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Willnot is not (primarily) a mystery or suspense novel. Forget that silly and distracting GR blurb, taken from the silly and distracting (and spoiler revealing, in one instance) dust jacket blurb....more
We see small town rural life through Dr. Hale’s eyes. We learn of his interactions with many of the town’s residents, and we also learn of his personal ...more
Now that that's out of the way, let me tell you what it is. There are mysteries here, but most of them are the unsolvable ones of the human heart, and of life itself. What is Willnot, and how did it get it's name? We're never told. Where is Willnot? We're never told. Is it even a real place? Decide that one for yourself. The people there ...more
It rambles. And it is odd. If you like odd, you might like it. Odd both in tone and in its continuity. There were pages I had to reread. Conversations between characters just introduced or added in asides? I feel I got to know Dickens, the cat, better than the "wise" protagonists of the st ...more
James Sallis has once again written a classic, and to my mind one his best, Willnot will be as popular as all his other novels and stories. Not quite a literary crime novel more the story of a middle aged doctor, in small town America, who is trying to come to terms with his own mortality.
Willnot is a small town that is full of eccentrics who are aware that they are just ‘visiting’ and that life goes on. Dr Lamar Hale is the local doctor, knows everyone’s aches and pains. ...more
While all these things are happening, Lamar goes about his daily business t ...more
It's been awhile since I've read any of Sallis's books. /sigh/ Silly me. There is a wonderful, mellow flow to his writing that, in a way, reminds me of Nabokov. Yes, but no. Sallis has a dead-center way of looking at life, and describing it in an off hand manner whose profundity just suddenly pops you in the back of the head. The reader is forced to go back and reread the last page or two just for the immediate pleasure of reliving those thoughts.
The plot is deceptiv ...more
However the book was so poorly translated that it is a shame on the publisher's part.
I will send them an email with examples however it is a loss on business for them for such a productive writer is wasted. ...more
I previously read ‘Drive’ by this author and really couldn’t see what all the fuss was about; not for me, James Sallis, I thought. How wrong.
Willnot is a very short book, described as a Mystery, or a Crime, story; for me, it is both and yet neither, it defies categorisation. In truth, it is simply the musings of an elderly American small-town doctor as he goes about his daily life.
The story start ...more
New to Sallis? No better place to start than 'Willnot', his latest literary crime novel. Difficult to categorise because it is a rich and complex study of middle America town life in the modern world and a noir thriller with a slow creeping burn.
'Willnot' town doctor Lamar Hale narrates and the story opens with the uncovering of a burial pit in the woods outside town - the remains of several dead bodies. Apparent stranger Brandon 'Bobby' Lowndes turns up in Hale's office a ...more
Well firstly I really couldn't get to grips with how the book was written. It's quite loose and rambling in style and I found that at times, in fact quite often, I really had to think about what had just happened or what had been said, or even re-read a section to actually get a handle on it! It's not really a cri ...more
Yes I am ashamed to admit never having previously read a James Sallis book.
The Willnot of the title is a small backwoods, slightly gone to seed American town, where our hero and main character is General Practitioner, Surgeon, counsellor, confident and collector of all types of waifs and strays.
It’s impossible not too like, no love the main character, every small town should have this kind of D ...more
Ultimately, Willnot lost half a star because the ending didn't have much of a payoff for me. It loses another star for metaphors and dialogue that I could not follow. I didn't understand whole paragraph ...more
Seriously, many things happen and few of them are resolved. Meanwhile, you're falling in love with the characters, who seem like real people, and the writing, which speaks to your emotions.
I began to read this short novel as a break from The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters. More than halfway through its almost 600 pages, I was drowning in detail and overwrought emotion. This is its complete opposite and by far the s ...more
The publisher also throughs in a MAJOR spoiler for anyone who reads the synopsis on the back of the book. Not good!
Read Sallis's - you will not be dis ...more