Charles Bechtel's Reviews > Men God Forgot

Men God Forgot by Albert Cossery
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it was amazing

This book came into my hands at a time when I found myself dissatisfied with my writer's voice. Something was wrong with what was coming out of the sentences, and once I began reading Cossery's book, I knew what it was. It was cleanliness, directness, and the importance of a seemingly irrelevant focus on everyday objects. I use this one book often to tune my writing.

As a reader, though, the book falls into a category I like to call local yokel books. Among the authors of such, Mark Twain leads the pack, followed by a lot of Faulkner, the earliest Hemingway stories (before Europe), Joseph Mitchell in his New York reporting and Jack London in his wilderness tales. So far with regards to women authors, only Eudora Welty seems to fit. This pantheon is made of of writers who employ eccentric, common enough, colorful characters doing things no one I know does, but whose actions have the perfect ring of possibility, even probability. All the Huck Finns I knew growing up would have decked Tom Sawyer, but Twain makes the friendship work.

So too does Cossery. I feel I could walk the streets and peer into the dusty, shady interiors of the houses that his men and women suffer, and to my nose would come the smell of overly-spiced meals cooking. That's a fine trick indeed.

Writers, a must read. Readers, a good read. All others, let's face it, you never got to the end of this review.

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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
September 25, 2014 – Shelved

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