Once Upon a River: A Novel
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Published:
W. W. Norton & Company 2011
Status:
Checked Out
Description

"A demonstration of outstanding skills on the river of American literature." —Entertainment Weekly"Bonnie Jo Campbell has built her new novel like a modern-day craftsman from the old timbers of our national myths about loners living off the land, rugged tales as perilous as they are alluring. Without sacrificing any of its originality, this story comes bearing the saw marks of classic American literature, the rough-hewn sister of The Leatherstocking Tales, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and Walden."—Ron Charles, Washington Post

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
07/05/2011
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780393082005
ASIN:
B0054LXX86
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 15:27:31
Date Updated:
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      • fileAs: Campbell, Bonnie Jo
      • bioText: Bonnie Jo Campbell teaches in the low-residency MFA program at Pacific University. The author of Once Upon a River, American Salvage, and Mothers, Tell Your Daughters, she lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
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publishDate
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shortDescription

"A demonstration of outstanding skills on the river of American literature." —Entertainment Weekly"Bonnie Jo Campbell has built her new novel like a modern-day craftsman from the old timbers of our national myths about loners living off the land, rugged tales as perilous as they are alluring. Without sacrificing any of its originality, this story comes bearing the saw marks of classic American literature, the rough-hewn sister of The Leatherstocking Tales, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and Walden."—Ron Charles, Washington Post

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title
Once Upon a River
fullDescription

"A demonstration of outstanding skills on the river of American literature." —Entertainment Weekly"Bonnie Jo Campbell has built her new novel like a modern-day craftsman from the old timbers of our national myths about loners living off the land, rugged tales as perilous as they are alluring. Without sacrificing any of its originality, this story comes bearing the saw marks of classic American literature, the rough-hewn sister of The Leatherstocking Tales, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and Walden."—Ron Charles, Washington Post

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      • premium: False
      • source: The New Yorker
      • content: Margo's struggle to survive proves irresistible, like the tug of the Stark itself.
      • premium: False
      • source: Jane Smiley;New York Times Book Review
      • content: Campbell has a ruthless and precise eye for the details of the physical world. . . . An excellent American parable about the consequences of our favorite ideal, freedom.
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        March 14, 2011
        In her follow-up to National Book Award finalist American Salvage, Campbell trains her unflinching eye on Margo Crane, a down-on-her-luck 16-year-old living in late 1970s rural Michigan who is, in rapid succession, abandoned by her mother, raped by her uncle, and witness to the shooting death of her father. An accomplished marksman who worships Annie Oakley, Margo takes off, traveling up the Stark River and struggling to survive on her own, having been once again rejected by her mother. Encountering a progression of strangers, both kind and otherwise, Margo is a modern-day pioneer whose steely resolve is matched only by her guarded need for tenderness. Forced to kill a man in a moment of panic, Margo must learn to forgive those who have hurt her in order to forge a new and better life for herself. Working against the backdrop of a beautiful but unforgiving landscape, Campbell juxtaposes spare prose with lush details in this stark chronicle of hardship and splendor, friendship and disappointment, and families undone and reunited, and though the novel occasionally flags under the crushing burden of Margo's unremitting ill fortune, it is, finally, a fine and sobering story with more than a little Winter's Bone–style grit in it.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        February 1, 2011

        Last year, when Campbell's American Salvage was both a National Book Award and a National Book Critics Circle finalist, readers woke up to a tremendous young talent. Campbell's new novel features 16-year-old Margo Crane, a crack shot who flees by river after being implicated in her father's death. She's always loved the river, but, as one can imagine, actually living on the water is an entirely different thing. Set in rural Michigan, this book will surely vivify a side of American culture we don't often see. It also shows us how a turn in one direction can sometimes mean never going back. Excellent for book clubs, so it's good that there will be a guide and a concerted effort to pitch both clubs and libraries; an eight-city tour.

        Copyright 2011 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        Starred review from April 1, 2011

        This second novel by National Book Award finalist Campbell (American Salvage) is set in Murrayville, a rural Michigan town far removed from the modern world. Inhabitants have lived off the Stark River for generations, including 16-year-old Margo Crane's family. She's been taught the best fishing spots and knows the hidden dangers downstream from the Murray Metal Fabricating Plant. Her carefree existence ends when her mother, a depressed alcoholic, leaves town, and Margo is raped by her uncle Cal. Margo's unique revenge leads to her father's death, a tragic event that nevertheless sets her free from being at the mercy of the Murrays. Equipped with ammunition, food, her father's ashes, and a pink envelope with her mother's return address, she takes her father's boat downstream, determined to find her mother. Margo survives by hunting, fishing, and garden pilfering and by distrusting people. Her river odyssey ultimately leads to self-preservation on her terms. VERDICT A truthful and deeply human story that pulls us in and won't let go. Readers looking for superior fiction are in for an uplifting, first-rate story. [See Prepub Alert, 1/10/11.]--Donna Bettencourt, Mesa Cty. P.L., Grand Junction, CO

        Copyright 2011 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

subtitle
A Novel
popularity
101
publisher
W. W. Norton & Company
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