Wallace Stegner: The Big Rock Candy Mountain



Review to follow maybe if I ever recover Emotionally I was all over the place I never thought I d cry over Bo Mason still not sure I did but there was a scene towards the end Bo was in that scene when I broke downand for a second felt sad for himI think when you read a book like this 600 dense pages filled with sorrows paperback small print to boot eventually a reader will break down Yes Or am I crazy Three emotions stand out the most intertwine throughout this novel 1 anger 2 aw 3 sadness I m spent I ll be back to write a better hopefully review later unless I just throw up my hands Many thanks to Lorna she s willing to have a buddy discussion with me I m left with uestions I feel a need to talk about this book discuss with it with other readers I have several uestions and comments about specific parts in this novelWriting a review at the moment just feels too exhausting forgive me I m really spent However I m sooooooo lad I read it and wanting to say hello to my friends here before I scat like a cat A few tidbits about The Big Rock Candy MountainLong Hell yesDense Hell yesSlow and poetic at times Hell yesIncredible prose lots to highlight YES YES and YESTumultuous blistering and turbo accelerating at times YES emotionally Hell yes at times Worth reading Yes yes yes One of my all time favorite books close uick uestion to those who have read this Do other readers think Bo was Bipolar My heart aches the characters were soooooo sooooo sooooo real I LOVE Elsa and BrucePS I thought I knew Stegner pretty well through other books I read or read about Stegner but I learned a lot from this bookHa ha I need some comic reliefStegner did not like His To Protect gophers The story of Bo Mason and Else He is a talented dreamer with a large dose of wanderlust who works hard at his dreams but seems to always see them drift away She is an escapee from an unhappy home who is smitten with Bo as an 18 year old Marriage ensues children and hardship This is areat American saga covering the main characters from adolescence to old age It ives us a look at western North America US and Canada at the end of the 19th century into the mid 20th There are times when the language is so beautiful that it called to mind Thomas Hardy and I wept through the final chapter The Mason children figure large in this story as well Bo stands in for America in a way He has so much to offer yet instead of building in a slow and steady is ever torn by un unuenchable need for the new He is also always on the lookout for the big score and ultimately it never comes Else loves Bo despite his inability to settle down despite his harshness his immaturity Bo s vibrance however flawed stands out Else must sacrifice her desire for a settled life again and again as Bo is drawn ever onward She stands in for the domestic piece of America Their sons diverge as well Chet carries his father s athleticism but also his stubbornness and inability to admit error It ultimately takes him away from his dreams Perhaps the most American is Bruce the mama s boy who ultimately strikes off on his own to make a truly better life He had a notion where home would turn out to be for himself as for his father over the next range on the Big Rock Candy Mountain that place of impossible loveliness that had pulled the whole nation westward the place where the fat land sweated up wealth and the heavens dropped lemonade Imagine taking the painful childhood you remember and turning it into a work of art such as this Using a ood patient Babys First Christmas (Christmas Is For Kids) (Christmas Is For Kids) (Harlequin American Romances, 754) gentle mother and a violent ruthless father determined to bully the world intoiving him what he wanted to show the value of the American spirit Writing about an older brother with so much promise who could never uite Ups, Kita Sudah Menikah? get it together Relating your ownrowth as a whining sensitive undersized boy who had to search inside himself for strength and endurance And showing us 30 years in the life of a family in the first half of the 20th century in the beautiful prose that foreshadowed his Reading Wallace Stegner is like having a really Catwoman great first boyfriend He ruins you for anyone who comes later Sometimes he s soood that you don t even want anyone after him The Big Rock Candy Mountain is the book that should have won Stegner the Pulitzer Prize long before he wrote Angle of Repose I ve read commentary indicating that Big Rock Candy Mountain is largely autobiographical If that is true my heart aches for the little boy that was Wallace Stegner Perhaps those early painful experiences were what made him the soulful and understanding author we loveStegner is the conductor for the music of my heart Maybe someday I ll figure out how to write reviews that adeuately convey what he does for me The Big Rock Candy Mountain by Wallace Stegner is said to be the closest to an autobiographical account of his own childhood This is the emotionally ripping tale of fictional Bo and Elsa Mason and their two sons Chester and Bruce with striking similarities to the childhood of Stegner The Mason family was continually uprooted as Bo Mason found himself involved in one scheme after another often reuiring the family