This book could easily be made into a movie, each of the main seven characters are vivid with lessons to teach us, through an engaging story. RichardThis book could easily be made into a movie, each of the main seven characters are vivid with lessons to teach us, through an engaging story. Richard Wagamese is a powerful writer. He is Canadian and a Native American, Ojibway from the Wabaseemoong First Nation in northwestern Ontario. My Canadian friend introduced me to this book and now I plan to read more of his 11 books.
Here is a quote from the main character in the book on how she got her name: "Everyone has a mourning ground, a place where the course of life turned, changed, altered, or disappeared forever. It could be a house, a park, or just a place on the pavement where the wrong words were said, the worst choice made, or fateful action taken. Our spirits are linked to these places forever and when our sorrow's deep enough we return to them again and again to stand in our pain, reliving our memory, mumbling clumsy prayers that we might be offered a chance to change what happened, bend time so we could choose again. But it never happens. The shadowed ones just keep on doing that after death, returning to those places where their wounds are buried, hoping against hope that something in the walls or ground might emerge to save them. Mourning grounds. We all have them and it's only in learning how to live with our hurts while we're here that we're set free of them. When I came to understand that at age forty-four, I knew where I had to be. Where I needed to be. For them, the shadowed ones on the street that no one ever sees, the living dead. The homeless."
"So I went back and lived as one of them. But I never drank again. Instead, I'd make runs for them when they were sick, nurse them when they needed it, or just be around—a voice, an ear, a shoulder—and by doing that I eased my own pain. When a fresh bottle arrived I always asked to open it. See, there's an old rounder ritual you hardly see anymore. When a bottle's opened you pour a small bit on the ground and say "there's one for the dead." That's what I ould always do and that's where I got my name. One For The Dead One Sky."
One For The Dead gathers three men into a 'family' on the streets: Timber, Double Dick, and Digger. In the dead of winter, when it is unbearable to be on the street, they start to go to the movies where they meet Granite, a Square John, who is a retiring reporter. Their lives come together. Digger finds a wallet with a lottery ticket and learns he is the winner of over 13 Million dollars, but he has no ID. Granite, from the Square world is able to help him get his money. He shares the winnings with the group and we begin to see them on the brink of two worlds where their histories begin to surface. It is a journey worth reading....more
Good quick read. Totally appreciated this new character Socrates who after 27 years in prison is released early and goes to LA where he lives in WattsGood quick read. Totally appreciated this new character Socrates who after 27 years in prison is released early and goes to LA where he lives in Watts to start his life over. Of course he is there during the riots. He is tough but not hardened, wise and off balance in the outside world. He is able to do good by the people he meets including a young man. Through him we see the clash of worlds for someone re-entering civilian life while grappling with the terrible things he did so long ago. There are a lot of life lessons in this book....more
This book came into my hands by accident. My partner saw the play Violet and brought the book home from the library to read the story it is based on.This book came into my hands by accident. My partner saw the play Violet and brought the book home from the library to read the story it is based on. I picked it up and started reading these surreal stories that come out of Southern Grotesque writing. They are surprising and intense. Violet is the young woman in the story, The Ugliest Pilgrim, she has a wound on her face and is on a journey to get it healed and restore her beauty by a radio minister, who of course is a sham. A review of the play: http://www.dramainthehood.net/2016/03...
The last story in the book, "Benson Watts Is Dead and in Virginia," three dead people travel across a landscape. The woman is pregnant and doesn't know she is dead. Then a man shows up who knows 'the rules' to avoid going back. They are: 1-Dwell, then travel, 2-Join forces, 3-Disremember. So off they go, they build a large canoe from a tree to take them down a river. Eventually they wind up in a large body of water and on an island. We are totally drawn in to their wandering lives. One day the woman deflates and is dead, again, the first man is left alone like he started. I love the sentence in this story, "He stayed gone a long time." Also from the Tibet Book of the Dead, it is 49 days for the amount of time it takes to pass between death and further life.
In the story, "The Spider Gardens of Madagascar" a young man learns his father died in a car crash, his mother survived. We begin to learn about their relationship, he knows she was the cause of his father's death. He starts collecting spiders for a school project knowing she is not interested in spiders, he must do something she will not infringe upon. We feel her overbearing nature and his recoil. He grooms poisonous black widow spiders and the final line of the story is, "Someday soon, Coker was going to have to decide where he would turn her and her children loose—in Lillian's room, or his."
I'm glad this book showed up by accident, it holds many strong emotions in each story. And each story creates it's own world. The title of the book has no relationship to the movie of the same name....more