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Where the Rivers Flow North [Paperback]

Howard Frank Mosher
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Mar 1994
The stories of Where the Rivers Flow North are ""superior work, rich in texture and character,"" says the Wall Street Journal; ""the novella is brilliantly done."" That novella, the title story of the collection, was also made into a feature film starring Rip Torn and Michael J. Fox. These six stories, available again in this new edition, continue Mosher's career-long exploration of Kingdom County, Vermont. ""Within the borders of his fictional kingdom,"" the Providence Journal has noted, ""Mosher has created mountains and rivers, timber forests and crossroads villages, history and language. And he has peopled the landscape with some of the truest, most memorable characters in contemporary literature.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Mti edition (Mar 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140077480
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140077483
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 12.4 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,240,627 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"With each book, Mosher fleshes out more of his literary turf, a frontier brimming with men and women who follow their own rules."--Boston Globe --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Described by the Los Angeles Times as "a combination of Ernest Hemingway, Henry David Thoreau, and Jim Harrison," HOWARD FRANK MOSHER is the author of The True Account: A Novel of the Lewis and Clark and Kinneson Expeditions, A Stranger in the Kingdom (winner of the 1991 New England Book Award for fiction), and other books. His novel Marie Blythe has also been reissued by UPNE. He has received a Guggenheim fellowship and a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, the American Academy of Arts and Letters Literature Award, and the American Civil Liberties Union Award for Excellence in the Arts. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Golden Vermont 27 April 2014
By Graham
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I've read most of this author's books,they describe the dense forests and earthly scents so vividly that it returns me to the flume gorge and the old man of the mountains . The kinnersies are friends we 're acquaint I will be sad to loose them when I've finished the last book
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5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful journey to the North Country! 22 Jan 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I read this every November, when the days start to get short and the first snow flies. This collection portrays a lost and disappearing Vermont, a way of life on the verge of extinction.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must for all lovers of "Up North" Literature 25 Nov 1998
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Outstanding. Suggested to me by a Vermont lover, it's my first Mosher book, and I cannot wait to delve into his others. This book begins with six short stories, and then the "novella" that is the title of the book. A joy to read - I hated to see it end. Colorful characters living in the Vermont of old. I wonderful addition to my collection of "Up North" books that are meant to be read while sitting by a wood stove in a northern cabin on a snowy day!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.9 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MOSHER DESERVES WIDER ATTENTION 24 Jun 2001
By Larry L. Looney - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I'm saddened to see far too many people pigeon-hole Howard Frank Mosher as a 'writer of regional interest' -- maybe only those who live along the Mississippi should read Mark Twain, then. True, Mosher's books all take place in Vermont -- but these are such well-written, absorbing stories, the characters so unforgettable, that any one who appreciates fine literature can thoroughly enjoy them.
This volume collects 6 of Mosher's short stories along with the title novella -- the latter being possibly his most well-known work, having been made into an exceptional film with the amazingly-talented Rip Torn in the role of a lifetime as Noel Lord, Mosher's cantankerous ex-lumberjack. Lord is mentioned in some of the other stories, as well as in some of Mosher's novels -- and other characters make appearances in more than one work as well.
Set in 1927 Vermont, 'Where the rivers flow north' takes the familiar theme of the rugged individualist going up against the evil, unfeeling corporation, and breathes new life into it. Mosher's flowing style, combined with his incredible ability to bring to the printed page all the nuances of his characters' personalities -- warts and all -- give this and all of his works the finishing touches that only a fine craftsman can give. Noel Lord's Native American housekeeper/wife, Bangor, is one of the most memorable characters you'll ever run across. She and Lord have a classic yin-yang relationship that, most likely, neither one would acknowledge. A reader from any part of the nation can get inside these people, can feel and experience everything that happens to them -- and any time we can do that, we can learn and we can grow.
The characters in all of the stories here are, as in all of Mosher's works, vividly drawn -- Alabama Jones, the innocent-but-worldly aspiring carnival performer -- Burl, an old woman lying in a nursing home waiting to die, looking back at her life with a combination of bitterness and longing -- Eban and Walter, brothers, neighbors, at odds in their life over things large and small, but brothers -- a man dying, clinging to life through a kept peacock -- a boy passes through a coming-of-age event, a flood, which changes forever the way he views both his brother and his father -- another man, Henry Coville, makes some painful recollections and decisions as he feels the end of his life approach. Mosher paints them all with the deft brush strokes of an artist who intimately knows his subjects and the landscape in which their lives are played out.
Howard Frank Mosher is an immensely talented, always entertaining writer -- he deserves to be widely read, and what a treat is awaiting those who read him for the first time...!
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for all lovers of "Up North" Literature 25 Nov 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Outstanding. Suggested to me by a Vermont lover, it's my first Mosher book, and I cannot wait to delve into his others. This book begins with six short stories, and then the "novella" that is the title of the book. A joy to read - I hated to see it end. Colorful characters living in the Vermont of old. I wonderful addition to my collection of "Up North" books that are meant to be read while sitting by a wood stove in a northern cabin on a snowy day!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book! 13 Dec 2000
By Wendresma - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
After I found out that former my in-laws knew Howard Mosher personally and my ex-husband had him as a teacher and coach in school and hung out with Howard's kids in high school I HAD to read a book written by him. This is the first book I read by Howard and I can't wait to read more. What a great illustration of Vermont in the early 1900's!
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful journey to the North Country! 22 Jan 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I read this every November, when the days start to get short and the first snow flies. This collection portrays a lost and disappearing Vermont, a way of life on the verge of extinction.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Solid Fiction 24 Feb 2006
By Justin Mclaughlin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I made my way to Howard Frank Mosher via Edward Hoagland, another Vermonter and writer of considerable talent. Hoagland mentioned Howard in a few of his essays on Kingdom Country and apparently the two were friends and competitors. Since I find Hoagland so good, I figured any writer he considers a peer must be worth a gander. After having read Where the Rivers Flow North I see that the two are peers and competitors. This book consists of six short stories and one novella of just over a hundred pages.

Starting with the short stories. They are quiet salient, well-crafted works that succeed universally, as literary stories about men and women grappling with the weighty issues of life, and as quasi-historical vignettes that pull back the veil on an interesting region of our country. None of them exceeds fifteen pages, but within that short space Mosher packs a lot of action, intrigue, humor, and drama. Nearly all of the characters are of a low social economic class, men and women struggling to eek out a living in the north woods, either as farmers, bootleggers, gas station attendants, loggers, aspiring race?car drivers, prostitutes, deer hunters, wardens, or what have you. Mosher knows his world well - and it's a harrowing world at that. Nature - the woods, the mountains, the snow and cold -becomes almost another character in these stories; but it's not just beautiful. Any tourist could write about the beauty of a landscape. Mosher is so talented because he takes you, with his well-crafted characters, into the heart of the landscape, to learn what it feels like to wrestle with it from inside. The nature of Kingdom Country that Mosher conjures up is vengeful - there is no surface level sentimentality here - this is the real deal. Nowhere is this felt more than in the novella Where the Rivers Flow North. This story perfectly brings together Mosher's strengths - intimate knowledge of nature, memorable and nuanced characters, local history, and a compelling story line rife with metaphors.

If you are on the fence about this writer, I urge you to take a chance. If you like Stienbeck and his California, you'll like Mosher and his northern Vermont.
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