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I Was Hooked

A Flawed, Funny Book

Marialisa Calta is a well-established Vermont writer who specializes is cookbooks. She liked STRIPAH well enough to send it to her agent, with the following note. Thank you, Marialisa!

-- SM


Here is your slightly doughy copy of Stripah Love by Stephen Morris, fellow "Vermontah" and, in my humble opinion, a rawtha good writah. (Okay, enuf).

Steve has started a new publishing venture called, along the lines of those highlighted in that NY Times Book Review last week. Stripah Love is his own novel.

Here's what I thought about it and I'm sending this note to Stephen, so I'm not talking behind his back and I apologize if I repeat the info I sent in my email.

Stripah Love is a small but ambitious book; ambitious in its themes (aging, mortality, love, sex, the meaning of "home" and, of course, the fly fisherman's quest for The Fish). Along the way, it tackles issues like Political Correctness (feminism, Native American land rights), environmentalism, box stores, rock music and the recipe for the perfect tartar sauce. It is also funny. It reads, to me, almost as if Morris wrote it in one headlong plunge (I'm sure it took along time and was crafted on purpose to read like that) and it carried me right along. As I wrote earlier, I felt compelled to finish it.

It is also a flawed book. For one thing, it needs some basic copy-editing (I began circling typos and such late into my reading, because they started to annoy me). While many of the characters (particularly Artie's son, and the Native American activist) are well drawn, I felt one of the central characters, Cuzzin' a bit too much. He was too large; reminded me of something in, say, The Great Santini (which I hated.) If I were the editor, I'd tone Cuzzin down. But that's me. There's also, perhaps, just TOO MUCH STUFF in the book I'd nix the recipes, for example. And the "to do" lists. But maybe this is good for folks trained to read all the crap that pops up on the average computer screen. What do I know? I KNOW I'd change the title, and I would also take out the cutesy references to Steve's previous novels in the text. (In my humble opinion, Steve has a history of self-sabotage; he wrote a column for the Sunday paper for several years about rural Vermont a TERRIFIC column, very well-written and funny and thoughtful and astute as anything but many readers [and I know this for a fact, it's not just me] could not get past the cutesy title of Beyond Yonder or Beyonder or whatever he called it. I myself had a hard time getting over it, but once I started reading it I was hooked.)


more reviews of
    Relaxing? Arousing?
    Linda Loves It!
    Sloppy, but interesting
    It Lifted Me Up
    Keeping It Up
    A page turner
    Sideways Goes to Boston
    Five Stars for STRIPAH!
»  I Was Hooked
    The Perfect Book for Summer
    Stripah Love is a Great Ride
    Central Casting Calling
    A Brutally Honest Critique
    The Stripah King Speaks
    Stripahs Cross Political Boundaries
    A Voice from Phoenix
    From a Lady FlyFisherwoman
    Under a Moon Tide
    A Damn Fine Read
    Nancy Jack Todd : Annals of Earth
    Rhey Plumley / Champlain College Truth

Beyond Yonder

by Stephen Morris

reviews: King of Vermont

by Stephen Morris
    Hastings impresses in first novel
    "Off call" Checks in from Key West
    Poignant and Wacky
    A Declaration of Victory in A Safe and Sustainable World
    Sweet Days Almost Upon Us
    review by Dave Wann
    review by Stephen Hunter Morris
    Full Throttle Baggage
    Naturally Clean: A Book for the Generations
    more reviews
    Re-reading Beyond Yonder
    Give Me 10 Roger Hudsons
    Give me 10 Roger Hudsons
    Beyonder Meets Stripah
    The Simple Life

Burlington hackie

By Stephen Morris

    Toward an Ecology of Beer
    review: The Outside Story
    Strawbale Questions & Answers
    The Pond Guy: review of Landscaping Earth Ponds
    review: New Village Green
    Solar Energy International's PV / Solar Home Design
    Humans Caught in Crossfire in the The War on Bugs
    The Case of the Double-Edged Spoon
    Under a Fig Tree
    Getting Over the Wall : Assigned homework for the Spring edition
    A Bevy of Books
    On the Nightstand
    review: Bill Bryson: At Home


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