May 18th, 2010

This Thursday, May 20th that is, Downeast Editor Paul Doiron will be coming to the store to sign and discuss his new book, The Poacher's Son, a terrific thriller about a Maine Game Warden whose woodsman father becomes a murder suspect on the run. The Warden is called in to help track down his father deep in the North woods. Event details are here. For a first novel The Poacher's Son has gotten a very unusual quantity of rave reviews from some of America's most prominent writers, John Lescroat, Andre Dubus III, Nelson De Mille, Tess Gerritsen, and C.J. Box, to name a few! Hmmmn. To get to the bottom of things I asked Paul to submit to a few hard hitting Weekly Top 2 questions...

KB: The concept of wilderness in Maine has long been the subject of public and literary discussion, for example Maine's Tilbury House produced a book on the topic, On Wilderness Voices from Maine, which had 40 different essays with 40 different perspectives. Did you see your novel as an opportunity to offer a personal perspective in this regard?
Paul:The Poacher's Son is definitely a personal book in the sense that my protagonist, Maine Game Warden Mike Bowditch, shares with me a deep connection with nature. I did my best in the novel to describe the forest in detail -- the sights, sounds, and smells -- because I wanted to show Mike's engagement with the natural world in intimate terms.

In terms of wilderness, I'm not sure much of it still really exists in Maine. One consequence of the end of the river drives in the 1970s is that thousands of miles of logging roads were built crisscrossing the northern forest. It's just impossible to experience the Maine woods now as Thoreau did. Even in pockets of wilderness you'll hear internal combustion engines in the far distance and see parades of contrails streaking overhead.

KB: Hmmn. well mum's the word to Henry David. St. Anselme was big on considering the imagined audience of a writer. You would be expecting both an audience of Mainers, and a large audience of readers from away as it were, of course. In writing the book, though, did you focus more on one of those audiences than the other?
Paul: I started off by writing the book I myself wanted to read but was unable to find anywhere. If I had to characterize that book it would be some sort of weird hybrid of Hemingway's Nick Adams stories, the collected works of Dashiell Hammett, with a touch of Faulkner's As I Lay Dying thrown in for good measure. As I did the second and third drafts of The Poacher's Son, I did become conscious of the need to explain certain Maine places and folkways to out-of-state readers. My publishers encouraged me to go even farther in that direction with the final draft, and I agreed with their advice since I wanted to tell my story -- and share my Maine -- with the largest possible audience.
KB: As a Maine Guide you have obvious personal experience to draw from, but did you have any favorite books as a kid, along the lines of Rascal or Where The Red Fern Grows, which influenced you?
Paul: Tolkien was an influence. He's not usually thought of as a nature writer, but read his descriptions of the Old Forest, the Misty Mountains, and the Ents, and you'll discover an author who paid very close attention to the natural world. One of my grade school teachers read my class "Where the Red Fern Grows," so that was certainly an influence. The first short story I ever remember loving was Jack London's "To Build a Fire." I'll throw in a couple of offbeat ones too: the pamphlet "You Alone in the Maine Woods" published by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife, and this incredible booklet that came with my first Havahart trap. It provided testimonials and advice on how to trap everything from skunks to snapping turtles. I still have that dog-eared little treasure. (Bacon will catch just about any animal for what it's worth.)
KB: Great call on Tolkien. The pace and the passages in The Ring Goes South are so majestic. Thanks Paul!
Paul: Sure. Looking forward to the reading!


Here they are! Our weekly picks for the two best: two hardcover, two paperback, and two children's books. The very best new arrivals to leap out of the box and onto our shelves this week. Call or email us if you want more information on any of these titles, or to have us hold you a copy. Or stop in and check them out in person. We'd love to see you. Thanks as always for sharing your reading with us!

 

 

Operation Mincemeat: How a Dead Man and a Bizarre Plan Fooled the Nazis and Assured an Allied Victory



Operation Mincemeat: How a Dead Man and a Bizarre Plan Fooled the Nazis and Assured an Allied Victory
By Macintyre, Ben
2010-05 - Harmony
9780307453273 - Hardcover   See Other Formats
List Price $25.99 - Your Price: $20.79


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If you're not a Ben Macintyre fan it's either because you haven't read him yet or you just happen to loathe great non-fiction books. As with Macintyre's last book, Agent Zigzag, Operation Mincemeat is based on recently released details of WWII European espionage, in this case the tale of an amazing effort to convince the Nazi's that the Allies intended to invade Southern Europe by way of Greece or Sardinia, as opposed to Sicily. ...More

Blood Oath

Blood Oath
By Farnsworth, Christopher
2010-05 - Putnam Adult
9780399156359 - Hardcover   See Other Formats
List Price $24.95 - Your Price: $19.96


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Sometimes these 'can this really be happening' type books turn out to be not only really happening but fun to boot. A vampire secret agent directly under the President's command? Is this the future of counter terrorism? Have vampires taken over the world or just the publishing industry? The answer lies in the pages of Blood Oath ...More

The Angel's Game



The Angel's Game
By Ruiz Zafon, Carlos
2010-05 - Anchor Books
9780767931113 - Paperback   See Other Formats
List Price $15.95 - Your Price: $12.76


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The Angel's game, which was our pick for Best Fiction Title of 2009 as well as having been the subject of The False Opinion Corrector, is out in paperback today. Huzzah! ...More

Ranger's Apprentice: The Kings of Clonmel: Book 8

Ranger's Apprentice: The Kings of Clonmel: Book 8
By Flanagan, John
2010-05 - Philomel Books
9780399252068 - Hardcover
List Price $17.99 - Your Price: $14.39


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The superb Rangers Apprentice Young Adult Fantasy reaches book eight today in the U.S.! For those of you making this a paperback experience book six , The Siege of Macindaw is out today as well. ...More

Ladybug Girl at the Beach

Ladybug Girl at the Beach
By Soman, David
2010-05 - Dial Books
9780803734166 - Hardcover
List Price $16.99 - Your Price: $13.59


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The Ladybug Girl team of Somar and Davis have shown a real knack for taking on a pertinent pre-school age theme and handling it warmth, charm and insight. They've hit the mark again with Ladybug Girl at the Beach. All children go through the feeling of announcing that they love something in advance that turns out to be a bit scarier than they had imagined. Though the beach is a bit bigger and wilder than she had expected Ladybug girls finds the courage to rescue her purple pail from the waves and end up loving the beach in both word and deed. ...More

Where the Sunrise Begins

Where the Sunrise Begins
By Wood, Douglas
2010-05 - Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
9780689861727 - Hardcover
List Price $16.99 - Your Price: $13.59


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Old Turtle author Wood has crafted a simply lovely book which searches for the answer to a simple question, 'Where does the sunrise begin?' Gentle, evocative drawings, and a soothing narrative filled with wonder makes this a real picture book standout. ...More

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