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Nickel Mountain – tekijä: John Gardner
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Nickel Mountain (alkuperäinen julkaisuvuosi 1973; vuoden 1989 painos)

– tekijä: John Gardner

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioKeskustelut / Maininnat
403748,698 (3.86)1 / 31
New York Times Bestseller and National Book Award Finalist: In an upstate New York town, a man tries to save a teenage girl--and his own soul. Henry Soames runs a diner in an eccentric rural community in the Catskills. He is anxious and overweight, and at age forty-two, suffers from poor health. When Callie Wells, Soames's seventeen-year-old employee, is impregnated by a local boy on his way to college, it becomes apparent that both are in need of a little help. After an unsuccessful attempt to find Callie a husband, Henry accepts the role. But soon after the improbable marriage commences, strange events occur in the small town, and Henry's pursuit of personal salvation begins.  Written by the author of October Light and The Sunlight Dialogues, Nickel Mountain is a wonderfully conceived narrative about one man's search for fulfillment in a lonely world. "There is enough life here for several novels . . . Nickel Mountain is worth the trip." --Chicago Sun-Times This ebook features a new illustrated biography of John Gardner, including original letters, rare photos, and never-before-seen documents from the Gardner family and the University of Rochester Archives.… (lisätietoja)
Jäsen:kregabshire
Teoksen nimi:Nickel Mountain
Kirjailijat:John Gardner
Info:Vintage (1989), Paperback
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto
Arvio (tähdet):
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Nikkelivuori (tekijä: John Gardner) (1973)

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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 7) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
Nickel Mountain by John Gardner

...and those who can't, teach.

I began reading Nickel Mountain by John Gardner because I wanted to see if one of the most renown teachers of fiction could actually write as well as he expected others to.

Gardner felt that aspiring to be an author was almost akin to a "higher calling" and required rigorous study and practice. As well as hard work and sacrifice such a career choice came with duties and responsibilities.

The most important of which is telling the truth, and not just getting facts right, but making sure your fiction is believable and not perceived by the reader as a lie. Foremost it must "affirm moral truths about human existence".

Well, okay. That's quite a tall order so I was curious to see if his fiction reflected all that high-minded stuff.

Henry Soames is middle-aged but acts and thinks like an old man. He runs a truck stop restaurant by himself on a lonely highway. Everything about him is depressing; he's morbidly overweight, he's got a bad heart, he's filled with self-pity and shows it, he blames his overbearing mother and failure father for his station in life. This guy is your classic victim and one of the most unsympathetic protagonists I've ever encountered.

When an acquaintance suggests Soames hire his teenage daughter to help run the place he agrees. Why does he agree when there's no indication he needs help and is about as misanthropic as a person can be? Gardner doesn't tell the reader.

Which is interesting because the relationship between Henry Soames and Callie, his sixteen year-old employee is at the crux of the story.

Technically, Gardner starts with promise - his opening sentence is brilliant. However, he delays the inciting incident until it's almost too late, and when it is revealed it's tepid.

Good fiction according to Gardner "creates a vivid and continuous dream" for the reader, but his writing is difficult and complicated not at all vivid and continuous.

Since I abandoned Nickel Mountain at page 33, I can't say whether moral truths about human existence were ever affirmed, but for the pages I did read I can affirm the story was depressing and monotonous, filled with insignificant details I imagine the reader was supposed to infuse with meaning, meaning which bordered on creepy.

My conclusion is that rigorous study and endless practice is indeed necessary for an author, but it's obviously not a guarantee he'll write a good book. ( )
  RodRaglin | Apr 29, 2018 |
There doesn’t seem to be anything special about Henry Soames. He is a fat man operating a run-down diner, The Stop-Off, more for the conversations with the regulars than as a living. But when Callie, a young waitress, turns up pregnant, and it’s clear that the child’s father won’t be there to help, Henry offers to marry her. While Callie sees the offer more as an arrangement, their devotion to one another grows over the years. She’s drawn, like all Henry’s friends, to his gentle nature, to his open acceptance of everyone.

At several points throughout the story, Henry is faced with difficult decisions – about people in his life, people who he cares about and people who he’s just met. Henry, to his own detriment and often in ways that spark ridicule, never fails to help each and every person who he is in a position to help. Though it sometimes troubles Callie and his friends, it’s the kind quality that draws them all to Henry.

