Fiction Mark Poirier Goats

ISBN 13: 9780747553618

Goats

Valutazione media 3,75
( su 310 valutazioni fornite da Goodreads )
 
9780747553618: Goats

Ellis is fourteen. His parents have split up - Mom's gone New Age in Tucson with some asshole abstract artist; and Dad - Fucker Frank, is sporting nerdy glasses and retailing Mexican knick-knacks to Washington wannabes. Ellis is about to start at a squaresville boarding-school. It's your standard dysfunctional family thing. Except that Ellis has been hitting the bong since he was eleven, has a goat-man for a guru, and a weed-wisdom beyond his years. "Goats" is an extra-mellow coming-of-age tale - quirky, touching and very funny. It's about growing up and getting your shit together.

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Review:

In Goats, first novelist Mark Jude Poirier brings us an oddly compelling story of two men, one a teenager, the other about 40, both committed adolescents. Fourteen-year-old Ellis lives with his mom in suburban Tucson, Arizona. Goat Man is, for lack of a better definition, their pool man. He takes care of the pool and the garden, and "in exchange, Ellis's languid mother Wendy gave him food, the pool house, and a meager salary. She also provided him with a place to keep his goats." When he's not caring for his herd, Goat Man spends his off hours growing pot and getting high. And every so often, he heads into the desert for a trek with the goats, walking at night in the cool dark. In many of these pursuits--especially the getting high part--he is joined by the confident, easygoing Ellis. This apprenticeship is interrupted only when Ellis heads off to Gates Academy, the Pennsylvania prep school attended by his absentee father. The novel then follows him as he journeys from his unconventional home into the real world.

There are plenty of reasons Goats shouldn't work. For one thing, Ellis is a strangely perfect protagonist. He's good at everything, smart, responsible, too cool for school. Also, the central mystery of Goat Man--how he became Goat Man--remains unsolved. Meanwhile, most of the other characters are one-dimensional: Ellis's slobby roommate at Gates, his spacey mom, his hardliner crew coach. Yet the author has been savvy in choosing his material. The familiar rigors of prep school make a fine foil for the evocative descriptions of Ellis's desert treks. Poirier also cleverly inverts the coming-of-age formula--rather than encountering a strange new world, his tender protagonist emerges into a merely normal one. Most important, Poirier never judges his characters. Ellis doesn't become better than Goat Man or his mother; he simply discovers that he has options besides smoking pot in the pool house, which gives an upbeat twist to this charming and assured debut. --Claire Dederer

About the Author:

Mark Poirier was born and grew up in Arizona, the fifth of eleven children. He studied at the Iowa Writer's Workshop and received a Michener Fellowship. He is the author of Naked Pueblo, Unsung Heroes of American Industry and Modern Ranch Living, all also published by Bloomsbury.

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Mark Poirier
Editore: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (2001)
ISBN 10: 0747553610 ISBN 13: 9780747553618
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