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Disappearances by Howard Frank Mosher


by Howard Frank Mosher

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In this rollicking adventure, set during the 1930's in very rural northern Vermont, the boy narrator and his larger-than-life father set off with an uncle and hired man to smuggle whiskey from Canada. There is nothing too outrageous for the father to attempt to complete this mission to earn money to buy hay to keep their cows alive. Each setback calls for wilder action than the last, all providing a glimpse of the poverty, ingenuity, and sense of community of the times. The outing turns into an intense and frightening battle against evil, and the novel would be extremely dark at that point if it weren't for the good cheer and hilarity of the characters and their antics. As usual, Mosher's craft is well displayed. ( )
  sleahey | Feb 19, 2016 |
Quebec Bill is perhaps Mosher's most wonderful character, and his relationship with his son is at the heart of this tall tale. It's perhaps now my favorite book by Mosher, up there with "Where the Rivers Flow North." I docked it half a star for the mystical elements (the 'disappearances' of the title), which didn't seem to work, and actually worked against the book, I thought. I will read it again, probably soon, which may change my mind about that. It's funny, profound, touching without being sentimental, the writing is typical Mosher: warm and intelligent. ( )
  BobNolin | May 11, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0618694064, Paperback)

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, Bill and his father encounter a cast of wild characters—and live out magical escapades as they carve their way into legend.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:21 -0400)

The time: 1932, just before the repeal of Prohibition and just shy of Wild Bill's 14th birthday. The place: Vermont, near the Canadian border. Bill's dad, desperate to preserve his cattle herd through a bitter winter, resorts to smuggling whiskey--a traditional family occupation. He takes his son on a voyage that will remain etched in the reader's mind: a journey into the demonic and spellbinding past. What they find is the genuine stuff of legends.… (more)

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