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The Man Who Fell in Love with the Moon Paperback – 30 Sep 1992

17 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: HarperPerennial; Reprint edition (30 Sept. 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060974974
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060974978
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.1 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 320,008 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Tom Spanbauer is the author of four novels, Far Away Places, The Man Who Fell in Love with the Moon, In the City of Shy Hunters and Now Is the Hour. He lives in Portland, Oregon, where he writes and teaches 'Dangerous Writing' classes. His former students include Chuck Palahniuk.

Product Description

Review

"A brilliant novel... Flawlessly authentic, beautifully captured" (Observer)

"Haunting and earthy, a deeply felt tale of love and loss... Tom Spanbauer's wild west is the hurly burly of the mind. He takes us into territories where few of us would ever dare to go" (Publishers Weekly) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

Shed is a half-breed bisexual boy who earns his keep at Ida Richilieu's outrageously pink whorehouse in the tiny turn-of-the-century town of Excellent, Idaho. Leaving behind the nights of drinking, talking and smoking opium stardust with his eccentric family, Shed sets off alone in search of the meaning of his Indian name and in search of himself.

Along the way he falls in love with Dellwood Barker, a man who talks to the moon and may be Shed's father. But it is not until Shed is back in Excellent, and Ida has lost her legs and Dellwood his mind, that he attains the wisdom for which he is searching.

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin TOP 500 REVIEWER on 6 Oct. 2007
Format: Paperback
The young narrator, Shed is a bisexual half Indian boy who lives Out-In-The-Shed (hence his name) of a whorehouse owned by Ida Richilieu in Excellent, a very small town in Idaho at the beginning of the twentieth century. Out in the shed he is much in demand as he provides relief for many male customers while he earns his keep doing chores for Ida. There are many uncertainties about Shed's origins and parents, se he sets off to find his true self, and his real name. On his way he meets Dellwood Barker and makes eventually contact with some Indians; he thinks he finds some answers, but there is more to come. When Shed returns to Excellent all goes well for a time back at Ida Richilieu's Indian Head Hotel, with Ida, Shed, Dellwood and Alma Hatch forming their own unique family, strength against the troublesome Mormons who are taking over the town, until disaster strikes and everything falls apart.

There are plenty of interesting and idiosyncratic characters populating the tale, and the colourful story moves from drama to tragedy, from harrowing events to very tender moments, all with plenty of humour. However the real pleasure is to be found in the narration itself, Shed's way of expressing himself is delightful: "what my ears heard was me yelling the loudest I'd heard my mouth yell . . .", "I just let my feet and legs go . . .they took me out into the clearing . . ." are typical of Shed's logical thinking, and his endearing way of expressing himself.

It is a very beautiful story, and very moving. Shed is an appealing character who loved those close to him, and especially Dellwood, the only man he ever truly loved. It is a story about prejudice and dreams, about survival against adversity. The final pages are particularly heart rending as everything about Shed's life disintegrates; yet there is also hope and a future.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Park on 6 Mar. 2009
Format: Paperback
At a time when the future is closing in on him like a fist, Shed revels in that golden moment when everything is possible - where a family can mean a group of "differents" united against the world in a small town of reprobates that gradually grows hostile and ultimately deserted.

There's a dreamlike quality here which exhudes a cosy sepia glow to each recollection. Even terror is related with an almost affectionate nostalgia.

Its cyclical form - visiting and revisting narratives and locations - returns in the natrual successor to this novel, Spanbauer's arguably even better "Now is the hour". I urge people to read both books, they are unashamedly glorious!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By D. Payne on 3 Oct. 2005
Format: Paperback
This came highly recommended from a friend but from the cover I thought it was going to be a charming child/teen oriented romp through the wild west. How wrong I was! This is an incredible, at times harrowing journey alongside a character that I found myself empathising with and rooting for more than almost any other I've found in literature.
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By Mr. D. P. Jay on 20 April 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Our group didn’t like this author but I did, so I have read some of his other stuff. However, this book is different and I wasn’t so keen. In fact I got bored with it quite early on.

The author claims a particular style for this book: "Dangerous writing means putting a piece of yourself in a work, going to the 'sore spot,' and discussing taboo topics, particularly sex and violence. It means writing for yourself, a concept that in the literary world was thought to make you go broke. It means exposing yourself to the tiger, not physically, but mentally."

The childhood of the chief character is well described, not least by his spelling out all the big words that he is learning. The trouble is that he continues to d this in adulthood.

He experiences American white prejudice, having to ride on the top of a stagecoach rather than inside. His sexuality is mysterious and alluring to white men.

But did he really drink a pint of whiskey in one sitting?

For all that people think of ‘Red Indians’ being primitive, there is sound wisdom in reflections about sex, that it can be mechanical but that it’s better between two people whose stories combine and whose hearts beat as one.

The moralising Mormons are maybe a reference to the time this book was written when, as the author says in an interview, “when fundamental Christians were trying to make homosexuals into second-class citizens. It was an initiative called Measure Nine.”

The amputation scene was gruesome.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David O'Donovan on 28 Nov. 2010
Format: Paperback
This book is a bit odd but extremely well written. I found it dark but could not put the book down.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Perhaps the simplest way to describe this book is: Western meets Tantra. It is one of the most beautiful books I have ever read. The names and language used, the symmetry and poetry will linger long after you have closed the last page.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 31 Jan. 1999
Format: Paperback
I read "The Man Who Fell in Love With the Moon" in 1994. Since then, I have worn a path in the carpet to the "S" section of my local bookstore. When will Mr. Spanbauer write another? There is something compelling about his storytelling style that I have found nowhere else. In the absence of new Spanbauer, can anyone recommend another wonderful read?
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The most beautiful book I have ever read. So moving. Such a strange and stunning narrative. Loved every word of it.
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