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Light Action in the Caribbean: Stories
by Barry Lopez
References to this work on external resources.
Wikipedia in English
Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679754482, Paperback)A reader can never know for certain how Barry Lopez constructs his stories. But they read as though their author first came up with some utterly compelling image, and the story fit itself around the image. Fans of the author's nature writing in Crossing Open Ground and Arctic Dreams will be pleased to find that often these images express human devotion to the land. In a kind of fantasy piece titled "In the Great Bend of the Souris River," a horseman, adrift in the countryside in North Dakota, encounters two other riders who "could be Cree." The three men ride across the prairie together. "I knew these people no better than two deer I might have stumbled upon, but I was comfortable with them, and the way we fit against the prairie satisfied me. I felt I could ride a very long way like this, absorbed by whatever it was we now shared, a kind of residency." In "Remembering Orchards," a character recalls with regret his orchardist stepfather whom he wishes he'd known better and who died "contorted in his bed like a root mass."
Lopez introduces other, more disturbing images here as well, perhaps most notably in the title story, wherein a woman travels with her boyfriend to a diving resort in the Caribbean. In a weird twist on J.D. Salinger's "A Perfect Day for Bananafish," the trip ends in brutal bloodshed, which Lopez describes in chillingly affectless prose. The story contains this stunner of a sentence: "The first bullet tore through his left triceps, the second, third, fourth, and fifth hit nothing, the sixth perforated his spleen, the seventh and eighth hit nothing, the ninth hit the console, sending electrical sparks up, the tenth went through his right palm, the next four went into the air, the fifteenth tore his left ear away, the sixteenth ricocheted off the sixth cervical vertebra and drove down through his heart, exiting through his abdomen and lodging in his foot." There's no escape from Lopez's images; they come after us. --Claire Dederer
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:48 -0400)
Set variously in Peru, Chile, the Caribbean, California, and the American West, here are tales of men and women exploring the landscapes of their own innocence and desire; confronting violence, estrangement, and the disillusionment of war; or encountering the hope, fierce integrity, defiance, and wisdom of others.
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