Willnot

Willnot Creat James Sallis go inside Kindle James Sallis born December in Helena Arkansas is an American crime writer poet and musician best known for his se

Willnot Creat James Sallis go inside Kindle James Sallis born 21 December 1944 in Helena, Arkansas is an American crime writer, poet and musician, best known for his series of novels featuring the character Lew Griffin and set in New Orleans, and for his 2005 novel Drive, which was adapted into a 2011 film of the same name.. In the woods outside the town of Willnot, the remains of several people have suddenly been discovered, unnerving the community and unsettling Hale, the town s all purpose general practitioner, surgeon, and town conscience At the same time, Bobby Lowndes his military records disappeared, being followed by the FBI mysteriously reappears in his hometown, at Hale s door OvIn the woods outside the town of Willnot, the remains of several people have suddenly been discovered, unnerving the community and unsettling Hale, the town s all purpose general practitioner, surgeon, and town conscience At the same time, Bobby Lowndes his military records disappeared, being followed by the FBI mysteriously reappears in his hometown, at Hale s door Over the ensuing months, the daily dramas Hale faces as he tends to his town and to his partner, Richard, collide with the inexplicable vagaries of life in Willnot And when a gunshot aimed at Lowndes critically wounds Richard, Hale s world is truly upended.. Bestseller Kindle Willnot James Sallis is the author of more than two dozen volumes of fiction, poetry, translation, essays, and criticism. He also is the author of Willnot, released in June of this year. Willnot is my favorite book of 2016 and I recommend it to all readers of well-written -- not grandiose -- literary fiction. Willnot is not (primarily) a mystery or suspense novel. Forget that silly and distracting GR blurb, taken from the silly and distracting (and spoiler revealing, in one instance) dust jacket blurb. It appears as if Bloomsbury Publishing’s marketing team made the call to promote Willnot as something it isn’t, in order to take advantage of the built-in base of readers that respond to the mystery/suspense genre tag. As we all know, the problem with marketing a book as a mystery or suspense novel when it isn’t is that readers who might love it (if they only knew the truth) don’t find it, and those who read it anticipating the experience of reading a mystery or suspense novel are oft-times disappointed and write reviews that indicate something along the lines of, “the mystery didn’t work,” or “lacked suspense.” Don’t read Willnot to learn about those dead bodies and then blame Sallis for not delivering. Consider them a 3-bite appetizer, not your entree, as it were. What is Willnot, then? Willnot is a snapshot of ordinary people figuring out who they are and how to survive. That morning, with the office empty and all the ambition of a walnut, I stood at the window. Down at the corner, Ezra sat on a chewed-up, discolored Styrofoam cooler, not quite on Maple, not quite on Mulberry. I remembered Bobby giving him money that first day back. Our lives are so ungraspable. Turn them one way and light glints off them; turn them another, they drink up the light wanting more. We go to ground believing we’re heading one place and come up someplace else entirely.Yesterday in the school cafeteria of a nondescript small town in Ohio, a sixteen-year old pulled a gun from his Fender Champ lunchbox and began firing, while at a restaurant just down the street an anonymous man called the waitress over and paid the check for a family of four seated nearby, two of the children with special needs.We see Willnot – over the course of several months -through the eyes of Lamar Hale, town physician and surgeon. Lamar is in a long-term relationship with Richard, a teacher (later principal) , formerly that guy in high school who was the quarterback, first chair [name your instrument], most popular, best grades, etc. In the town of Willnot, there are: several unidentified bodies found buried – and requiring excavation - near a gravel pit; a Sheriff with heart trouble; teens who are sufficiently bored that they start creating the appearance of filled-in holes around town mimicking the gravel pit find; several individuals waiting for surgery or recovering from surgery; an office manager; a couple worried about the health of the husband’s dad, due to a recently-developed unpleasant smell; Bobby Lowndes, a hometown boy turned Marine sniper who returns, but whose conduct is sufficiently creepy to suggest imbalance, menace or another unsettling explanation; a long-time homeless guy, known to all; an FBI agent, Ogden, seeking the sniper, who identifies him as AWOL; a 12-year old boy, Nathan, who turns in a 23-page essay (in response to an assignment to write 3 pages about where you live), and a protagonist whose father was a hack science fiction novelist. Eccentricity abounds, but it’s not cute or contrived. In a mere 192 pages, Sallis shows us all of this and more. He doesn’t tell us. Days lumbered on, as they will. Miracles happen in the corners of lives, longings slumbered in our hearts.and another:As I watched him go, out of the office and along the street where he stopped to chat for a moment with Old Ezra, it came to me that, without having previously given it much thought, I liked Joel Stern. A man not easily deceived or distracted – not by growls, not by slogans or sound bites, not by white noise. Not even by the scripts running continuously in his head, by his own preconceptions.Willnot is character-driven, not plot-driven. The relationship between Lamar and Richard anchors it. When Lamar is home with Richard, the world is a good place. A safe