silverflight8 (silverflight8) wrote in bookish,
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Who Has Seen the Wind: W. O. Mitchell

Author: W. O. Mitchell
Pages: (this is the original long Canadian version) 320
ISBN: 0-7710-3475-x

This is a book that traces Brian O'Connal through his boyhood years, starting from two years old. He lives on the Saskatchewan prairie in a tiny little town, during the Great Depression, and it is the prairie's story as much as Brian's.

This is an astonishing book. Maybe it's only because of my proximity to the prairies, but the settings, especially the prairie, was alive on the page. It was easy to imagine being right there, seeing the blue sky and the long grass stretch all the way to the horizon. The writing was clear, a little wistful, maybe, but portrayed the plains landscape incredibly well. The cast of characters includes Brian's family, but also the town's priest, schoolmasters and teachers, shoemakers, and the town drunkard and his son.

It's definitely in the narrative, rather than adventure style: that is, there is no rising action and climax. But if you really want imagery and the sort of exhilaration that comes with it (think The Great Gatsby, almost) I would highly recommend this. 10/10
Kind of feels like cheating, since I couldn't make it through this book. I have never read a more pretentious book; the critics lauded it as a piece of brilliance, and I saw it as a piece of hollow-sounding majestic words. Anyone read this one?
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