I could because I knew I would be sad when it endedIf a person was raised here he knows the way the light falls in this town on any iven week even you who have been absent for years That isn t true for any other place for youGoing home after being away for so long isn t always easy and reconnecting with old friends doesn t always work the way you hope it will But Return to Oakpine made you long for those feelings and captured them so perfectly I know I m a bit of a sap but I thought this was really terrific 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 garage band came together captured something essential about youth Now one a prodigal who has lived in self imposed exile has returned home who has lived in self imposed exile has returned home die How this shakes things up for the rich ensemble cast of enthralling characters ives 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 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 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 ended up leaving Oakpine when his brother tragically died He became a successful novelist but returns home from New York City 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 to fix up and sell his parents house Now that they are reunited Fractured Memory getting the band back together might be the most important thing they can doI won this book in a First Reads Goodreadsiveaway My first reaction is that I m not the target audience Usually that
doesn t make a difference but with this book it certainly didt make a difference but with this book it certainly did it didn t make a meaningful impact I found this read to be rather mundane and a struggle to Case for Seduction (The Hamiltons: Laws of Love 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 fe. 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 characteristicrace we learn what has become of these friends and the different directions of their lives Cr. .