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October 4, 2010

Mohawk ***

*** Mohawk, Richard Russo, 1986

This is Russo's first novel and it's a clear indicator of themes reflected in his novels. Not as accomplished as his later work, but how often does an author write their best work first?

One thing that intrigued me was the switching between present and past tense. I didn't detect a pattern, such as certain tenses for certain characters or settings or time frames, but there might be one. I didn't study it that closely, as I was more interested in following the story.

There were lots of characters, like twenty, but it easy to keep track of them, which is a good trick to learn how to do. There was only one time when I wondered, "What, who was that person?" for a minor character who was absent for a long stretch, which is not bad for 400+ pages.

If you haven't read any Russo, you need to. Here are links to my reviews of Empire Falls and Straight Man, and some quotes from The Risk Pool.

7 comments:

~kelly said...

good stuff.
the characters felt familiar but shuffled slightly-the folks from Empire Falls in differing roles.

even if he hadn't signed his name to it, the story and its themes would easily implicate Russo

ending felt a little flat, a bit rushed perhaps...seemd there was more story to tell/clear up-where'd the granddaughter come from ? Billy is the only offspring we're told Rory has but the story takes him from mooning over Anne to brain injured with only a brief, muddled line about neglecting his father's Trojan advice to disastrous results IF he listened to the jeering men...it is preceded by a statement that Billy had never been in the company of a girl before...??? Doesn't leave much room for ol' Bill to get lucky- did I miss another Gaffney offspring? The granddaughter is B.G.-her initials nodding toward Billy also...

aside from that, I enjoyed the read

~kelly said...

oops forgot to check email notification box-this comment takes care of that oversight

Brad Whittington said...

Oddly enough, none of those character names sound familiar to me. Guess I've read too many books since then.

~kelly said...

then perhaps you haven't run out of Russo after all :)

Brad Whittington said...

Good point. Although the characters are coming back to me, but not their names. Might need to wait a few years before I completely forget them.

As I re-read the Connelly books I'm finding that I remember snatches of things I read several years ago, but have forgotten enough for it to still be enjoyable.

~kelly said...

ha. I have found many things work this way as my memory,ahem....matures. ;)

suppose I'm gonna have to break down and read this Connelly cat you keep gushing over- square 1 ?

Brad Whittington said...

Check out Connelly if you like good writing and hard-boiled detective novels. The first one will be enough to determine. I love him. The Number One Son loves him. The Good Daughter not so much.