Kirk's Reviews > Gallatin Canyon

Gallatin Canyon by Thomas McGuane
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's review
Apr 04, 08

liked it
bookshelves: currently-teaching
Recommended for: Malboro men

Solid collection of late-period McGuane. The stories are largely oblong---that is, you can't find the center, and the endings come from odd angles that give a new perspective on the main conflict. The best here is "Cowboy," which succeeds largely because of the clever voice and the telescoping action. There are also at least two nostalgic childhood stories in the classic "Araby" mode---"Ice" in particular is affecting. A couple of the stories are a little too in the old absurdist manner of The Bushwacked Piano, which has aged badly in my humble view: "The Zombie" is an effort to plumb that old Stranger mode of "writing degree zero," but it feels perfunctory. The near-novella length "The Refugee" will make McGuane fans nostalgic for his Captain Berserko days in the Keys happy---it's a Hemingwayesque story about a man trying to ground himself through the rituals of sport (in this case, sailing---which I think is a sport, right?). The title story is also humorous/vaguely offsetting, though the last paragraph seems a bit glib of a note to end a book on. Otherwise, reliably good stuff if you like McGuane.
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message 1: by Jessica (new)

Jessica like your v intelligent & perceptive reviews Captain Kirk Sir.

Kirk Very kind of you (as always), Lt. Jessica Uhura.

message 3: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Ummm...Kirk, I object to my moniker! New one please! well I guess it ain't so's just that, well, I never really did watch Star Trek, is that where it came from?

Kirk Donald, since we all agreed that Spock Must Die, you are definitely Bones. Jessica, I tried to come up with more female names from the original Trek, but that just weren't that many to pick from. (Nurse Barrett? Was that one?).

I could have bequeathed you a moniker from one of Capt. K's many intergalactic conquests, but that seemed very presumptuous and ungallant.

message 5: by Jessica (new)

Jessica No, I should never want nor expect you to be pesumptuous or ungallant... Not becoming to you Captain Kirk sir!

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