Summer Reading Challenge


Saturday, June 16, 2007

Now is the Hour / Week 2

I just reluctantly finished the 459 pages of Now is the Hour by Tom Spanbauer. Part 4 'Purple Haze' was the final leg of this ride with Rigby John Klusener into adulthood. It was charged with events that at once rattled me, saddened me and finally made me smile. I will miss this book.
Here is a bit of the excerpt from Houghton-Mifflin's site, the first page where Rig is hitchhiking outside of Twin Falls, Idaho:
It’s all pretty clear now. Amazing how clear things can get at night in the desert. The moon, a big silver dollar, so much light there’s a shadow of me across the pavement. A long shadow. My feet here on the gravel, my head all the way over there on the center line. George Serano told me once that you can tell how you feel by how your shadow looks. . .The desert’s even more quiet. The perfectly still sound of everything alive. Even the pavement, its dark ribbon going over the edge of the horizon, is alive. The horizon too, slow, sloping flat, every now and then an outburst of lava rock making a jagged edge. Sagebrush a darker shade of silver than the moon. Close your eyes here and take a breath, what you smell is sagebrush and bitterroot, what you smell is everything that’s possible.
Because the author is from my hometown, the setting throughout has pulled me back to my own time there at 16 and 17. His characters have a fitting connection to the Indian reservation nearby as well as the farm itself, all of the work and loneliness. Spanbauer's characterizations of Rigby's parents were especially poignant, especially as the story nears its ending. Please know this is not a gushy family novel, but gritty, complex and wonderfully written.


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