The Heaven of Mercury

The Heaven of Mercury

by Brad Watson

Paperback(Reprint)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393324655
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 08/17/2003
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 755,518
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Brad Watson teaches creative writing at the University of Wyoming, Laramie. His first collection, Last Days of the Dog-Men, won the Sue Kauffman Award for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts & Letters; his first novel, The Heaven of Mercury, was a finalist for the National Book Award, and his Aliens in the Prime of Their Lives was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction.

Hometown:

Wyoming

Date of Birth:

July 24, 1955

Place of Birth:

Meridian, Mississippi

Education:

Meridian Junior College; B.A., Mississippi State University, 1978; M.F.A., University of Alabama, 1985

Table of Contents

I.
Finus ex Machina15
Cephalantus Accidentalis22
Self-Reliance26
Giddyup37
Aunt Vish44
Birdicus Urquhartimus51
The Dead Girl59
Finus Connubialis72
Negro Electric88
Discussion with the Dummy96
A Tree Spirit101
Woodpile109
Wisdom126
Blood135
Habeas Corpus148
Black Heart153
Finus Inquisitus161
Obits176
II.
Her Remembrance of Awakened Birds185
Finus Querulous197
Finus Uxorious206
Saviors218
Selena in Ecstasy228
Finus Homerus237
Through the Mockingbird252
Finus Melonius (the Ratio of Love)264
Finus Impithicus276
Finus Magnificus286
III.
A Pair of Boots293
Finus Resurrectus303
A Lost Paradise313
Grievous Oscar322
Finus Infinitus327

Customer Reviews

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Heaven of Mercury 2.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I wanted so much to escape with this book. At times I was very much wrapped up in the story and language. However, at other times I felt the subplots and descriptions were disjointed and pointless. The whole necrophilia thing was odd and added nothing to the novel.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was so overwritten it's pitiful! I love Southern writers, but this was way off the deep edge.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book is very well written, but appears to me to have been written in two or three separate sessions. It is almost as if the author began the book, finished, and said, ¿I need some more content in the book¿. The book jumps from character to character, time period to time period, without any real clear direction. He describes the area (Mississippi) well, but does a poor job of having you love or hate it. He also does the same with the characters; do I hate this person or like them?
Guest More than 1 year ago
Watson's terrific short story collection Last Days of the Dog-Men hinted at the incredible narrative powers he displays in his first novel. This powerhouse book has the courage to take us through an entire century (the 20th) with a small town (Mercury, Mississippi) and to chronicle the lives of its most intriguing citizens, living and dead. Yes, the dead play prominent roles in this joyous book. They find themselves resurrected in the act of love-making, speak to the living and serve as tour-guides, and take us on trips back and forth in time. It is the closest thing I know to an American Siddhartha (Hesse), an unimpeachable vision of the eternal continuity of life. Like all great novels, this may try your patience at times. Buy it, test the waters with one toe, two, wade in, start swimming, try not to tire, be patient, Brad Watson will carry you on his back to the far shore.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What do you say about a book whose crowning literary moment is the description of an 89-year-old man taking a dump in the bathroom? Then there¿s this lovely image of a horse: ¿A long, slow f--- flabbered from the proud black lips of Dan¿s hole, and the smoke from it too trailed off in the air.¿ Curiously, intellectuals praise The Heaven of Mercury for how it ¿illumines every accurate detail¿ and delivers ¿just-right words.¿ The Heaven of Mercury is part love story, part murder mystery, and part taste of the South. These parts combine into a dull and dreary text. The love story offers no payoff to the reader. The murder mystery fails outright. It is so loosely developed, there are no clues for the reader to pick up. In the end the omniscient narrator just tells some back story to explain the mystery. As for the taste of the South, it is bland at best. The Heaven of Mercury does make a solid showing as a feminist text. In this book the men are weak, the women are strong. Finally, The Heaven of Mercury is yet another example of how the academic mind disdains plot. Here the story is not told in a linear fashion. A character who dies in one chapter may be alive in the next. This book of 333 pages piddles along to a dubious crescendo (the bathroom scene) near page 200, then for the next 133 pages the author fills in gaps left by the first 200 pages.