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Is there anything you would change about this book?
This is the third and final book of Doig's Montana Trilogy. His first, Dancing at the Rascal Fair, easily earned a five star rating. His second, English Creek, was not quite as strong, but was still very interesting. My father was not only born in Montana, but had a career in forestry as a smokejumper so I enjoyed much of the story as we are introduced to Jick McCaskill and his struggles as he comes with age. There are several scenes which are laugh out loud funny--particularly during haying. In both books, the characters were interesting. Doig is a master of setting, and it is easy to visualize the Two Medicine Country. This final book, however, feels forced--as if Doig was simply trying to fulfill a publisher's commitment to complete a trilogy.
What could Ivan Doig have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?
Probably the most disappointing part of the book to me were the character changes in this much older Jick McCaskill. Doig portrays him as an irascible senior who constantly uses the phrase "God Damn" as an adjective. It quickly became tiresome. Jick could easily have been a person who has aged more gracefully, softened by years of hard work and family love. Instead, he seems to perpetually have a burr under his saddle. As the narrator of the story, his voice is unceasingly complaining. In addition, the entire situation of his daughter and her ex-husband traveling with him as the chauffeur through out Montana in a "bago" seemed more contrived than believable.
What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?
I was glad that the same narrator was used in both English Creek and Ride With Me, as it provided a nice continuity with Jick.
Did Ride with Me, Mariah Montana inspire you to do anything?
Any additional comments?
If you are interested in learning about Montana, you may still be interested in this book. Although the situations seemed contrived, Doig is still a master writer when it comes to describing this state. He has the ability to paint with his words and the scenery becomes almost tangible as it is described.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Ivan Doig has become one of my favorite authors. I've listened to four of his novels, including this trilogy. He is a wordsmith, able to turn a phrase that makes you want to pause the story and savor the phrase. He is also a first-rate story-teller who spins a great yarn while developing full-bodied characters set in an accurate historical context.
This story made me laugh out loud often. But it was also a thoughtful reflection on relationships--family, neighbors, coworkers--and and how our individual stories are part of a much larger web. It was also a hymn of love to Montana. As a Northwesterner who loves Montana (I hike and motorcycle there), it was a kick to hear Jick's descriptions of places I've been and loved.
In the third part of this outstanding trilogy, Doig masterfully answers dangling questions from the previous books, and throws plenty of curves to keep you guessing. I was sad when the book ended; my consolation was that I can listen to all three again!
Scott Sowers narration is superb as well. Spot on!
Do yourself a favor--listen to the whole series! It's an amazing 100-year saga of the McCaskill family in the Two Country of Montana!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Any additional comments?
I have listened to the first two parts of this trilogy (English creek and dancing at the rascal fair) and enjoyed them and this one is no exception.
as jick remembers his past I remember those bits from the previous books too.
the book feels fast paced as jick his daughter, Mariah, and her ex husband travel across Montana looking for stories and photos to commemorate the centenary in articles for the news paper they work for.
scot sowers performed the story really well bringing the characters and situations to life.