Saturday, April 18, 2009
The Big Rock Candy Mountain by Wallace Stegner
This is the only novel by Stegner that I’d never read. It’s a somewhat autobiographical account of his brutal childhood. His abusive, itinerant father is constantly chasing his latest get-rich-quick scheme, dragging his family behind him and getting more bitter at each failure. His ever-loyal mother always has an excuse for his father’s behavior. And the two sons who hate their father, love their mother, and are just trying to get through their childhood. The writing is very good (though not Stegner’s best), and it’s a book worth reading – but it’s not one of my favorites of Stegner’s.