Fantaseers: A Book of Memories

Overview

Mark Twain once said that the difference between the almost right word an the right word was the same as the difference between a lightning bug and lightning. Lewis Turco finds all of the lightning in this remarkable set of memoirs about growing up in Connecticut in the 1950s, such as a bullet "whizzing past my ear, dirling in the air" and "crashing through trees . . . snirtling and giggling", as he shares recollections of his capers and misadventures with the Fantaseers, a high school fraternity devoted to ...
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More About This Book

Overview

Mark Twain once said that the difference between the almost right word an the right word was the same as the difference between a lightning bug and lightning. Lewis Turco finds all of the lightning in this remarkable set of memoirs about growing up in Connecticut in the 1950s, such as a bullet "whizzing past my ear, dirling in the air" and "crashing through trees . . . snirtling and giggling", as he shares recollections of his capers and misadventures with the Fantaseers, a high school fraternity devoted to reading science fiction and fantasy and raising Cain. Ironic as it may seem, four of the hellions described herein later took religious orders, but not so for Turco, the son of an Italian Baptist minister. Instead, he became one of this nation¹s foremost writers and teachers. Just as it is fascinating to attend a high school class reunion to discover what happened to one¹s old friends, so too does this collection of escapades offer a scrutinizing lens into a band of rambunctious and bright youth, and the destinies that awaited them. This book is certain to stir any reader's own memories of youth's vivid haps and mishaps.

For all those who love honesty, purity of language and thought as well as great story telling, buy Lewis Turco's newest collection of stories Fantaseers: A Book of Memories. The tough and tender voice of America's master poet takes us on an unflinching journey through "the mutable past."

Reader, this is fair warning - and don't lend this book to any of your friends - it's such a good read, you won't get it back.
-Lois Roma-Deeley, Rules of Hunger

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781932842159
  • Publisher: Cloudbank Creations
  • Publication date: 8/28/2005
  • Pages: 156
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.36 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2006

    Great memoir to read even if you don't know the subject

    Even if you don't know who Lewis Turco is, the prose and narration of his Fantaseers: A Book of Memories is a worthwhile, enjoyable read. His autobiography of growing up in Meriden, CT, during the 1940s and 1950s, is a collection of just plain good tales that any lover of autobiography will enjoy. If you do know something about him, and you believe in legacy, then the book is all that plus Turco's reflections on how his upbringing and ancestry came to bear on who he is. The book is a quick but dense 135 pages. While so perceptive and engaging, it is also a treat, if not an indulgence, in well-crafted writing. Turco's style and diction are precise, showing his skill as poet without being pedantic, terse, or pretentious. The cast of characters and the order of some events can get confusing, due to the fact that some of the stories were written and published separately. At times, the gap between what is written and what is assumed of the reader can get impassable for those unfamiliar with Turco. These flaws are long forgiven when you finish reading. In each story the words read so effortlessly as to betray the skill with which they were put together. In 'The Mutable Past,' for example, Turco speaks of '...getting up early - who knows why? - and hanging around the street while [his] slugabed friends kept their dreams alive.' That passage and the rest of the story that follows speak much more than meets the eye about what dreams are and how the early bird gets those worms. The book starts with a quick tour around the town in which he grew up, introducing you to some of the characters and places you will visit later. This introduction ends with a bittersweet image of the loss of childhood that you will carry for the rest of the book. From here Turco takes you on a spin through his youth that introduces you to his friends, enemies, parents, relatives, teachers, encounters with mysterious neighbors, and a telling review of his ancestry. These stories are just as enjoyable for those who reminisce for those days as they are enlightening for those who wonder what they were like. Each story has a theme that ranges from the epistemological (as in the already mentioned, 'The Mutable Past') to the telling of a moral fable ('Ray'), to an examination of how he came into the world and chose his path in it ('Mom May' and 'Father and Son'). The book ends in Turco's mid-twenties, before he starts his career as a teacher and gains his reputation as a poet. But much is answered by then for those who know his work, or know him personally, including his views on religion, a bit of politics, and lastly the explanation of his penchant for puns, which I will leave for you to discover by reading the volume yourself.

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