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Border Songs

Lynch, Jim (Book - 2009 )
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Border Songs
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By the acclaimed author of The Highest Tide, a story of contrary destinies further complicated by the border that separates them. Six foot eight and severely dyslexic, Brandon Vanderkool has always had an unusual perspective ¿ which comes in handy once his father pushes him off their dairy farm and into the Border Patrol. He used to jump over the ditch into British Columbia but now is responsible for policing a thirty-mile stretch of this largely invisible boundary. Uncomfortable in this uniformed role, he indulges his passion for bird-watching and often finds not only an astonishing variety of species but also a great many smugglers hauling pot into Washington State, as well as potentially more dangerous illegals. What a decade before was a sleepy rural hinterland is now the front line of an escalating war on both drugs and terrorism. Life on either side of the border is undergoing a similar transformation. Mountaintop mansions in Canada peer down into berry farms that might offer convenient routes into the budding American market, politicians clamor for increased security, surveillance cameras sprout up everywhere and previously law-abiding citizens are tempted to turn a blind eye. Closer to home, Brandon's father battles disease in his herd, and his mother something far more frightening. Madeline Rousseau, who grew up right across the ditch, has seen her gardening skills turn lucrative, while her father keeps busy by replicating great past inventions, medicating himself and railing against imperialism. And overseeing all is the mysterious masseuse who knows everybody's secrets. Rich in characters contending with a swiftly changing world and their own elusive hopes and dreams, Border Songs is at once comic and tender and momentous ¿ a riveting portrait of a distinctive community, an extraordinary love story and fiction of the highest order.
Authors: Lynch, Jim, 1961-
Title: Border songs
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2009
Edition: 1st ed
Characteristics: 291 p. ;,25 cm
Statement of Responsibility: Jim Lynch
Notes: "This is a Borzoi book."
ISBN: 030727117X
9780307271174
Branch Call Number: FICTION LYNCH 2009
Subject Headings: Washington (State) Fiction Border patrol agents Fiction
Topical Term: Border patrol agents
Authors, American
LCCN: 2008053514
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A severely dyslexic man takes a job patrolling the border of Canada and the United States, while coping with his mother's encroaching Alzheimer's and his father's loss of the family farm.


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Jul 27, 2012
  • uncommonreader rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

This is a very funny book about a dsylixic border patrol between Canada and the US whose birdwatching leads him into unexpected situations.

Feb 15, 2011
  • bingo1912 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I really enjoyed this book. One of the things I liked was it is set in the Lynden area so I knew all the places, names had been changed. As I continued reading I started to get the impression that everyone I know that lives on the border is getting money from smugglers. Not true!
After continuing to read I realized it is indeed a work of fiction and I was able to just enjoy the book for what it is. fiction.
I liked the ending and look forward to more books from Jim Lynch
This is my second book from this author.

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Dec 13, 2010
  • namowkoob rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Jim Lynch at FVRL

Whatcom County Library System partnered with FVRL to bring American Booksellers Best Fiction of 2009 nominee, Jim Lynch, to White Rock Library to read from "Border Songs". Lynch's view of the Canada-U.S. border as a "nonsensical line" where the two countries are often divided by "nothing more than a drainage ditch or nothing at all" provides the backdrop for the war on terror and drugs, one of it's defenders being young, unusually tall, dyslexic border guard, Brandon Vanderkool. This humorous and provocative book was an official selection of the Sundance Film Festival. (from FVRL YouTube site)

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