The Man Who Fell in Love With the Moon

A Novel

Spanbauer, Tom

Book - 1991
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Man Who Fell in Love With the Moon
The Man Who Fell in Love with the Moon is an American epic of the old West for our own times -- a novel huge in its imaginative scope and daring in its themes.The narrator is Shed, or Duivichi-un-Dua, a half-breed bisexual boy who makes his living at the Indian Head Hotel in the little turn-of-the-century town of Excellent, Idaho. The imperious Ida Richilieu is Shed's employer, the town's mayor and the mistress, and the mistress and owner of this outrageously pink whorehouse. Together with the beautiful prostitute Alma Hatch, and the philosophical, green-eyed, half-crazy cowboy Dellwood Barker, this collection of misfits and outcasts make up the core of Shed's eccentric family. And although laced with the ugliness and cruelty of the frontier West -- Shed is raped by the same man who then murders the woman he thinks is his mother, and the Mormon townspeople bring a fiery end to Ida's raucous way of life -- the love and acceptance that tie this family together provide the true heart of this novel. The Man Who Fell in Love with the Moon is a beautifully told, mythic tale that is as well a profound meditation on sexualty, race and man's relationship to himself and the natural world.

Publisher: New York : Atlantic Monthly Press, c1991
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780060974978
Branch Call Number: FICTION SPANBAUER 1991
Characteristics: 355 p. ;,24 cm


From Library Staff

The world of the west of the late 1800s, as seen through the eyes of a half-Indian, bisexual boy who lives.

From the critics

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Dec 29, 2014
  • lukasevansherman rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

Tom Spanbauer influenced a generation of Portland writers with his "dangerous" writing (Danger!Danger!) classes and the groups they spawned. Those who were associated with him include Chuck Palahniuk, Cheryl "Wild" Strayed, Chelsea Cain, and Monica Drake. The first book of his I read, "Faraway Places" wasn't dangerous at all, but this western is more like it. It's like Tom Robbins and Cormac McCarthy got in a horrible accident and their brains now share a body and they took some peyote in a cave and wrote this book. Or something like that. Spanbauer flips the western inside out and grills it over an open fire, tackling sex, gender, race, violence, and more sex. There's more sex than you can shake a sexy stick at, including homo, hetero, underage, and, hey, incest. While I appreciate a modern take on the western, the book was just sloppy and soggy (with bodily fluids) with a bit of a freewheeling, new age-y spirit that I found distasteful. It was pretty dangerous though. Perhaps the title was inspired by Mishima's "The Sailor who Fell From Grace with the Sea." Or perhaps not. Other modern takes on the western: most of McCarthy's books, "True Grit," "Ghost Town" (Coover), "Little Big Man," "The Brothers Sisters," "Confederate General at Big Sur," "Butcher's Crossing."

Dec 08, 2014
  • modboi5 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

An amazingly insightful rite of passage told by a very impressionable young man. Join him on his romanticized, unshirking journey toward self identity, family, & ultimately love. You will be surprised & learn a bit about Native American life & the Wild West @ the turn of the 20th century. A heart breaker aches with poetry & mysticism.

Mar 16, 2013
  • mexicology rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This immediately became one of my top 10 favorite books of all time. The story is amusing, heartbreaking, tantalizing, and told in a wonderfully vibrant way by a fascinating main character.
Tom Spanbauer is an outstanding storyteller. It's worth checking out his other books also.

Dec 02, 2012
  • snarski rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

A gritty, gender-bending romp through the wild West. Not a happy story.

Feb 05, 2011
  • douglasjoe rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

My all time favorite book. Tom is an incredible visual author.


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