Had to let this one simmer in my brain pan for a few days, mulling over its greatness. Glorious writing, sometimes laugh out loud inducing.
Spooner might be the only twin I’ve ever liked; could this be because his twin died during birth?
Images that stick with me:
* Spooner as a young’un peeing in the neighbor’s house accidentally after going over for a piece of the forbidden cheese, loving the thrill of getting away with it, going back and deliberately peeing in his shoes and putting them in the fridge.
* Jaquith’s mule dead and exploding in the fire at the mill; the stench returning to Spooner at odd dreadful moments the remainder of his life.
* Spooner getting his ass kicked, teeth knocked out, then going back for Round 2 with reinforcements in the shape of Stanley the prizefighter and various of their friends.
* Calmer’s introduction as a promising naval officer whose botched attempt at a funeral at sea for a Congressman leads to his dismissal (the coffin didn’t sink, so he gave the command to fire at the vessel)
* Calmer ripping his palms off to try and save the neighbor’s grandson after his jacked up van falls on him. This, after the neighbor erects a fence deep on Spooner’s property.
What I didn’t like:
* Winds down towards the end. Why are the last 100 pages of a book always so damned hard to write/read? I didn’t enjoy much of the story as it takes place on the island, Spooner a successful writer cozily ensconced in his cottage with guesthouse, the neighbor’s gay grandson and lover harassing his daughter and threatening to kill the cat, Calmer gone senile and come to live with them, drinking beer and shooting the rifle in the air with helmet on to see if the bullet can land on his head.