Another book review blog?!?

Yes because people ask "Have you read anything good lately?" And I have. From a class ...

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Master Butchers Singing Club - Historical Fiction

Author: Louise Erdrich Publication Date: 2003
Number of Pages: 389
Geographical Setting/Time Period: Argus, North Dakota, 1918 - 1954
Main Character(s):   
  • Delphine Watzka, a strong, quirky, capable young woman  
  • Fidelis Waldvogel, a German immigrant, and the character that gives structure to the story.  
  • Cyparian Lazarre, a gay acrobat and companion to Delphine. 
  • Eva Kalb, wife to Fidelis
Plot Summary:
German immigrants between the two world wars create a life and business in a small town on the American plains. Locals and their stories are woven into the family’s tale when Fidelis starts a singing club for men. The family and the town endure through illness, accident, murder and finally the Great Depression.
Appeal:                    Pacing – The story is told at a relaxed pace. It is richly-layered and unfolds slowly as the characters think about the way their lives have turned.
                                  Characterization – The characters are painted using details from the daily routines of their lives. Folks drift into the story and become a part of it without fanfare.
                                  Storyline – is character-driven, told in third person with several viewpoints offered to the reader
                                  Frame – The story begins on two separate continents, chapters alternating briefly between two sets of characters. Soon the separate parts are joined by the actions of the characters and the story moves more quickly.
                                  Tone – is somewhat melancholy and introspective although there are moments of violence and suspense.
Brief quote:                “Step-and-a-Half hummed in her sleep and sank deeper into her own tune, a junker’s pile of tattered courting verse and hunter’s wisdom and the utterances of itinerants or words that sprang from a bit of grass or a scrap of cloud or a prophetic pig’s knuckle, in a world where butchers sing like angels.”
Prizes or Awards:       Finalist for National Book Award, America’s preeminent literary prize.
Similar Works:              My Antonia by Willa Cather (character-driven, relaxed pace, introspective story about immigrants), Novelist.
Reviewer’s Name:        Nancy Rimassa

No comments:

Post a Comment