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Nagah And The Thunderegg by Darrell Mulch

Nagah And The Thunderegg

by Darrell Mulch

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Growing up in the 60s on a ranch in central Oregon, with Ed the horse, Betsy the cow, Italian father Yango and Paiute mother Clotho, young Donato’s biggest problem was his name (which sounds like “Don’t”) until the rather gruesome death of a newborn calf. As a baby he compared and contrasted teats on mom, bottle and cow and listened to the noises of his wild and wonderful world. Then came the dead calf and thunderegg, and a story of life searching for meaning.

Details are as vivid as the “bodacious ball of fire [that] struggled to laser its way through the thick magenta sky” at dusk. D-D-T is as real as rattles woven in dreadlock hair. War is dark but filled with mystery. And the voice is cultured in language, complex in myth, yet as simple, clear and precise as the father’s well-argued equilibrium.

Great characters fill these pages. Intriguing language tells their tales, with unexpected words used in unexpected ways. “Sometimes it worked. Sometimes it didn’t,” says the narrator of his uncle’s antics, and when it works, it’s really great. County fairs, hippy dance circles, hunting expeditions, gold mines, the occasional dose of cholera, and ships of war come together in a well-told “looking-glass menagerie” filled with quirky surprises for the reader, seriously odd situations, and humorous contemplative musings.

Pretty soon, the reader starts wondering with the narrator which way is up. But round, down and sideways are fascinating too, all enthralling (if sometimes requiring the odd grain of salt). From the Philippines to Italy, ocean depth to mountain peak, comedy to tragedy, and from Oregon to Oregon again, the story’s a cool, swift read, with great detail, music, mystery, personality and plot.

Disclosure: I was given a free ecopy and I offer my honest review. ( )
  SheilaDeeth | Feb 17, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 061593563X, Paperback)

In the late seventies, Donato, a man growing up in rural Oregon becomes obsessed with finding the intangible by climbing mountain peaks. This quest for cosmic knowledge borders on the twilight zone and is driven by karma floating on a river of nostalgia. His spirit guide, a kneehigh cane toad accompanies him in a surreal journey around the world until he accidentally finds what he is looking for in the deepest gorge in North America. "A witty, Rabelaisian road story about one man's search for what matters." Kirkus Reviews

(retrieved from Amazon Wed, 17 Feb 2016 21:19:50 -0500)

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