Return to Oakpine
In this finely wrought portrait of western American life, Ron Carlson takes us to the small town of Oakpine, Wyoming, and into the lives of four men trying to make peace with who they are in the world.
In high school, these men ...more
Life is just too short for this.
Look, I love Ron Carlson. Truly. As an author of literary fiction, and as a person. I enjoyed reading his novels "Five Skies" and "The Signal." I have enjoyed his short stories.
But the 2013 literary novel, "Return to Oakpine," threw up too many red flags in the opening pages for me to continue.
The plot of this book is pretty straightforward: four able-bodied white middle-class men in their fifties reconvene in the small white town of Oakpine, Wyoming ...more
there was a good question here though, in amongst the reminiscences, yuppies bitchin' bout how hardddd life is being a yuppy, a 50 year old yuppy, Q. what does a modern woman want? A. to save the folks in the burning house, to put the fire o ...more
I've fallen headlong in love with every book he's written (with the exception of the best-forgotten Betrayed by F. Scott Fitzgerald, an early clunker from 1977). His short story collection At the Jim Bridger is damn near perfect; The Signal is a harrowing story of wilderness survival; and you won't find a better novel about blue-collar work than in the pages of Five Skies.
In Return to Oakpine, Carlson turns a sentimental eye (perhaps ...more
Decades ago, these men were in a band while in high school. Jimmy ended up leaving Oakpine when his brother tragically died. He became a successful novelist but returns home from New York City after thirty years, because he is dying.
We learn what has become of these friends and the different directions of their lives. Craig and Fran ...more
the jacket of this book is a terrific set up for the story. I just needed a hammock to read this tender story of men reuniting after a 30 year separation just due to life choices.
This is a story of how a small town tragedy affected all 4 men and some of the women they knew. High school memories are shared, a garage band was created, whose speciality was "Help me Rhonda" and hearts are healed.
Be prepared to laugh and cry. Be prepared to remember your "first" days in high school. Be ...more
Kind of a mellow flowing picture of life in a small town, and how life turns full circle. Some of the descriptive passages were just beautifully written. I particularly liked Lenny-and his youth, energy, and magical descriptions of running. It almost inspires me to do the same-almost.
Summary from publisher: In the small town of Oakpine, Wyoming, four men are trying to make peace with who they are in the world. ...more
It is such a beautifully written, nostalgic piece without sentimentality and this, I find, is rare. I didn't skip a word, I sighed, I cried, and in the end felt the author resolved all the drama in a most believable way.
For men who have had friends and you're close but you don't talk the way women do, but some how you know each other. It's a look, a feeling, a thought immediately shared without speech and you think you'll have these friends forever, but you don't. Life ha ...more
This is the story of four middle-aged friends who once played in a band while growing up together in small-town Wyoming. Two eventually moved away and two stayed in Oakpine. But when the friend who became a famous musician comes back home to die, the friends get together to play again.
Return to Oakpine was a little too commercial for me, but if you like a story that follows comfortable and predictable lines, then you might quite enjoy this. 3 stars
This is the room where Craig Ralston, Jimmy Brand, Frank Gunderson and Mason Kirby had practiced “a hundred afternoons that fall,” long ago, in 1969.
And now the bay door to the one-bay garage won’t open. It’s thirty years later. Craig is with Jimmy Brand’ ...more
Big things happen in small ways in this novel. Punches get thrown but not many. Families decide to split or stick the way they usually do: amid a massive number of decisions about what to eat at the next meal and what to fix around the house after the meal.
This novel demands an unusual focus not on one hero but on an ensemble: a high school rock band inadvertently reunites after 20 years when two band members return home to the Wyoming town of Oakpine, which two other members never left. If the...more
The story unfolded layer by layer as the present mingled with thoughts of the past and what might have been. The story is about four men trying to figure out who they are and what they’re doing 30 years after their graduation.
Days after his graduation, Jimmy Brand left the small ...more
|What is the "present" for you in the middle of Wendy's story?||1||2||Mar 17, 2015 06:12AM|
Carlson was born in Logan, Utah, but grew up in Salt Lake City. He earned a masters degree in English from the University of Utah. He then taught at The Hotchkiss School in Connecticut where he started his first novel.
He became a professor of English at Arizona State University in 1985, teaching creative writing to undergraduates and ...more