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Mink River

Narrated by: David Drummond
Length: 12 hrs and 31 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (180 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In a small fictional town on the Oregon coast there are love affairs and almost-love-affairs, mystery and hilarity, bears and tears, brawls and boats, a garrulous logger and a silent doctor, rain and pain, Irish immigrants and Salish stories, mud and laughter. There's a Department of Public Works that gives haircuts and counts insects, a policeman who is addicted to Puccini, a philosophizing crow, beer, and berries. An expedition is mounted, a crime is committed, and there's an unbelievably huge picnic on the football field. Babies are born. A car is cut in half with a saw. A river confesses what it's thinking. This is the tale of a town, written in a distinct and lyrical voice, and when the book ends, listeners will be more than a little sad to leave the village of Neawanaka, on the wet coast of Oregon, beneath the hills that used to boast the biggest trees in the history of the world.

©2010 Brian Doyle (P)2014 Tantor Media

Critic Reviews

"Doyle writes with an inventive and seductive style that echoes that of ancient storytellers." ( Library Journal Starred Review

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Unique performance of literary art.

Like walking out of the theater after a great performance I felt I was a better person after the experience. Such rich entertainment. I've had this book on my shelf for years but so glad I waited for the audio version. Drummond was perfect! Thanks.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Very unusual book but flawed

Brian Doyle is a very talented writer - he can capture a moment and place you right in the place he is describing in an instant. Somewhere along the line, someone applauded his use of lists as a means by which to dramatize his stories. The first couple of lists -- woven throughout the novel -- are very satisfying and ingenious really. Then they get old and then they get annoying. I will never be his editor, but, if I were, I would say -- let the schtick go and use your amazing talent to just weave a tale.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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I wasn't ready for the story to end!

Very engaging story. Loved the characters and descriptions of the setting. The narration enhances an already enthralling tale.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Good listening again and again!

Enjoy the depth of character development, the turn of events and the variety of stories.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Oregon's Story

I have thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it to anyone who is in love with Oregon, stories, poetry and crows. Off to Brian Doyle's next book. Thank you. A University of Oregon alum, but I do like Beaver Baseball.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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beautifully written, poorly read

How could the performance have been better?

I think this books needs a different narrator -- one who can bring a little more subtlety and humor to the reading. I'll go and find it in print, but won't listen further to this production.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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The perfect book.

Looking for a book that will blow your mind and your heart apart, and put them back together in new ways? This is the one. Having come from a town much like the Coastal Backwater described here, I related to the magic hidden in the mundane, the trauma and tragedy inherent in lives of economic, personal and existential struggle. I fell in love with the person who suggested this book to me, and many years later, fell in love with someone else I recommended it to. For real, and always. It is that kind of book.

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Overlong, relentlessly redundant

while this book contained seeds of beauty, they were drowned and lost in a sea of redundancy. only pure stubborness forced me to finish it to see if it was ever salvaged by some miracle toward the end. sadly, the longer the author took to finish, the more the embers of interest were drowned, and I too sometimes wished for drowning if only I could avoid one more list of redundant descriptions, which was the author's recurrent pattern, dooming the waterlogged text to sink to the bottom of any list of recommendations I would ever consider making to any reader.

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Lists and lists and lists and lists

So many lists. And so many sentences that start with “and”. And too many characters without enough development.

Narrator is wooden, it’s possible I would have enjoyed reading the book (and therefore been able to skim over the multitude of lists), but as an audiobook it fails.

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Gorgeous, Lyrical Writing

A poetic sampling of human, animal, and supernatural experiences among lives intertwined and lives independent of one another with no beginning or end

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  • sarahmoose2000
  • 10-07-14

Life and death in a small town

This was a strange wee story, but great. It was going along fine as a plain old fiction novel, where the inhabitants of a coastal town are struggling economically then dipped into fantasy as the residents spoke to and related with a crow called Moses.

The majority of the town are Irish/Native American Indian and there were great wee legends from each culture. There was a disturbing miscarriage scene but that didn't spoil the novel as a whole.