A Scarecrow's Bible
8 journalers for this copy...
From the book cover-
Gary, a married Vietnam veteran, addicted to drugs, haunted by memories of the past is on the brink of collapse. Just when he thinks the dream of another life is over, the unspeakable happens. He falls in love with a frail, ghostly younger man who reminds him of youth, beauty, and the possibility of a life beyond the prison he has created for himself. A Scarecrow's Bible is about what happens when love occurs at the most unexpected moment. It is the story of how working-class men and women in a small town adapt to changes that somehow seem impossible. It is a novel of hope and transformation that challenges our ideas about diversity and social change, breaking your heart all the way.
1. ealasaidmae- WV (USA)
2. passiontoread - PA (USA) -book is here 6/1/07
3. GateGypsy - Canada
4. Triggerfish - UK
5. KateKintail - Virginia (USA)
6. nmreader - NM (USA)
7. back to me (USA)
Please journal upon receiving and when mailing to the next person and try to keep it moving in a timely manner. Thanks everybody.
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
bookring on its way to ealasaidmae
Thank you for sharing this book with us Scoobs-buddy, and being patient with me taking so long to get to it. I'm PMing Triggerfish as soon as I've finished this review, and hope to get to the post office after this coming payday (Friday this week) because the stack of books that need to be sent away is getting bigger!
I figured that the story was set in the 1990s and I did wonder how likely it was that a small town in rural Mississippi would have a gay bar! As a result, I was expecting a lot more violence than there actually was in the story - e.g. local yobs waiting in the carpark to beat up the customers...
I have Katekintail's address and will post book on, once postal strike here is over.
At first, the use of the second person was very strange- especially when the character is so troubled and depressed- it was difficult to want to to crawl into his skin with him. But by the end I totally didn't notice it, which was a surprise. I was much more wrapped up in the lives of the characters and their fates. It was well written (though I noticed a couple mistakes editing missed) and definitely delivered quite the emotional impact. I probably had people in the airport terminal staring at me because I KNOW my jaw dropped at a certain point near the end! The book is a dark sort of beautiful, which I don't usually go for, but the characters were so alive and compelling that I couldn't help but feel attached. I'm glad I got a chance to read this. Thank you so much for the bookring!
Delivery Confirmation Number: 0307 3330 0000 9084 9113
As I started to read, I felt like I knew Gary and that he lived just around the corner. I thought of the pain and pressure that a gay man would have experienced at the time the novel was taking place and in the location.
It was classified as Gay fiction and I suppose that is ok but it is really a novel about finding a way out of pain and to love.
Thanks for sharing.
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
Adding to the Scoobs-buddy GLBT July '09 Bookbox-- to be sent out sometime this month
The title of this one first caught my attention, and then when I saw all the JEs I figured I had to read it!
Being inside his head made it easier to sympathize with him even while cringing at the abuse he was putting his body through. I don't think I've read any book in which people used so many drugs so often; trying to imagine coping with the blackouts and flashbacks and hallucinations was terrifying. And I didn't want to imagine what that trailer must have smelled like after yet another binge... But I'm glad I stayed with it.
[Some spoilers follow:]
When Gary first encountered Zachary and began to - well, to wake up - the story became easier for me to stick with, even though I was dreading what would happen to them; even without their own self-destructive behaviors, the setting seemed primed for tragedy. And, yes, there was tragedy - but the circumstances, and the fallout, were not at all what I'd been expecting. I'd gotten quite paranoid on Gary's behalf when his 'Nam flashbacks seemed to coincide with actual passers-by - he lived quite near a fairly well-traveled road, with little or no privacy - but I still wasn't prepared for what actually happened. And I'm not quite sure if I'm pleased that it seemed to be the necessary catalyst to turn the survivor's life around (though Gary and Zachary had been well on the way to reclaiming each other, I thought); but would I have believed a less traumatic event? I don't know... I was left feeling relieved for the characters, saddened yet at peace about the loss - and indignant that justice did not seem to have been done (though the author left that a tad ambiguous).
After the relationship between Gary and Zachary, Gary's relationship with his daughter - and her ability to leave her surroundings and make a new life for herself - were among the high points of the book for me. And it'd be lovely to hope that people who were wounded as badly as Zachary and Gary could find each other and help to heal the wounds. Fascinating book.
Notable quote: At one point, Gary is telling his psychiatrist about Zachary, and how he strides through their small town even after someone put anti-gay graffiti on the trailer: "He looks like we did back in the war, terrified, always surrounded by the enemy, but he keeps going." That line really got to me...
Edited to add: in some ways the storyline reminded me of Trebor Healey's Through It Came Bright Colors; very different characters and settings, but with some common themes.
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
I left this book on the book-swap shelf in the Tyngsboro post office lobby at about 1. Hope the finder enjoys it!