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Light Action in the Carribean (Englisch) Hörkassette – Audiobook, 23. Oktober 2000

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A reader can never know for certain how Barry Lopez constructs his stories. But they read as though their author first came up with some utterly compelling image, and the story fit itself around the image. Fans of the author's nature writing in Crossing Open Ground and Arctic Dreams will be pleased to find that often these images express human devotion to the land. In a kind of fantasy piece titled "In the Great Bend of the Souris River," a horseman, adrift in the countryside in North Dakota, encounters two other riders who "could be Cree." The three men ride across the prairie together. "I knew these people no better than two deer I might have stumbled upon, but I was comfortable with them, and the way we fit against the prairie satisfied me. I felt I could ride a very long way like this, absorbed by whatever it was we now shared, a kind of residency." In "Remembering Orchards," a character recalls with regret his orchardist stepfather whom he wishes he'd known better and who died "contorted in his bed like a root mass."

Lopez introduces other, more disturbing images here as well, perhaps most notably in the title story, wherein a woman travels with her boyfriend to a diving resort in the Caribbean. In a weird twist on J.D. Salinger's "A Perfect Day for Bananafish," the trip ends in brutal bloodshed, which Lopez describes in chillingly affectless prose. The story contains this stunner of a sentence: "The first bullet tore through his left triceps, the second, third, fourth, and fifth hit nothing, the sixth perforated his spleen, the seventh and eighth hit nothing, the ninth hit the console, sending electrical sparks up, the tenth went through his right palm, the next four went into the air, the fifteenth tore his left ear away, the sixteenth ricocheted off the sixth cervical vertebra and drove down through his heart, exiting through his abdomen and lodging in his foot." There's no escape from Lopez's images; they come after us. --Claire Dederer -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Gebundene Ausgabe .


"Lopez is one of our finest writers."
--Los Angeles Times Book Review

"In each story the familiar world is transformed in a dramatic or magical moment."
--The Oregonian

"This is a collection of subtle and mysterious stories... The reader cannot leave Lopez?s fictional territory unchanged."
--Annie Proulx

From the Trade Paperback edition. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Gebundene Ausgabe .


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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 15 Rezensionen
6 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A true pleasure to read! 6. Dezember 2000
Von Debbie Lee Wesselmann - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
In this slim volume of short fiction, Barry Lopez quietly evokes landscapes: of the earth, of the mind, and of the heart. Some stories, such as "Stolen Horses," are simply told; others have a multi-layered richness. In "The Mappist" (my personal favorite), a man solves a mystery of pseudonymity as he tracks down a skilled mapmaker who alternately worked for the U.S. Geological Survey and secretly hand-drew elaborate, knowing maps accompanied by passionate text. Here, the reader glimpses the shape and color of the past, present, and future and what it means for two men who see them all in the lay of the land. "The Letters of Heaven" confronts the humanity of saints, and how one man reconciles passion and God. Not all stories are equally successful; in the title story the brutal conclusion seems oddly out of place, as though it belongs to another story. Still, these stories are artfully told, in language that sometimes startles with its simple beauty.
5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
eclectic and thought-provoking 27. April 2001
Von M. H. Bayliss - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
These stories are all over the map -- from 17th century love letters between Peruvian saints to a 20th century mappist who devotes his life to his practice. This is my first encounter with Lopez, but his excellent writing is evident throughout. Though I didn't like all the stories (the Lords one was the weakest I thought), I found his subject matter so interesting and the ideas so gripping that I couldn't put it down. Lopez has a knack for creating a sense of place from the land. These stories contain some beautiful slices of Americana and some memorable scenes and characters. I love the story about the 17th century saints. Many gems in this short collection.
4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A strong, though mixed, collection 9. November 2000
Von Matthew Cheney - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Barry Lopez is probably best known for his nonfiction writings, but the majority of his published books are fiction. His latest collection of stories may be his most diverse, and offers some of the best writing of his career. It's not a perfect mix -- some of the stories are less than the sum of their parts, others are a bit too heavy-handed or obscure -- but the best of the works here are stunningly good in ways few American writers have achieved.
Lopez's usual technique is to create a first-person narrative of an encounter with the natural world which opens up and broadens the narrator's understanding of humanity and the universe. (There are a few sharp departures, most notably the almost nihilistic title story, though even it is tied closely to a fine attention to natural details and processes.) When this technique works, as in the remarkable and Borgesian "The Mappist", the story has the depth and power of a novel.
For all of Lopez's concern for the natural environment his characters inhabit, he is also astute in his presentation of his characters as thinkers and scholars. The titles of books fill these pages, for many of his characters are bibliophiles and scholars -- one "story" is a paragraph followed by pages of endnotes and a bibliography -- and one of Lopez's great gifts as a storyteller is his ability to show the conjunctions between the imagined world of the page (the environment of the word) and the physical reality of gravel beneath feet and horse hair beneath hands.
Lopez takes risks as a writer, and we should celebrate him for that, for the risks pay off more than not. Perhaps his greatest risk, and the one we should celebrate the most, is his unyielding desire to find decency, honesty, and even nobility in attention to the everday details of living.
3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Departure from the usual... in some ways 13. November 2000
Von Frank J. Blau - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Being a Barry Lopez junkie... I even had this one pre-ordered months in advance!
The stories, as usual, took my breath away, page after page. But there is something different here... Barry Lopez is writing more about people... When this works, as in the opening story about a father's orchard's, it is brilliant... the metaphors are never thrown in your face... they are subtle, evocative and pregnant with meaning and depth.
When it doesn't work, on the other hand, like in the title story... it is jarring, and almost sophomoric. I didn't even believe I was reading a Barry Lopez story. The characters were shallow caricatures of real personae... This from the guy that told us the story of a man sweeping the desert clean... I was embarrased at his attempt to find the voice of a bimbo and her arrogant boyfriend. The violence and shallowness of the characters was a most unwelcome diversion from the rest of the book.
It's worth every other page in the book though... just skip that one. The rest of the book is filled with images and dreams that are the work of one of our greatest national literary treasures.
6 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
fascinating, didactic, curious 11. Januar 2001
Von M. J. Smith - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
This collection of stories stretches the range of stories that Lopez has published, but that also means that he works outside the range of which he is a true master.
Remembering Orchards is vintage Lopez - an excellent tale of a step father, a step son's growing to appreciate his step father, and a gently given didactic message regarding pesticides.
Stolen Horses is another vintage Lopez - a young man, drifting in life, getting lured into crime - with a gentle didactic message regarding ranchers being priced out of their land.
In the Garden of the Lords of War is a tale that consists of a single image of achieving/maintaining peace. The story is description and, while interesting, fails both as story and as entralling description.
Ruben Mendoza Vega, Suzuki Professor of Early Caribbean History, University of Florida at Gainesville, Offers a History of the United States Based on Personal Experience has an interesting structure - a very short "story" with extensive footnotes which provides the real story - that of the colonial families' power in Cuba.
Emory Bear Hands' Birds is a delightful indictment of our system of incarceration in the context of a story of Native American beliefs.
The remaining stories have similar variety and message. These are good stories, worth reading, but far from the best of Barry Lopez.
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