“Everything Natalie said seemed, to herself, to have been said better by him. He was less fond of speaking, however, than he was of hitting people in the face, which seemed a more likely source of her love to those of us who knew him,” begins Jason Brown’s linked collection of beautifully haunted, violent, and wry stories set in the densely forested lands of northern New England. In these tales of forbidden love, runaway children, patrimony, alcohol, class, inheritance, and survival, Brown’s elegant prose emits both quiet despair and a poignant sense of hope and redemption. These vivid accounts of troubled lives combine the powerful family drama of Andre Dubus and Russell Banks, the dark wit of Denis Johnson, the lost souls of Charles D’Ambrosio, and the New England gothic of Nathaniel Hawthorne. Jason Brown’s exquisitely crafted second collection will establish him as one of the most important voices in American short fiction.
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
As a passionate reader of short stories, I'm always looking for that next great collection to read. I read reviews, recommendations and alot of "best of" lists. Their are always those few story collections that pop up over and over again, "Why the Devil Chose New England for His Work" is one of those! Jason Brown's writing is highly regarded and his short story collections well known for quality. This collection includes eleven stories, ranging from 25-30 pages in length. The recurring theme is the outdoors (lakes, rivers, trees & forests), with a dark tone to the majority of the stories. The first two stories "She" and "Trees" left me wondering whether or not this book was right for me, but the third story "The Plains of Abraham" was proof that it was definitely was. GOOD: "The Plains of Abraham" "Why the Devil Chose New England for His Work" "Dark Room" "River Runner" GREAT (highly recommended): "The Lake" "A Fair Chance" "Life During Peacetime" "North" "Afternoon of the Sassanoa" These stories are as good as anything you'll find, I highly recommended them to any short story fan. Other short story collections definitely worth reading are - "Driving the Heart and Other Stories" by Jason Brown, "Poachers: Stories" by Tom Franklin, "Controlled Burn: Stories" by Scott Wolven! Enjoy~
I bought this book from the title, but surprisingly found it an excellent collection of short stories. Loaded with meanings on multiple levels and a unique style I found intriguing. As a former Maine native. I loved the use of Maine settings and the Faulkner-like use of a ficticious place. 'The Plains of Abraham' alone makes this book well worth reading. Highly recommend this author.