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The Easter House
by David Rhodes
Originally published in 1974, this gripping novel tells the tale of the Easter family of Ontarion, Iowa. Ansel Easter was a favored minister until he rescued a grotesque creature from a carnival sideshow. His sons, C and Sam, suffer in the shadow of their outcast father until his violent death. C and Sam leave the home their father built for a new beginning, and find ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published September 15th 2009 by Milkweed Editions
(first published August 10th 2009)
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yes, he was a miner, and was raised by woodsmen, protestant Protestants who had an ax-handle way of dealing with problems, to whom morality was not much more than fierce, communal bigotry, and who taught him to respect pain and avoid punishment and seek solace through physical exhaustion, and that any solace he might find even in that was was to be ashamed of because it indicated weakness - people who would never realize that difficulties were anything more than hunger, cold, and sprained muscle ...more
I have nothing against bizarre novels and this certainly is one - from the plot to the characters (I am not certain there is a protagonist) to the images. However, when the progression of the book contains a couple of black holes that will rip the individual molecules out of your brain, you need perseverance and courage to keep reading all the way to what purports to be an ending. With Driftless Rhodes refines some of the raw technique and energy of this novel into a far superior novel.
This author lives in WI and wrote three popular books in succession in the 70's and then was in a motorcycle accident and was paralyzed. He hadn't written anything for over 25 years until last year when he published a new book(Driftless). I liked this book even better - it is a story about a Iowan family in which each character is completely bizarre, yet very likeable. Some of the most unique characters I've ever had the chance to get to know...
This book was reviewed in the Strib today. Set in rural Iowa the book is characterized as "...as much about setting as it is about the characters who inhabit such a place." Milkweed Editions re-release of this book, first published in the 1970s, implies that is will be worth reading.
As a young man, David Rhodes worked in fields, hospitals, and factories across Iowa. After receiving an MFA in Writing from the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop in 1971, he published three acclaimed novels: The Last Fair Deal Going Down (1972), The Easter House (1974), and Rock Island Line (1975). In 1976, a motorcycle accident left him partially paralyzed. In 2008, Rhodes returned to the lite ...more