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With her eagerly awaited second novel, Tawni O'Dell takes readers back to the coal-mining country of western Pennsylvania. Set in a town ravaged and haunted by a mine explosion that took the lives of 96 men, Coal Run explores the life of local deputy and erstwhile football legend, "The Great Ivan Z.," as he prepares for a former teammate's imminent release from prison. As
It lacked a lot of the luster of Backroads, and I didn't like the protagonist as much as in Sister Mine. I thought this guy was an ass, actually.
I also am finding it hard to forgive the author's opinions about female bodies. In Backroads there were some nasty things said about aging women who didn't fight the process tooth and nail, but since it was a sixteen year-old boy saying i ...more
From back cover:
"With her eagerly awaited second novel, COAL RUN, O'Dell takes us back to the coal mining country of western Pennsylvania, the territory she renders with striking authenticity. In a town haunted by a deadly mine explosion three decades earlier, ...more
"Book club scene" sounds so hip, doesn't it? Well, the only thing hip about the book club I was involved in was the talk about broken hips the old ladies in the group kept on about. If I had to guess at the median age of the members, I'd say it was somewhere around 105 years old.
But I digress...
Dangerously close to a romance novel at times, Tawni O'Dell's Coal Run was still enjoyable enough for me not to hate mysel ...more
This book is definitely not as good as her first one (Back Roads),but still she is capable of morphing boring stories into something funny and sad at the same time.I was not interested in the story as much as I was eager to discover Tawni's writing again! She is indeed a very good writer and she is able to develop numerous characters perfectly. I do not regret reading this book. In fact , it was as if Ivan was a person I've known very well.
One of my favorite moments in the book comes when Ivan's 6 year old nephew, Everett Craig, buys a dinner at an auction with the local football hero, "the great Ivan Z" so they, his uncle and he, can spend more time together. Eb talks of his absentee father: "My dad wears a tie now, he tells me, staring at the chocolate st ...more
Unfortunately, despite this novel being championed by no lesser name than Oprah Winfrey, the author seemingly vanished afterwards and nothing happened. Admittedly she wasn't as well received in the UK, po ...more
The Good - Probably my favorite part of the story occurred in the beginning, centering around the mine explosion. It had a sense of place and time which was enjoyable...and the characters hadn't had time to develop into selfish egotistical pigs.
The Eh - Too much. Just too much. I ...more
Nonetheless, this still is a good book by a great writer.
On a side note: This woman is my hero, 0'Dell writes like a writer and can be an inspiration to all genders. Love her style and work. And her intelligence.
A good enough follow up to Back Roads.
I can literally connect every storyline with people I know or knew of growing up. Mine disasters, alcoholism, high school football as religion, coal dirt everywhere, it all hit me in the chest.
Therefore, I'm not sure I can give an honest appraisal because there's just too much emotionally for me to not have blinders on.
I likely would h ...more
1. A setting so definitively described I can feel the coal dust in my lungs.
2. The author's way with words. Example: fashion designed to conceal all kinds of "physical female hell" and the boy runs into the room like " the ping of a coin loose in the dryer".
I do not believe the main male character Ivan will ever really reach potential or overcome his drinking or stay in a long term relationship. There is a bit,of ster ...more