wally's Reviews > Poachers

Poachers by Tom Franklin
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's review
Nov 04, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: franklin
Read from October 30 to November 04, 2011

yeah so i'm looking at scar lover by harry crews, a story i've read and i see off to the side that people also liked this, those who have read scar lover from crews. so here i am.

on the kindle.


"introduction hunting years" all lower case...so sue me. make me do time. heh! 1st person this, alabama, late december, eye-narrator standing on a trestle...he'd heard a panther scream whilst standing on the trestle w/his bro.....yeah...only i was on the montreal meadows or getting there and i heard a couple bobcats going at it....spring of the year....this looks like a good choice...i believe i'll enjoy these stories....

onward and upward...so little time....this introduction is real..."not a story" i guess as he is writing about going to graduate school in fayetteville...when he was 30...franklin's south is lower alabama....

i dunno what to make of it yet....he is apologizing for being a hunter, saying that to hide the fact that he did not want to kill anything he showed the most enthusiasm as a youth. at any rate, i don't believe his story to be like that jackass who wrote "deer hunting with jesus."

well...no he would not be like that man, as franklin here is tellilng about going to church, praying as a family each night, holding hands. (you have to realize that harry crews is a bit rough around the edges...check out a photo if my words don't mean a thing)

Heh...he writes about buying a knife...his old man's whispered advice and ma staring off...heh he! this is just an intro but funny.

there's two deer hunting stories here...his 1st deer and another...the things we do. and then he is meeting another hunter who has seen him on the trestle....and this other wearing orange when the locals scorn orange tells him to get....this is private property....and this asshole raises his rifle at him...aims it at him....and they get in a pissing match.

...says that coming back to look for details for a story he is writing feels like poaching....but he's never lost the need to tell....poach for stories....

1st story: "grit" lower case again.... at the 9% mark on the kindle.
so 9-23% is this story "grit" about a plant north of mobile, alabama and glen the manager there but not for long as he owes roy money...roy more or less has glen okay a second-shift, a night-shift making sandblasting grit off the books...the two owners up in detroit won't know and so forth.

some shock-value one-liners from all concerned, glen, roy, "snakebite" a truck driver who hauls the illicit grit and a girl w/a funky name...jaw-lie-lah or something close...who else? bout them....mostly. roy gets killed and dumped in the plant machinery....poof...no more....which raises all manner of morality questions, no? anyway...a different kind of poacher...all concerned here.

story moves fast...maybe the one complaint is the detroit owners are somewhat of a caricature...we have two hookers meeting them at the airport on their way down to inspect the plant and we're told more or less what happens there, rather than being shown what happens.....but all in all...a good story.

2nd story: "shubuta" again, lower case....sue me running
shubuta is a town popuation something like 614 in mississippi. this is 1st person eye-narrator...who knows willie how a black watermelon farmer...other people...uncle dock and his younger sister (who died) nannie-rae...coon dogs....and where willie tells him 'son, you pitiful! don't ever eat no meat a woman give you. they carry it in they panties and administrate on it before they cook it, and you eat it you theirs for life...' heh! i love the local color no pun intended.

3rd story: triathlon....
bout bruce and i...another eye-narrator and this one is somewhat unique in that it has....unless i am mistaken....future tense...as in....someone will be doing this that the other....kinda neato i think as i just read skippy dies by paul murray that had a variation of narrative in that, present tense and 2nd-peron. i don't believe, not that i recall anyway, that i've ever read anything with future tense....unless it be about ole gunga din..."he'll be squatin on the coals givin drinks to poor damn souls, i'll catch a swig in hell from gunga din!'

this story is nice the way the familiarity of the characters is evident in their language, the spare use of dialogue--they know what they're talking about and the story isn't weighed down w/a bunch of extraneous baggage. too...there's some stuff you ponder...

4th story: blue horses
earl rose early and made coffee....there's an evelyn's car...there's a mace would be sleeping in the cab, drunk...there's a jimmyboy who won't be going w/them...a pistol...mike who lives way out in the woods...they always have dogs...always...the truck heater don't work...perhaps the core...

5th story: the ballad of duane juarez
ned uses dynamite to fish with....me too, or i used to, dupont spinners...they work well. another 1st person eye-narrator piece, ned the rich brother....duane, the narrator...divorce, life...ned looking out for duane, allowing him to rent a house he owns, has him look after the place, kill the stray cats while ned is gone w/nina his wife

6th story, a tiny history....paul and prissy again...i think they figured in an earlier story...and there's another couple...the one isn't getting any, seeks advice....they play cards, drink, so on.

7th story...dinosaurs...this one is about steadman is some sort of inspector for the big bad gubbment although that doesn't seem to bother him. he inspects, looks for violations and so forth and in the end he takes a stuffed mounted rhinoceros in lieu of putting a man out of business. progress.

8th story....instinct...henry is driving home from the treatment plant when he sees this old tub for sale...gets it set up and so on...meets some gal out thumbing or something....a crack addict...he tries to reform her or something, throws her makeshift pipe out the window and later goes back for it....

9th story...alaska...this is a "we'd" story....we'd do this...we'd do that...north to alaska...short happy piece about heading to alaska...and what "we'd" do to get there...

10th story...poachers...this story won an award or so...good piece...country...three boys, their old man living off the land, teaching them how to live off the land though that phrase "living off the land" is never used...cause well for some it is a way of life, but not the game wardens of the world...more gubbment officials who of course do what the law pays and tells to do...kill the boys, blind the last one....progress.

stories like this make me want to spit. great story though...ten-stars...
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