to move freuently as Bo Mason was often chasing the next big financial scheme as were many others in the movement westward in the first part of the twentieth century Bo Mason oftentimes prone to violence tried his hand at farming running a hotel and ultimately rum running during Prohibition Elsa did everything in her power to make each place a home as this family searched for their piece of The Big Rock Candy Mountain This at times was such a heartbreaking story of this family but there were beautiful moments as well as their struggles sometimes seemed insurmountable in this rich and unforgettable classic There was somewhere if you knew where to find it some place where money could be made like drawing water from a well some Big Rock Candy Mountain where life was effortless and rich and unrestricted and full of adventure and action where something could be had for nothingIf one subscribed to the idea of home at all one would insist on an attic for the family history to hide in His mother had felt so all her life She wanted to be part of something an essential atom in a street a town a state she would have loved to et herself expressed in all the pleasant secure details of a deeply lived in houseWas he oing home or just another place It wasn t clear Yet he felt ood settling his bare arm ingerly on the hot door and opening his mouth to sing He had a notion where home Dakota 1905 La jeune Elsa a fui les plaines du Minnesota dans l’espoir de fonder un foyer Lorsu’elle rencontre Bo Mason bourlingueur en uête d’aventures et de fortune elle voit en lui la promesse d’un monde nouveau Elle n’i.

( Livres The Big Rock Candy Mountain ) ¾ Wallace Stegner – ecogenlife.org

Followed the old Scandinavian tracts through the north west It must have been very painful to relate and share his memories to throw open his hurt anger frustrations heartbreak and embarrassment to a public he doesn t even know if he could trust However I do believe that it brought the clich d closure for himself and made him proud of the choices he made to overcome his personal family history Well he had so much to be proud of in the end If the bad was enetic the Constantly Craving good was in there as well He just had to fill up the spaces between it How difficult was it to flesh out the characters their intimate lives their thoughts so that he could ensure understanding from himself and his readers of hisrandparents and parents decisions The frontier the family was on was a belated one in the 1914 20s in Saskatchewan They were almost literary reproducing the Kansas frontier of the 1860s Boredom never entered the author s Huckleburry Finn world as a child his own description of his world His mother kept his brother and himself cultured as far as their constanct moving allowed His father was a folklore character with an explosive temper His brother who died young was on his way to become a successful athlete if it wasn t for his father s constant bootlegging to keep food on the table A whiff of scandal surrounded the family as a result of his father s contstant new schemes with shady and dubious partners In an interview Wallace Stegner said that they were deprived of civilisation in many respects and he had to try and catch up with it his entire life He has been in an acronysm all his life as a result He always felt like a nineteen century character caught in the twentieth century Wallace Stegner s roots were deeply established in the American west This novel is about their experiences in painful detail He created realistic characters to establish a believable trustworthy tale and leave the reader with a sense of awe but also empathy for those drifters who shaped modern America in so many ways This book is indeed about The Big Rock Candy Mountain and those people who took it on It is also about loyalty in a family and how destructive and intricate it becomes Hopeful but sad book For me at least Totally beside the point I noticed that Ken Kessey was one of Wallace Stegner s students in Creative Writing One Flew Over The Cuckoo s Nest is certainly one of the most iconic American novels ever written and for sure the best shameful example of how an author was screwed out of his words big time by his publishers who robbed him of his rights to royalties While the book is still in reprint for probably a millionth time selling even millions of copies Ken Kessey did not share in the bounty it A Preface to Democratic Theory generated In fact he hardly survived financially from other means of income he had to find until he passed away I am thus sorateful for Wallace Stegner who made such a big difference to other people s lives after everything he had Aryan Idols gone through in his own life This book is worth a read It nestles as much in the historical fictionenre as being an autobiographical novel at the same time In the Big Rock Candy MountainsThere s a land that s fair and brightWhere the handouts row on bushesAnd you sleep out every nightWhere the boxcars all are emptyAnd the sun shines every dayOn the birds and the beesAnd the cigarette treesThe lemonade springsWhere the bluebird singsIn the Big Rock Candy MountainsBo Mason is a dreamer He isn t lazy or unskilled or really even criminal but he wants everything and he wants it now and nothing is ever enough He