Mark's Reviews > Andy Catlett: Early Travels

Andy Catlett by Wendell Berry
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's review
Dec 07, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: fiction

A young boy journeys out into the world by himself for the first time. Never mind that he is only going from Hargrave where he lives, to the next town, Port William, to stay with his grandparents. He is venturing out by himself, and we get to share in the adventure. We get to experience his feelings of belonging to the community in which he is immersed. We get to savor the bountiful table enjoyed by these simple people at a time when the country was wracked by war and rationing was a reality. We sense the coming maturity of the man he was to become and we get to see the roots that go deep and how they came to shape his life in later years. It is told from the perspective of a man long upon the earth remembering an early adventure. There is great love and small regrets scattered across the pages here. As I read these tales of Port William, I find I never tire of the way that the people of this place are forever linked by their love of the land and their respect for honest labor.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Trevor (new)

Trevor Do you know what is the order of books in the Port William series? I can't find it listed anywhere.

Mark Trevor wrote: "Do you know what is the order of books in the Port William series? I can't find it listed anywhere."

I really don't think it matters all that much. the way the tales intersect and retell different incidents from different points of view means that you can read them in any order and they make sense. I would, however, leave The Memory of Old Jack until you have read some, if not most, of the others. That one kind of summarizes the whole series, as an old man recalls the different people he has known in Port William. Nathan Coulter, and Hannah Coulter are two I might suggest starting with if you want to know where to dive in. Jayber Crow is another I would save for toward the end. I think you will find that the people become almost real as you begin to see How Mr Berry has woven these tales into a beautiful tapestry. I hope this helps!

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