American Salvage and More
Here's the straight poop, as they say: American Salvage is a really great read. I could just end it there, but that doesn't feel like enough. Okay, Campbell's characters are really intriguing, and she puts them in strange and sometimes bizarre situations that get at some pretty big human truths. The truths . . . no matter who we are we are prone to addiction, wanting safety, and wanting to love and be loved. We are afraid and we are brave. We get ourselves behind hopeless plans, and sometimes find they are the only plans for us . . . and sometimes we make them work. All of these truths are truths we already know, but in the hands of a story teller like Campbell . . . well, she just takes the reader on a really cool trip. I'm just fascinated by the situation in her "Storm Warning" when the main character, nearly crippled from a boating accident, can't believe that his girlfriend of six months saved his life, rescued him from drowning. So pig-headed and afraid is he that when he returns from the hospital, he drives her away. He finds himself alone in a hospital bed in his house, watching as a horrendous storm blows in, knocking out power around the lake. Helpless, unable to even get a glass of water, he swallows his Vicodin with saliva. He's so utterly alone . . . and he's put himself there. I mean, you have to buy the book just to see how that one turns out. You should buy the book, too, because Bonnie Jo is a Michigan writer. I know most of the visitors that come to my blog are from Michigan. You can begin to support the floundering arts in our state by buying this book. Seriously, you won't be disappointed. Campbell is simply a great writer worth reading.
While you're at amazon buying this book, think about getting my novel, Landscape with Fragmented Figures. I'm hearing good things from people that have read it. Want a deal on it and want it signed? Drop me an email, and we'll work something out: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Better yet, if you're in the tri-cities, come buy the book from me. I'll be giving a reading from it on Thursday, June 11 at 7 p.m. at the United Church of Christ in Midland (4100 Chestnut Hill Dr). I'll be reading with Dearborn poet, Ken Meisel. If you've never heard Ken read, you have to come out to this event. He's really something.
Seriously, hope to see you there!