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Publisher's Summary

In a small fictional town on the Oregon coast there are love affairs and almost-love-affairs, mystery and hilarity, bears and tears, brawls and boats, a garrulous logger and a silent doctor, rain and pain, Irish immigrants and Salish stories, mud and laughter. There's a Department of Public Works that gives haircuts and counts insects, a policeman who is addicted to Puccini, a philosophizing crow, beer, and berries. An expedition is mounted, a crime is committed, and there's an unbelievably huge picnic on the football field. Babies are born. A car is cut in half with a saw. A river confesses what it's thinking. This is the tale of a town, written in a distinct and lyrical voice, and when the book ends, listeners will be more than a little sad to leave the village of Neawanaka, on the wet coast of Oregon, beneath the hills that used to boast the biggest trees in the history of the world.

©2010 Brian Doyle (P)2014 Tantor Media

Critic Reviews

"Doyle writes with an inventive and seductive style that echoes that of ancient storytellers." ( Library Journal Starred Review

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Diane
  • 02-08-2015

Unique performance of literary art.

Like walking out of the theater after a great performance I felt I was a better person after the experience. Such rich entertainment. I've had this book on my shelf for years but so glad I waited for the audio version. Drummond was perfect! Thanks.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Molly-o
  • 01-06-2015

Very unusual book but flawed

Brian Doyle is a very talented writer - he can capture a moment and place you right in the place he is describing in an instant. Somewhere along the line, someone applauded his use of lists as a means by which to dramatize his stories. The first couple of lists -- woven throughout the novel -- are very satisfying and ingenious really. Then they get old and then they get annoying. I will never be his editor, but, if I were, I would say -- let the schtick go and use your amazing talent to just weave a tale.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Karen K. Green
  • 27-02-2017

I wasn't ready for the story to end!

Very engaging story. Loved the characters and descriptions of the setting. The narration enhances an already enthralling tale.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Silvar
  • 25-07-2016

Good listening again and again!

Enjoy the depth of character development, the turn of events and the variety of stories.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mary
  • 19-06-2015

beautifully written, poorly read

How could the performance have been better?

I think this books needs a different narrator -- one who can bring a little more subtlety and humor to the reading. I'll go and find it in print, but won't listen further to this production.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • sjineug
  • 20-05-2015

Oregon's Story

I have thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it to anyone who is in love with Oregon, stories, poetry and crows. Off to Brian Doyle's next book. Thank you. A University of Oregon alum, but I do like Beaver Baseball.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Kate
  • 07-01-2018

Good story, bad narrator

I could not finish this book due to the narrator attempting to 'act' each character. I felt that if I heard the voice of the bird one more time I would scream. Voice actors need special training and Mr. Drummond does not possess the skill. Too bad, since the story is good and Doyle a good author.

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  • lauri carlson
  • 04-09-2017

Mink river

like reading a painting
hearing a poem
transporting into a whole parallel universe
I didn't even pick up that it is magical realism it is so.well.crafted

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  • sarahmoose2000
  • 07-10-2014

Life and death in a small town

This was a strange wee story, but great. It was going along fine as a plain old fiction novel, where the inhabitants of a coastal town are struggling economically then dipped into fantasy as the residents spoke to and related with a crow called Moses.

The majority of the town are Irish/Native American Indian and there were great wee legends from each culture. There was a disturbing miscarriage scene but that didn't spoil the novel as a whole.