Colorado rancher Atticus Cody receives word that his wayward younger son, Scott, has committed suicide in Resurrection, Mexico. When Atticus travels south to recover Scott's body, he is puzzled by what he finds there and begins to suspect murder. Illuminating those often obscure chambers of the human heart, Atticus is the story of a father's steadfast and almost unfathomab...more
Ah, the complex relationships between fathers and sons. It seems that one is forever on trial and the other is forever the judge. The trick is to somehow meet outside the courtroom.
When Atticus Cody travels to Mexico to claim the body of his son, he becomes convinced that it was a case of murder and not suicide....more
1. Thou shalt not take the crisis out of the protagonist's hands.
2. Thou shalt not make life easy for the protagonists.
3. Thou shalt not give exposition for exposition's sake -- dramatize it.
4. Thou shalt not use false mystery or cheap surprise.
5. Thou shalt respect thy audience.
6. Thou shalt know thy world as God knows this one.
7. Thou shalt not complicate when complexity is better.
8. Thou shalt seek the end of the line, taking charact...more
The book starts with a sun dog and interestingly yesterday afternoon we had the brightest one I had ever seen for the longest duration just as I was on the downward side of completing this book--em...more
Ron Hansen 1947—
Just when we thought that we would not see any more great American novels, Ron Hansen has given us, not only Mariette in Ecstasy but, far more to my liking, Atticus. Hansen has created a “sundog” with this fine novel.
Hansen paints his characters with words as the lead character, Scott Cody, paints with brush and canvas. Impressions. He daubs his canvas with an attitude, a gesture, a scene that smells, tastes,...more
The character, Atticus, draws our attention to an important element of the prodigal son parable. Whereas some...more
But I still liked this book a lot, because of the writing style I think. The plot is interesting, with some unexpected twists and turns, and that kept me on my feet. At one point, it changes narrators rather suddenly, which I f...more
The story is ok. Some parts sneak up on you, which is usually good. But it may be becuase you don't find yourself fully vested and may simply not care what's going on.
I did finish it with no problem and I never really hit a slow part or anything. So it can't be that bad, right?
Maybe I was just hoping it was going to b...more
"I was twenty four then, and full of anger and psychology. I hated my art studio courses in England, but I hated going back home for the holidays, too. I felt like a boy again, an underachiever. I challenged the plastic tree my mother put up, the chilly temperature in the house, the high-cholesterol diet of my father." p187
"He only had to fleetingly meet my friends to know how I'd failed to live up to his standards. But there was no blame in him, no scold or...more
Ron Hansen tells a story both strange and eerily other while also familiar as some of the ranchers and wayward children I've known from childhood. Suicide is a touch topic to read (I assume a tougher topic to write), but Hansen crafts a story that communicates the most abrasive, ghastly detail with poetic poise.
The story strikes a mystical note at points, but it also kept me turning pages like a good crime novel.
You'll enjoy this novel.