Bill Gaston, Mount Appetite

This will be a very short note, because it's been two weeks since I finished reading Bill Gaston's Mount Appetite, and there've been a lot of student words under the grading bridge since then.

And that's kind of a shame, because I really liked this collection of short stories. HIs narrators and characters were personable but unpredictable, and Gaston shows a keen eye for moments of personal crisis. Some of these are large, some small, but you know how it is -- a decision eventually has to be made, even if it's to do nothing, and sometimes you can't help betraying principles (yours or someone else's) or even other people. The title story is pretty remarkable, involving a parent's attempt to retain custody of a child with special needs when the government wants to take over, but there are some real gems here.

I read him as a BC writer, as a coastal writer, and he's got value if that's your focus, but more than that, he's just a great voice to spend time with. I gather that some female readers would like to see something different for and from his female characters, so you might feel that as well, but we're all critics, no? Read it. Great stuff.


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