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3.87  ·  Rating details ·  427 Ratings  ·  41 Reviews
Winner of the New England Book Award, Howard Frank Mosher’s endearing first novel is both a heroic adventure and a thrilling coming-of-age story. It is the memorable tale of a young man named Wild Bill Bonhomme, his larger-than-life father, Quebec Bill, and their whiskey-smuggling exploits along the Vermont-Canada border in 1932. On an epic journey through the wilderness,
Paperback, 272 pages
Published March 29th 2006 by Mariner Books (first published January 1st 1984)
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Tyler The bulk of the story is set over a few days in 1932, but there are frequent offshoot chapters covering both the past and future of the main…moreThe bulk of the story is set over a few days in 1932, but there are frequent offshoot chapters covering both the past and future of the main characters.(less)

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Jun 24, 2012 rated it liked it
After a slow start, this coming of age tall tale, set in a remote part of New England during the depression, grabbed my attention. I was unable to put the book down until the end. Too absurd at times to appreciate, nevertheless I found that Mosher crafted memorable settings, unforgettable characters, and an exciting adventure that is both horrible and hilarious.
Oct 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Tom Jamrog
There are people in my life, and in my family, who act this way. Maybe you have them too - they a re a bit crazy, but just charming enogh to hornswoggle you into doing something which you either laugh about together forever; or - - - -

anyway, having lived in Northern New England for close to thirty years, and having tried to explain it to people, I can tlel you that this writer has got it down. I could smell the wind of a Northern New England spring when I read this.....
Elizabeth Young
Apr 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
An absolutely fabulous read. While many of the characters are bigger than life, the story is believeable. Funny, scary, hair-raising and also a tender tale of the relationship of a father and son. If you know Vermont at all -- or if you don't but can imagine it -- you will enjoy this book. It's memory lingers and warms me every time I think of it.
Brian Grover
Jan 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
It took me a while to come to terms with the fact that this is a tall tale, and the events shouldn't be taken as 100 percent literal. Once I did, I was able to just relax and love this book. I'm fairly certain that the only instance of me shedding actual tears in 2012 was when I read the passage here that recounts the final talk between the father and the son around the campfire near the end.
Ellen Klock
Jul 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kathy Piselli
Mar 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Mosher died recently and I had never read a book of his, so I started with Disappearances. It's one I had to diagram the genealogy for in order to keep track of all the William Goodmans or Bonhommes (too often with ghostly wives who seem little more than wombs for new Williams). The book contains the kinds of odd phrases that sound pithy ("this is the snow that takes the snow") but no matter how I work them over in my mind, they resonate not. However, there are many other phrases I liked, such a ...more
Nov 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What is it that haunts us? What is it that chases us, never letting up. How can an overly active positive imagination hide that which chases us? These are the delicious questions that I leave with after reading this book. Mr. Mosher treats us to an amazing cast of characters. Yet, no one is free from being pursued by his past, as seen through both Quebec Bill and Wild Bill. As readers, we get to choose what we do with that.

I enjoyed the structure of the novel, which centered around one specific
Dec 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Disappearances is simultaneously more impressive and less impressive than I would have expected, for being Howard Frank Mosher's first book. I've read Mosher before, but not since high school, and at the time he was my favorite "Vermont" writer. (Vermont is where I grew up).

It is well-written, I'd say, if you look at each chapter/vignette separately. But once you stack all these vignettes together, they get very tiring. The book sometimes felt like a collection of unrelated stories, entertaining
Feb 10, 2017 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 15, 2008 rated it it was ok
Mosher, Howard Frank. DISAPPEARANCES. (1977). **1/2. This was this author’s first book. He has since gone on to write several more. The story is a fabulous adventure tale – wholly incredible in parts – of a young man named Wild Bill Bonhomme, and his larger than life father, Quebec Bill. Quebec Bill is a short man – just over five feet tall – from a mixed Canadian-American-French heritage. He is forever laughing at everything; good times, bad times, or no times at all. His body must be 90% pickl ...more
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Howard Frank Mosher was an American author. Over the course of his career, Mr. Mosher published 12 novels, two memoirs and countless essays and book reviews. In addition, his last work of fiction, points North will be published by St. Martin's press in the winter of 2018.

Mosher was a Guggenheim Fellow in 1979. A Stranger In the Kingdom won the New England Book Award for Fiction in 1991, and was l
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