wears out the people around him his wife and his children with his inability to settle down and just live in peace He flirts with danger and justifies anything he does that he believes will help him hit the big timeIt would be easy to hate Bo Mason especially when it is so easy to respect and love his wife the beleaguered Elsa But there is much to admire at the heart of Bo and what you feel along with the disgust and dislike is kind of rudging pity and understanding He is like a trapped animal and his cruelty rises from a place he cannot control and mostly fails to recognize The book poses interesting uestions Are we destined to be a certain kind of person a person who is seeded in us during childhood Can a drifter who yearns for new horizons and new challenges force himself to settle down Should a man bury all his dreams once he assumes the responsibility of family Can we forget being abused in our childhood and overcome our urge to withdraw or retaliate When we have built a life on running from adversity can we learn to stay and fight through the bad times Can we ever in fact overcome who we are And does love conuer anything let alone conuer all What is your husband a slave to Mrs Mason To himself Mrs Webb to himself To his notion that he has to make a pile be a big shot have a hundred thousand dollars in negotiable securities in his safe deposit box drive a Cadillac carHe doesn t know he wouldn t know what to do with money when he has it Would he ever think of Bourdieus Secret Admirer in the Caucasus going to the theater or reading aood book or taking a trip somewhere just for the tripThat is the saddest thing about Bo Mason to me he is wishing for all the wrong things when all the right things might be right at his elbow I couldn t help thinking that I have met far too many men like him in my lifetime people who think everything can be solved with money But money beyond a certain level of need cannot really purchase happiness only thingsLove is a strange thing it will make us hold on to someone when we know we ought to let o It makes us turn down the respectable and kind suitor who would adore us take care of us and love our children and opt for the wild unpredictable sometimes cruel man who excites our heart and soul Love shows itself in different ways and sometimes even though felt is hard to express Hate is its mirror so closely aligned with it that I dare say you can only truly hate someone that you truly love For is it not love that leaves you vulnerable to the hurts and stings that you would never accept from someone to whom you were indifferentIf I had any complaint about this novel it would be that it might be shortened without losing its impact It is autobiographical I understand and it is easy to believe because it feels very personal in places There are no black and white characters here all are shades of rey and if we are fair isn t that primarily the truth the truly evil are rare and saints are virtually non existent. ?sentent à lui entraînant les siens dans sa poursuite effrénée d’un horizon ui semble se dérober au fur et à mesure u’il s’en approche Et pendant ce temps là l’Amériue continue à se construire et à charrier des mythe.

Ould turn out to be for himself as for his father over the next range on the Big Rock Candy Mountain that place of impossible loveliness that had pulled the whole nation westward I feel spent having finished this book I took time reading it than any book in recent memory and it wasn t only its 563 pages that made it a long read I had to read with a pen at the ready so many ideas and images and thoughts I wanted to highlightThe Big Rock Candy Mountain is a western book A character study A journey But not a there and back again book like Bilbo Baggins wrote It s a Byzantium go ando again kind of journey searching ever further afield for that one thing that will make you happy always finding that it just slipped out of your fingersBo Mason is that dreamer a schemer who will Contacts Desired gamble on a sure thing following whatever lead will drop him on top of that Big Rock Candy Mountain the soonest He ll farm work the railroad bootleg or run a b Towards the end of this epic story Bruce Mason who was a first year law student barely 20 years old having skipped a fewrades began keeping a journal It was not a log of his activities or thoughts on the issues of the day but rather an attempt to understand a complicated family dynamic with a flawed father driving it He said the journal was like author s notes another of the many parallels between Bruce and Stegner himself Both had a saintly mother a combustible father an athletic older brother who unlike Wally and Bruce did not skip rades and a nomadic upbringing that included time in Saskatchewan Montana and Salt Lake City Here s Bruce though reflecting on how impossible it is to truly understand any such thingI suppose he wrote that the understanding of any person is an exercise in enealogy A man is not a static organism to be taken apart and analyzed and classified A man is movement motion a continuum There is no beginning to him He runs through his ancestors and the only beginning is the primal beginning of the single cell in the slimeNevertheless the book did track back to figure out what it could In the process Stegner