So the Wind Won't Blow It All Away is a beautifully written, brooding gem of a novel set in the Pacific Northwest where Brautigan spent most of his childhood.
It is 1979, and a man is recalling the events of his 12th summer, when he bought bullets for his gun instead of a hamburger. Through the eyes, ears, and voice of Brautigan's youthful protagonist, the listener is gently led into a small-town tale where the narrator accidentally shoots and kills his best friend. The novel deals with the repercussions of this tragedy and its recurring theme of "what if", which fuels anguish, regret, and self-blame, as well as some darkly comic passages of bittersweet romance and despair.
Written and published in 1982, this novel foreshadowed Brautigan's suicide in 1984. Along with An Unfortunate Woman, this is one of the author's novels that is a fitting epitaph to an author who is a complex, contradictory, and often misunderstood genius.
Q: why do they hire these awful readers for beautiful books?
A?: to encourage us to read them ourselves? to teach us patience?
What made the experience of listening to So the Wind Won’t Blow It All Away the most enjoyable?
It's beautiful, witty and lyrical.
What other book might you compare So the Wind Won’t Blow It All Away to and why?
Richard Brautigan has a unique voice. Pairs well with his In Watermelon Sugar and The Hawkline Monster.
What does Chris Andrew Ciulla bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
He gets the tone just right and I loved listening to the repeated refrain, "So the wind won't blow it all away. Dust. American Dust."
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
No, but it was heartfelt.
Any additional comments?
It's a beautifully told tale of a man reflecting on his childhood in 1948 and a crucial decision he made between buying a burger or a box of bullets. It provides insight on American history with a reflection on an accidental shooting and coping with regret.