Gardner’s book is the story of a man who makes choices from a predisposition that many would consider weak. But the result is a unique and lovable character, one that is rare in literature, one that champions kindness and compassion.

Bottom Line: Rare story about a kind spirit.

4 bones!!!!! ( )
1 ääni blackdogbooks | Aug 11, 2017 |
An oddly disturbing novel. Each character is diminished by circumstance and their interactions are complicated. ( )
  Esta1923 | Nov 13, 2014 |
In Nickel Mountain, published in 1973 when John Gardner was forty but written much earlier, the author's genius is on full display. This is the story of Henry Soames, 42, who runs the Stop-Off, a diner situated along a highway in the mountainous Catskills in southeastern New York State. Henry—obese, timid, thoughtful, unambitious—waits for whatever life brings his way, much as he waits for customers to darken the door of the Stop-Off. Grossly overweight (a trait inherited from his gentle father) and with a bad heart, he is living on borrowed time and knows it, but is content to let things continue on as they are because he is simply unable to envision how his life might be different. When a neighbour asks if Henry will let his daughter work at the diner, though he fears and resents changes to his routine, he relents rather than annoy the man. Thus teenage Callie Wells enters Henry’s life, and though neither of them have any reason to think this is anything but a temporary arrangement, she stays. Henry’s passive and accepting approach to being alive means that he is little more than a spectator to his own fate, and yet we come to care deeply for him. Callie is a wisp of a girl who speaks her mind, makes mistakes and often acts rashly and ill-advisedly, and yet we grieve for her when her lover takes off and she is forced to a decision that changes her life. Gardner populates the community around the diner with a clutch of grotesques, misfits and eccentrics who—be they narrow-minded, pigheaded, brain-addled, misanthropic or some combination of the four—are always interesting. The action and setting are vividly rendered. The natural world, especially the forest, with its suggestion of things beyond our knowing and its threat of chaos, is a pervasive if murky and mysterious presence that informs the narrative at all levels. Nickel Mountain, remarkable for these reasons and more, demonstrates that even for someone like Henry Soames, life is an adventure that can lead anywhere. A major novel by one of America’s best writers. ( )
2 ääni icolford | Jan 6, 2014 |
A older, fat diner owner, who thinks he is dying of heart failure, marries a young girl pregnant by a friend of the older man. The story is punctuated by somewhat artificially by deaths that produce guilt. Very interesting vignette about a Jehovah's Witness who is accused of burning down his home in which his wife dies. Eventually the diner own feel responsible for the JW's death caused by falling down the stairs. The diner owner's marriage enriches his life. The least credible part of the story is the forgiving of the father of the young girl's child. Interesting observations about life in upstate New York. ( )
  Darrol | Aug 13, 2010 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 7) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
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Sinun täytyy kirjautua sisään voidaksesi muokata Yhteistä tietoa
Katso lisäohjeita Common Knowledge -sivuilta (englanniksi).
Kanoninen teoksen nimi
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Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
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Ensimmäiset sanat
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
In December, 1954, Henry Soames would hardly have said his life was just beginning.
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia

-

New York Times Bestseller and National Book Award Finalist: In an upstate New York town, a man tries to save a teenage girl--and his own soul. Henry Soames runs a diner in an eccentric rural community in the Catskills. He is anxious and overweight, and at age forty-two, suffers from poor health. When Callie Wells, Soames's seventeen-year-old employee, is impregnated by a local boy on his way to college, it becomes apparent that both are in need of a little help. After an unsuccessful attempt to find Callie a husband, Henry accepts the role. But soon after the improbable marriage commences, strange events occur in the small town, and Henry's pursuit of personal salvation begins.  Written by the author of October Light and The Sunlight Dialogues, Nickel Mountain is a wonderfully conceived narrative about one man's search for fulfillment in a lonely world. "There is enough life here for several novels . . . Nickel Mountain is worth the trip." --Chicago Sun-Times This ebook features a new illustrated biography of John Gardner, including original letters, rare photos, and never-before-seen documents from the Gardner family and the University of Rochester Archives.

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