Monday, August 20, 2007

Hooligan



Greetings, everyone!  I have returned, and I believe the carpal tunnel crisis of 2007 has been averted.  It is ever so nice to be back!  Due to my long absence, I have a lot to blog about, so let's get started, shall we?

First things first: Last week, my dad's latest work was published.  I'm a big fan of my dad's writing, so I'd like to tell you about the book, entitled Hooligan: A Mormon Boyhood.

From the back cover:

"In the days before sunscreen, soccer practice, MTV, and Amber Alerts, boys roamed freely in the American West - fishing, hunting, hiking, pausing to skinny-dip in river or pond.  Douglas Thayer was such a boy, and in this poignant, often humorous memoir, he depicts his Utah Valley boyhood during the Great Depression and World War II.

Known in some circles as a Mormon Hemingway, Thayer has created a richly detailed work that shares cultural DNA with Frank McCourt's Angela's Ashes, Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and William Golding's Lord of the Flies.  His narrative at once prosaic and poetic, Thayer captures nostalgia for a simpler time, along with boyhood's universal yearnings, pleasures, and mysteries."

From Orson Scott Card:

"One of the finest writers the LDS Church has yet produced has now turned his talent to his own growing-up years.  Entertaining, wise - and it's even true."

It's really fascinating to read about what Provo was like for a young boy during the Great Depression, and especially delightful that the story is told with my dad's dry sense of humor.  

Here are a few excerpts from some early chapters:

"The postman, iceman, coalman, and milkman were a part of Sixth Ward daily life, a chip of ice out of the horse-drawn ice wagon a boy's free summer treat, that and the soft sun-heated tar we dug up from the cracks in the road for gum, the embedded gravel keeping our teeth sharp. The pie lady pushed her converted baby buggy loaded with fresh homemade pies down the sidewalk calling, 'Pies! Pies! Pies for supper!'  A herd of milk cows came up Second West every morning on their way to pasture north of town by the brickyard and returned every evening, each cow turning voluntarily down its own lane.  Twice daily the Heber Creeper, a small steam engine pulling its few cars, traveled the Denver and Rio Grande spur line up Second West to Provo Canyon and Heber Valley beyond."

Writing about his grandmother:

"English and stubborn, she and my grandpa would sometimes not talk to each other for three or four months and occasionally a year, but they would talk through the ten children.  Yet they slept in the same bed and eventually reconciled their differences.  Grandpa would bring home a small bag of candy, which he called a little sweetening for the bird, and put it on the kitchen counter.  If Grandma didn't throw it out the door, he knew the coast was clear."

If you're interested in purchasing the book, click on its cover above.  

Congratulations, Professor Thayer!

7 comments:

Azúcar said...

Wow! I can't wait to read it! Welcome back, my friend.

c jane said...

I am buying this for my dad. It's perfect. Your father's essays have had lasting impressions on me. The Mormon Hemingway indeed.

Emily said...

wow, this is so neat! I'm delighted for your dad and will put this on my "To Read" list.

Emily said...

I will enjoy this, also. Thanks for having a dad who writes books I can read.

Emmie said...

Thanks, ladies! I hope you enjoy the book (and I think you will).

P.S. Court: We are having fun teasing my dad about being called a Mormon Hemingway. We're thinking of having a plaque made to put on his bedroom door: "Here sleeps the Mormon Hemingway." He is mildly amused.

Tristi Pinkston said...

How fabulous! Tell him congratulations.

compulsive writer said...

I shall put it on my reading list. I'm sure your dad is a much nicer guy than Frank McCourt. (And I love the blurb from Orson Scott Card.)