Friday, May 23, 2008

Invasion of the Bible Thumpers

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Title:Invasion of the Bible Thumpers
Author: Skookum Maguire
Publisher: iUniverse
Publisher Address: 2021 Pine lake Road, Suite 100, Lincoln, NE 68512
ISBN: 978-0-595-44814-2, Price $11.95 Publication Date: 2007
Reviewed by Bethany L. Canfield for Reader Views (5/08)
Yearly Count: 27

Jammed tight from cover-to-cover with loggers, lumberjacks, crew workers and big-butt waitresses ,is "Invasion of the Bible Thumpers" by Skookum Maguire. A story it has about life and country-folk, that will almost get you dirty and able to smell the rain and pine just by opening the book. Nine short stories of lives that are lived, dreams that fall apart, and antics that will kill you, they are fun to read and learn from. The voice of Maguire is stout and rich in quality, that is also a treat. Each story was deep, and engulfing yet when the last page of the the book was done the short stories came together as a joined unit. Nothing is given freely, the characters have a common thread of grit, dirt and crudeness to them. The harsh reality is what is lived, and they would die to keep it that way. Each story is incredible and endearing in its own way, but the theme: live your life, you won't get another screams like a hard-core rockstar. The life that is hard-lived is the life of quality, yet it is not a life that is given, but one that must be fought for.

Enjoyable, down-to-earth and honest, the "Invasion of the Bible Thumpers" is one that once picked up, dived in to and pages are turned, the reader will not want to abandon it part way. The stories that stayed with me were: A Time for Mourning, Newspapers and Invasion of the Bible Thumpers. Maguire does an exceptional job of portraying the loggers, construction workers, and down-to-earth Oregonians and I should know since I am a true North westerner myself, with grandparents on both sides being loggers and farmers of this sweet, wet land.

The one thing that was difficult was that the rest of the stories (besides the three mentioned above) really did not stand out significantly. I enjoyed them, but Maguire's characters became too similar, too generic. A book of short stories to me is about variety, diversity, switching-it-up and the ability to go deep fast and keep the reader there too. The three stories I mentioned above were like that for me, but the rest seemed weak, and I did not develop that deep interest in the people whom the story was about. Almost like I was reading a story about an extra in a movie and the action was really somewhere off to the right or left. The book was good, and the stories that I enjoyed I really enjoyed, the others were just nothing extra-ordinary. I would recommend the book, especially to people I know from the grand 'ol Pacific Northwest just based on the stories that I did like. So over all, it was good not great.

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