Monday, October 18, 2010
Mink River, Brian's stunning fiction debut, brings a small coastal Oregon town to life through the jumbled lives and braided stories of its people. In the wet hamlet of Neawanaka there are love affairs and almost-love-affairs, mystery and hilarity, bears and tears, brawls and boats, a garralous logger and a silent doctor, rain and pain, Irish immigrants and Salish stories, mud and laughter. Readers will close the book more than a little sad to leave the village of Neawanaka, on the wet coast of Oregon, beneath the hills that used to boast the biggest trees in the history of the world.
David James Duncan, author of The Brothers K and The River Why, said of Mink River "In its sights, setting, insinuations, flora and fauna, his tale is quintessential North Coast, but in its sensibility and lilt this story is as Irish as tin whistles -- and the pairing is an unprecedented delight....I've read no Northwest novel remotely like it and enjoyed few novels more."
Joseph Bednarik reviewed the book for The Oregonian: "Mink River, the shimmering new novel by Portland writer Brian Doyle, is the best way to get to Neawanaka. Actually, it's the only way -- and very much worth the trip....The strength of the novel lies in Doyle's ability to convey the delicious vibrancy of people and the quirky whorls that make life a complex tapestry. He is absolutely enchanted by stories, with the zeal and talent to enchant others."