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Fellow Mortals: A Novel
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Fellow Mortals: A Novel

4.6 3
by Dennis Mahoney

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An affecting story about how relationships are built—and burned—by desperate needs and obligations

When Henry Cooper sets out on his mail route on Arcadia Street one crisp spring morning, he has no idea that his world is about to change. He is simply enjoying the sunshine as he lights up a cigar and tosses the match to the ground, entirely

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Fellow Mortals: A Novel 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Earnest, with a lack of irony, utterly sincere. Not words you usually associate with compelling and current and vibrant novels. But they all apply to “Fellow Mortals.” Mahoney has managed to make sincerity sexy, lack of irony interesting, earnestness entertaining. And he did it all without sacrificing currency or art. The characters are full-blooded, breathing creatures. The writer’s skills are numerous and chief among them is to lead the reader to say, “I don’t know anyone like that, but based on the writing, I believe in the possibility of knowing someone exactly like that.” The writing sings. I don’t bring up the names of masters like Hemingway or Carver to in any way equate this author with them, but their spare, lyrical, unadorned style does find a descendant in Mahoney. It’s got a rhythm, a cadence, an irresistible pull. And it’s all seamless. It doesn’t feel workshopped to death, but the skill is undeniable even if it’s impossible to figure out exactly how he does it. And while we’re on the subject of characters, let’s not forget about Wingnut the dog. He’s as real, and dare I say, human (sorry about the insult, Wing) as the rest, and he even gets to co-opt the narrative here and there. But Arcadia Street is just as much a character, as is nature itself. The woods, the trees, fire – they’re obvious. But Mahoney peppers, very liberally peppers, the chapters with subtle and striking references to animals, minerals, vegetables, sounds, sights, smells, birds and plants, dark and light, cold and heat. It’s immersive and it jumps off the page. There is such a confidence and assuredness and solidity to “Fellow Mortals.” There is absolutely nothing “debut novel” about this.
TpL More than 1 year ago
Great read. Finished yesterday and I'm still thinking about the characters...genuine...human....reminds us to look at each person carefully before passing judgement (not that one should pass judgement).
tats More than 1 year ago
This novel is a well-versed, character driven story about the everyday lives of seven inhabitants of a small cul-de-sac, whose lives are irreparably entwined. Led by protagonist Henry Cooper, the eternally optimistic mailman, Fellow Mortals tracks the lives of the characters following a devastating fire that Henry caused. The stories of the seven individuals continue to develop and evolve, with some rising through resiliency, and while others continue to let the tragedy define them. A compelling story, the reader is driven to continue to find out how the characters can, if they are able, to put their lives back together. The journey through the grieving process is complex, but skillfully detailed in this novel. An excellent read.