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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is a collection of short stories., 4 Mar 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Trailerpark (Paperback)
This collection of short stories can be read as a novel. Most of the action takes place in the late 1970s in a trailer park in the Northeastern part of the USA. There is good character development of the individuals who live in the park, a little sex and very little violence.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Look into America, 10 April 2011
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John Fitzpatrick (São Paulo, Brazil) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Trailerpark (Paperback)
Russell Banks is a recent find for me and this book - the third of his I have read following Continental Drift and The Reserve - was no disappointment.

It is a collection of 16 short stories centered on a community living in a trailer park in northern New England.

This park is a kind of symbol of the United States in the 1970s where different kinds of people are forced to live side by side whether they like it or not.

Banks has created a cast that could easily fall into stereotypes - repressed homosexual, retired army officer, black nurse, teenage pothead, eccentric old man, unfaithful young wife etc - but he avoids this trap, thanks to his style which manages to be both sharp and understated at the same time.

He conveys not just the personalities of the individuals but also the communal personality of the trailer park.

He does so with particular skill in the best story - The Fisherman - which ends the collection and brings virtually all the characters together in a memorable final scene. This is one of the best things I have read in years.

The Guinea Pig Lady is another fine work and, like The Fisherman, is more of a novella than a short story.

In fact, I feel that Banks is better with these longer pieces as they give him more room to develop an idea. Some of the shorter pieces are feeble in comparison and not up to scratch.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Naturalism at its best, 6 Jun 2009
By 
Christian Jongeneel (Rotterdam, Netherlands) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Trailerpark (Paperback)
This collection of intertwined stories, that could easily be called a novel, describes the doings of a group of hapless people in a trailer park. All have their dreams, their ambitions, but it is clear from the start that none is going to succeed. Destiny is against them, even when Merle wins the lottery.

Russell Banks describes the inhabitants of the trailer park in a naturalistic way, each in their own story, matter-of-factly but not without compassion. In this he reminds of John Steinbeck, though his language is not as crisp. A well written, melancholic portrait of America's white underclass.
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5.0 out of 5 stars On Form, 27 Dec 2007
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This review is from: Trailerpark (Paperback)
When Banks is on form he's easily one of the best writers on the planet and here he proves why . Its a great little book consisting of short stories featuring characters who crop up in each others lives , they intertwine and cross over a lot but Banks pulls it all together into a beautiful , cohesive whole . A very evocative read which gives a real insight into the lives of these people , the characters and setting all vividly portrayed and coming alive in the readers imgination . i can't recommend this book highly enough , its superb .
Other examples of Russell Banks on top form would be (in my opinion) :
The Sweet Hereafter , Continental Drift and his masterpiece, Affliction .
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is an excellent description of human characteristics., 22 Mar 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Trailerpark (Paperback)
I just finished this book; it is a fast read that provides really good descriptions of the human condition. It is insightful, and in places, quite eloquent. The depictions are so real that you will recognize the people in the story, but have to change their names.
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Trailerpark
Trailerpark by Russell Banks (Paperback - 1 Jan 1996)
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