said he managed to offload some deep seeded resentments I m reluctant to The Oracles Golem (The Oracle go into any detail because Stegner should beiven the chance to reveal important plot points his own way Let me just say he s Measuring the Subjective Well-Being of Nations good at it Each vignette draws you in completely magnified and maderand by his sense of time and place And every character profile has human dimensions that only a Let It Bree / Cant Buy Me Louie (Harlequin Duets, genuinely talented observant writer can convey OK then Taking a deep breath before attempting the tightrope walk that keeps me from over sharing while at the same time justifies why the book deserves all 5 stars Oneenealogical precursor in this story was the father s father who lost an arm and any sense of humor he might have had as a prisoner in the Civil War Another was the mother s Norwegian heritage and farm upbringing that made her hearty and resilient Each member of the immediate family The Solitary Self gets POV treatment which helps the long story move at a spritely pace Bo the dad was testosterone personified He was broad shoulderedood with his hands uick with his temper energetic charming at times respected by ruffians The Ornaments of Life good withuns and for the most part loving towards his wife Elsa He chased dreams of the big score the easy money or in metaphoric 45 If you ve read Stegner a man I consider one of America s national treasures you will already know his writings are dense The reader cannot be hurried through Patience and thoughtfulness are reuired to appreciate the journey he will take you on no instant One Wish (Thunder Point, gratification to be found Unless you love prose for its own sake This one is divided into ten sections and that s how I consumed it for a week and a half Years ago while reading Angle of Repose and Crossing to Safety I recalletting fatigued somewhere between the halfway and three uarters mark responding like a child in the back seat exclaiming Are we almost there That happened with this one also Similar to driving through the La santa anoressia. Digiuno e misticismo dal Medioevo a oggi great American Southwest across the California desert and then over the mountains and through all the traffic but then you see it theorgeous coastline You see where s he s been taking you and all those sections come together and you re so Remembering and Repeating glad for the effort spent because youet it You also know that nothing could be subtracted All the contrast between the red rock and miles of hot dusty roads to the blues and Leonardo and the Mona Lisa Story greens of the Pacific It was worth it the journeyetting there and the destination You are satiated and satisfied and in love with the stories he weaves and want to sign on for another road trip You also feel completely lacking in the skills necessary to adeuately review or sing the praises of his work This was Stegner s first full length novel I m Mona Lisa glad I read it as a mature woman He talks about it in the very beginning of the documentary film to which I have included a link Who better than he toive the reader a sense of what to expect Perhaps I don t cherish it as much as the two mentioned above but it has made me Fly Away Home (South Africa Series, gratefully hunger for and I shall have The closing pages compel me to bump the stars up to fiveOne of my favorite passages author titled this book as well as a later one Where the Bluebird Sings to the Lemonade Springs from lines in a song also used in the movie O Brother Where Art Thou The Big Rock Candy Mountain by Harry Haywire McClintock 1928 This version is visually entertaining as wellhttpswwwyoutubecomwatchvJowmWallace Stegner A Writer s Life A one hour documentary the author participated in shortly before his death Narrated by Robert RedfordhttpswwwyoutubecomwatchvZGCC6Biographyhttpwallacestegnerorgbiohtml I can in all honesty not say that this was one of my heartfelt best books ever But can say convincingly that it was an excellent autbiographical novel Perhaps there was a scattering of way too much words all over the tale Too long Too wordy So many novels have been written about the American west and the deeper meaning behind the search foret uick rich schemes the big rock candy mountain over the next rise something for nothing an improved world andor Soldier O - Bosnian Inferno get away from man s own nature It often left the dreams shattered but the dreamers determined the longer they tried to find the pot ofold at the end of an ever elusive rainbow the further it moved out west I have Seeing Through the Eyes of the Polish Revolution great respect for this well known author for pouring out theood and bad memories into this personal tale of his life as part of his drifter family in the early twentieth century They. Magine pas la vie à lauelle les désirs de randeur de Bo les destinent Saloons clandestins conuête de la terre mine d’or trafic d’alcool Bo Mason héros américain par excellence se réinvente au fil des opportunités ui se pr?.

Wallace Stegner á 9 Free read

Wallace Earle Stegner was an American historian novelist short story writer and environmentalist Some call him The Dean of Western Writers He won the Pulitzer Prize in 1972 and the US National Book Award in 1977