Thursday, December 13, 2012

Not Exactly the West

Key West is not exactly the West as we know it, but I finished reading Thomas McGuane's novel Ninety-two in the Shade which mostly transpires in Key West. Right off, I'll say that I enjoyed it and learned some new words by reading it. This Bantam edition was published in 1974 and to me is "hip" or "cool" for the times. He portrays the main characters by getting into their minds and letting them rant and rave in their own particular way, sometimes seeming normal and other times not quite so. It's the story of two fishing guides and their quarrel about taking customers out fishing. Although seeming to be good friends for most of the book, there is violence brewing under the surface. Nicholas Dance lets Thomas Skelton use his boat to guide a fishing party and ends up with the boat on the bottom of the sea by Skelton's own hand, and Dance promises to kill him if he ever guides again.

With colorful characters and more colorful language the story is carried to its logical conclusion. To quote Kirkus Reviews from the first page of the book, "This is Hemingway country, with a vast metaphysical difference. McGuane is very much his own man stalking his own kind of truth." And if I may add, writing in is own style with a knowledge of the fishing industry and the fish and Key West.

A good book to pass a rainy afternoon with.   

No comments:

Post a Comment