Friday, June 20, 2014

Compound Weasel

Lisa Howorth's new novel has an owl in it almost at the very end. She was saving it, but she must have known that all great books have owls in them. The owl wasn't a complete surprise. As Lee Durkee and I were just discussing, one of the amazing things about the book (FLYING SHOES) is its contagious enthusiasm for the natural world. It's about a grim and unthinkably tragic subject in large part, but is studded with bright, unexpected action set-pieces and a bravura deployment of hilarious cussing unrivaled in literature (see also). In fact, with a few chapters under my belt I walked up to Ace Atkins's office and told him he had a rival. Ace has gotten excellent mileage with the irresistible scatological compound animal word ****bird (I mention as much in that recent interview I did with him) but Lisa might have gone him one better with ****weasel.