Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Monkeys and poetry float on David James Duncan's river

River Teeth by David James Duncan has stories about nature. Man vs. Nature as we learned in high school, only to learn in college that it wasn't a real thing. In any case, Duncan is a master at telling a story about fishing. I don't even like fishing -- in fact, I think it's cruel -- but his stories are good. Others subject matters discussed within: bees, tall trees, various bird species, watching Tom and Jerry with a toddler, sheep, Indians, Mickey Mantle, Eastern religions, brothers, death, and a man's head being split open like a melon in the middle of a parade. Some of these stories are true. One story in particular, "The King of Epoxy," is about an archeologist who finds a monkey relic and then basically loses his mind. There is a lot of scraping in the story. Lots of dust. Also ridicule. It is not the best story in the collection. But not only does it feature monkeys, it also features poetry, in that the archeologist's crazy sister is a poet. Thus another loop in the great monkeys and poetry chain.

1 comment:

greg rappleye said...

I met Duncan--quite by accident--in Key West in the mid-90's. He was a really good guy.

He was with Peter Matthiessen (sp.?), who is...well, I DID like Duncan.