Kaje Harper's Reviews > Scrap Metal

Scrap Metal by Harper Fox
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Jan 14, 13

bookshelves: m-m, favorites, intense
Read from April 03 to 05, 2012

Harper Fox is the writer I envy most, for her ability to marry lyrical prose and poetic description with vivid characters in just the right proportions. Her books are deeply emotional but the emotion is contained and subtle and not forced. This story was no exception - a main character who made my heart ache for him, a plot with twists and heartbreak and hope. A resolution I desperately wanted, even though I didn't see how she would pull it off. And behind that story of love and loss and unflinching trust, the gorgeous, gritty, realistic details of a sheep farm on a remote island. This is the story of three men - Grandfather, stranger, and main character - who came together in a family, were torn apart, and finally remade into something lasting with the strength of love. Just beautiful, and going immediately into my favorites.
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Comments (showing 1-20 of 20) (20 new)

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Librarian Kate My one really, really major pet peeve with stories that have Gaelic words and dialogue...no pronunciation guide. She makes a point that you can't sound the words out with English "rules", but there's no guide at the end. And I've never found a good Gaelic dictionary that just gives you a phonetic guide for each word - ten pages of phonetic rules, and then you are on your own. I hate it when I KNOW I can't hear these words in my head the way they are supposed to sound. This isn't the only book that's done that, but it was disappointing that there was so much emphasis on how beautiful the language can sound, but we don't get to try it out.


Kaje Harper I can understand that. For me it's not an issue because I read more as a gestalt than an audible/verbal thing. I sometimes have to look up characters' names for a review, because my perception of them is a kind of blob of characteristics attached to a visual cue "%33$" that is their written name. I don't hear any of the sounds.

It's fascinating how people approach stories differently. I have a friend who taught herself Gaelic - I'll have to ask her if there is a pronunciation website or something. (Although she's brilliant and could probably do it working from ten pages of rules.) For me, if there had been a pronunciation guide I would have skipped it.


Elise I love love Harper Fox. How she writes just works for me. I love how she is able to bring the setting into her work. She always does it but Scrap Metal was just amazing, I can with certaintly picture the farm, his Grandfather, the tractor... oh my. I am envious of her talent in a big way. :). I re-read lots of author more than once, she is one I read again and again (I read yours more than once too :)). Have you read her newest yet? I have it on kindle and don't think I've loaned it out yet..


Feliz ...for her ability to marry lyrical prose and poetic description with vivid characters in just the right proportions. Yes, that, exactly. Scrap Metal was my favorite of hers so far because the pictures were so vivid.


Kaje Harper If you're thinking of Half Moon Chambers -then I did - my review.. I liked it a whole lot, although not quite as much as this one. I think this book, Scrap Metal, has the plot that I find most convincing of hers, combined with the lyrical writing and great characters.


Lucy Whedon I just reread this for the sheer pleasure of it - the great prose, beautiful setting details, and the oh-so-lovable characters.


Kaje Harper Lucette wrote: "I just reread this for the sheer pleasure of it - the great prose, beautiful setting details, and the oh-so-lovable characters."

I'm doing a reread now.


Elise @Kaje--yes I was thinking of half moon--and I agree Scrap Metal is more convincing although I still REALLY enjoyed half moon. Harper deals a lot with having a substance abuse problem and having had a long time relationship die a hard death in part to this, I feel I can say with clarity that she handles it extremely well. The only part I have a hard time with --this is true of any author--is that authors tend to make it seem easy to kick an addiction and Harper is one who I feel gets close to the pain and dissociation involved in becoming sober.


Kaje Harper I agree.


Gloria (censored by Goodreads) I really loved this book, I think it's probably the best thing she's written so far to date. REALLY would wish that Audible would come out with an audio book of it like they did Life After Joe.


message 11: by Kaje (last edited Jan 13, 2013 08:02AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kaje Harper Oh yeah, to hear the dialog in the correct accents would be lovely. I heard JP Bowie do a reading of one of his stories at GRL with a Scots accent for one of the characters and it was lovely.

I'm about 80 pages into the reread and it's damned hard to put it down and go edit my own stuff, even with a deadline hanging over me.


Plainbrownwrapper I'm a little afraid of an Audible recording on this one. I couldn't STAND the Life After Joe recording -- and that's my favorite mm short of all time! It just depends on if they can get a good reader or not.


message 13: by Kaje (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kaje Harper I haven't tried any audio books in this genre - I don't "hear" a story when I read, so I'm not sure how it would translate. But I'd like to hear just a few of the conversations if they got it right - the old man's lines and some of the Gaelic.


Plainbrownwrapper Kaje wrote: "I haven't tried any audio books in this genre - I don't "hear" a story when I read, so I'm not sure how it would translate. But I'd like to hear just a few of the conversations if they got it right..."

I love audiobooks in general, and I do hear everything I read -- which is why I'm not a faster reader than I am. ;-) If they had a good narrator, this one could be great.


Urbanista I tried an audio book. I'm too visual for it to work, I guess. I couldn't concentrate. I wonder if that's what's going on with you, Kaje?


message 16: by Kaje (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kaje Harper Urbanista wrote: "I tried an audio book. I'm too visual for it to work, I guess. I couldn't concentrate. I wonder if that's what's going on with you, Kaje?"

Maybe - certainly I tend to be more visual, and I get impatient because I read much faster than that.


message 17: by Urbanista (last edited Jan 15, 2013 04:54PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Urbanista I read really fast too. Plus, I don't want a performance when I read--which is kinda dumb, but there it is.


Plainbrownwrapper In contrast, I adore being read to. And I love when the narrators do good characterizations and good accents. OTOH, I don't like multiple-narrator audio productions, or the "graphic audio" recordings that have sound effects.

I got into audiobooks back in the early 80s when I was in college. That was before we could easily buy our own, but there was a radio program where the host would read books -- 30 minutes for each episode, I think. They were wonderful.


Hanne I wish I was more articulate, but I really really liked this book, and it's on my re-read list. I could "see" the place in my head as I read it (and still can when thinking about it).


message 20: by Kaje (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kaje Harper She's one of the very best with descriptions that make you feel immersed in her world.


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