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Last Night in Twisted River

A Novel
Irving, John (Book - 2009 )
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
Last Night in Twisted River
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In 1954, in the cookhouse of a logging and sawmill settlement in northern New Hampshire, an anxious twelve-year-old boy mistakes the local constable's girlfriend for a bear. Both the twelve-year-old and his father become fugitives, forced to run from Coos County-to Boston, to southern Vermont, to Toronto-pursued by the implacable constable. Their lone protector is a fiercely libertarian logger, once a river driver, who befriends them. A tale that spans five decades.
Authors: Irving, John, 1942-
Title: Last night in Twisted River
a novel
Publisher: New York : Random House, c2009
Edition: 1st ed
Characteristics: xii, 554 p. ;,25 cm
Statement of Responsibility: John Irving
Contents: Coos County, New Hampshire, 1954
Under the logs
Do-si-do
A world of accidents
The eight-inch cast iron skillet
Boston, 1967
Nom de plume
In media res
Windham County, Vermont, 1983
Benevento and Avellino
Dead dogs, remembering Mao's
The fragile, unpredictable, nature of things
Lady sky
Honey
Toronto, 2000
The blue mustang
Kisses of wolves
Coos County, New Hampshire, 2001
Ketchum's left hand
Moose dancing
Pointe au Baril Station, Ontario, 2005
Lost nation
Ketchum excepted
Summary: In 1954, in the cookhouse of a logging and sawmill settlement in northern New Hampshire, an anxious twelve-year-old boy mistakes the local constable's girlfriend for a bear. Both the twelve-year-old and his father become fugitives, forced to run from Coos County-to Boston, to southern Vermont, to Toronto-pursued by the implacable constable. Their lone protector is a fiercely libertarian logger, once a river driver, who befriends them. A tale that spans five decades.
ISBN: 9781400063840
1400063841
Branch Call Number: FICTION IRVING 2009
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references
Subject Headings: Teenage boys Fiction Fathers and sons Fiction Fugitives from justice Fiction Loggers Fiction Coos County (N.H.) Fiction Boston (Mass.) Fiction Vermont Fiction Toronto (Ont.) Fiction
Topical Term: Teenage boys
Fathers and sons
Fugitives from justice
Loggers
LCCN: 2009014449
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n 1954, in the cookhouse of a logging and sawmill settlement in northern New Hampshire, an anxious twelve-year-old boy mistakes the local constable's girlfriend for a bear. Both the twelve-year-old and his father become fugitives, forced to run from Coos County-to Boston, to southern Vermont, to ... Read More »


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Jul 18, 2013
  • empbee rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Great story telling; the usual great style.

Not a great book but an easy & entertaining read if you don't object to a predictably violent ending

Terrible, just a rehash of his other books. Very bad!

I have enjoyed many of JI's novels, in particular Cider House Rules and Prayer for owen Meany. I enjoy his descriptions of New england landscapes and his character developments. I enjoyed his descriptions of Coos Country and the log-driving activities portrayed in the first chapters of "twisted river" but found the characters/family described here increasingly unbelievable and disturbing. I read about half of this book before i put is down without finishing it. I found it disappointing compared to other J Irving novels.

Jan 02, 2012
  • dgrace rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Good story, great characters, John Irving never disappoints...

Jun 17, 2011
  • MikeDay rated this: 1 stars out of 5.

Get a grip Irving fans! I've really liked his good novels, but this is probably his worst. It reminds me of Iris Murdock's last few novels, when she was demented but still writing. She still got published because her fans would buy her books, but they were gibberish. Irving is in decline. In this book, Irving has nothing new to say about life and his prose is getting all "twisted", to say nothing of excessive meaningless descriptions of all kinds of things irrelevant to the story.

Jan 12, 2011
  • Reyhaneh rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

definitely a good read
with the flow of a twisted river in this talented writer's (Daniel Baciagalupo) life story.
with remarkable characters: Ketchum, Dominic and Daniel Baciagalupo, and all along with different characters that anytime in the story, one of them somehow had "angel" in their name.
I enjoyed the way that main character writes his own life's novel, and the way he criticizes his own writing
although there were not enough bends in Twisted River to account for the river's name, this life story had many bends, and still it flew like running water, I can't imagine how it could be written better than this.
I wonder if Irving started with the end of book or the beginning, or anywhere in the midst, as Daniel says about his notes before finishing a book: "They're sentences, or parts of sentences, ahead of myself; they're waiting for me to catch up with them"

from the book:
"We don't always have a choice how we get to know one another. Sometimes, people fall into our lives cleanly--as if out of the sky, or as if there were a direct flight from Heaven to earth--the same sudden way we loose people, who once seemed they would always be part of our lives."

gave to Tom for Xmas 2010
Danny Angel, author taken from Twisted R when young after shooting bad guy's woman (Dad's lover). hero: Ketchum
Dad- Ital cook/chef. V, Good, as usual

Dec 16, 2010
  • loudem rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Quite a span of time! This is a big novel with details galore. A long story. A story of many lives. The end is a tad kitsch, but it has to end somewhere. The whole book would have had a more "real" story line if the "cook" have stayed in Twisted River after the "murder". There was no reason to leave. By leaving he was tagged "guilty" and the whole book revolved around the "when" he would be caught. The best character in the book is Ketchum. He's the one who makes the story moves. He energizes everything. But what he did in the end is, again, pushing the envelop. This is not a Japanese novel where if something goes wrong you kill yourself to save face. Lastly, what's the deal with these "big" women in the book. I mean, really, 200 - 300 pounds. Am I missing something here? This book is not his best. We're a long way from "Garp", or "Owen Meany", or "Cider House Rules". Can't wait to read his next book...

Nov 29, 2010
  • derekwolfgram rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

No question you're reading a John Irving book... there are bears, farting dogs, car sex, tragic deaths, and wrestling. (The narrator also makes a large number of asides in parentheses.) Last Night in Twisted River spans several decades and multiple locations as it tells the story of Dominic (the cook) and Daniel Baciagalupo (his son the writer), Ketchum (the logger) and the women with whom they have relationships from Daniel's preteen years until his sixties. Irving poignantly describes the impacts of personal tragedy, particularly the deaths of family members, friends and lovers, in shaping the human character. Interestingly, for a writer with such a gift for exploring tragic situations, the forced insertion of characters' reactions to 9/11 in the final section falls flat. Very little else in the novel ties in to any of the other historic events that took place between 1954 and 2005, and the screeds against George W. Bush feel tired and dated (even if the reader agrees with their substance.) Irving is at his best when exploring the ways people cope with cruel twists of fate, of which Last Night in Twisted River offers plenty. While this novel is not among his best (Garp, Owen Meany, Cider House Rules), a middling effort from Irving is still a far more enjoyable read than much of what is published today.

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