place. Everything outside might be going to hell in a hand-basket. Then Richard utters some amusing crack, or flirty comment, or insightful perspective. Lamar considers, responds, utters his own philosophical observation or takes Richard up on his ribald suggestion, gets the sustenance his soul needs to go out and meet the needs of his patients, his acquaintances, his hometown. Lamar and Richard are complex characters. So are all of the other inhabitants of Willnot, including Nathan. Sallis anchors his story in Lamar and Richard, in part, because their jobs put them into contact with the range of people who inhabit any small town. Doctors and teachers, along with the clerk at the two gas stations, the administrative assistant at the town’s utility payment window, and a pastor or two, are the sorts who encounter townfolk across a range of socio-economic backgrounds, and who may observe shadows of ghosts and glimpses of the baggage that accompany everyone on her life journey. At times, a reader isn’t certain where Sallis is headed. Why is Lamar recalling his dad’s career and sci-fi-writer friends? Why are we reading a series of anecdotes about Lamar’s patients? Is Sheriff Hobbs’ heart trouble related to the dead bodies, or to Bobby Lowndes? How much attention should we pay to the FBI agent? The daily stories of Lamar’s patients and Richard’s school system career challenges seem headed toward a collision with the darkness of whatever explanation there turns out to be for the dead bodies of page 1 fame. The uncertainty the reader experiences is created deliberately by Sallis, as if to say. Question assumptions. Pay attention to details. Come along for the ride. See how much can be packed into this slim package. John Updike wrote that while we all remain tragically alone, it’s imperative to go on making signs through the glass. The kids were doing that with their diggings. None of our attempts at communication amount to a lot more. And going on is what it’s all about. I hung up thinking about Jules Mawby the day before, and Bobby that afternoon, people who go on when it all gets to be too much. Then Ted Holmes.Ted was Richard’s partner before me. Ted had contracted HIV but was doing well with the new generation drugs till esophageal cancer came along in its wake, early signs and symptoms initially attributed to side effects from the meds so that the cancer was well along when discovered. After months of treatment, a battery of drugs, and enough radiation that he claimed to glow in the dark at night and keep Richard awake, Ted showed up one day with a T-shirt that read I’VE HAD ENOUGH, THANK YOU, copies of which he distributed to his friends. Richard still has his. He wears it whenever things go their bleakest.Lisa Levy asks in her article in LitHub:Why aren’t we talking about James Sallis? In fact, why aren’t we talking about Sallis (b. 1944) alongside his American contemporary paranoids and peers, Don DeLillo (b.1936) and Thomas Pynchon (b. 1937)? His themes are similar to the big two: making sense of the world, and finding our place in it; chronicling the perils of intimacy; thinking about whether we can really know ourselves, or anyone else. Each book is its own world, which Sallis is quite conscious about, though the novels are often barely 200 pages. Sallis is quietly and steadily writing way above his weight class (and on the side, he plays a mean guitar). Or maybe he’s just our anti-Knausgaard, interested in the telling detail but not the whole exhaustive story (I’m mesmerized by the memory of a cockroach crawling over a sink in The Killer is Dying). And certainly not five volumes of it.Levy is spot-on. We aren’t talking about Sallis. We should be, though. Willnot is an excellent launching pad for everyone who hasn’t yet read one of Sallis’ novels. Then let’s collaborate to give him the buzz his work dearly merits.p.s. Willnot is also one of the best Southern novels I’ve read . No, neither the town nor Sallis have Southern ties of which I’m aware. But one thing I believe. Somewhere in heaven, Walker Percy and Shelby Foote are talking about Willnot whilst sharing their favorite beverages. *********Links of interest:Levy’s article: http://lithub.com/american-noir-and-t...A 2014 interview with Sallis by Roger Godwin:http://www.richardgodwin.net/author-i...Sallis’ own website:http://www.jamessallis.com/

About Author

  1. James Sallis born 21 December 1944 in Helena, Arkansas is an American crime writer, poet and musician, best known for his series of novels featuring the character Lew Griffin and set in New Orleans, and for his 2005 novel Drive, which was adapted into a 2011 film of the same name.

    Reply

Willnot Comment

  1. James Sallis is the author of than two dozen volumes of fiction, poetry, translation, essays, and criticism He also is the author of Willnot, released in June of this year Willnot is my favorite book of 2016 and I recommend it to all readers of well written not grandiose literary fiction Willnot is not primarily a mystery or suspense novel Forget that silly and distracting GR blurb, taken from the silly and distracting and spoiler revealing, in one instance dust jacket blurb It appears as if Bl [...]


  2. 4 Sallis has the enviable knack of creating characters that are very hard to forget and Dr Lamar Lamar Hale now joins this prestigious group A man who administers daily to the citizens of Willnot and goes home to his partner, Richard, a school teacher who during the time period of this novel, will become acting principal Their cat, Dickens, is an important character in his own right Sallis is an observer of the human condition and that is what he does in this novel When bodies are found, he obse [...]


  3. James Sallis s new book Willnot starts with a great bang, a bewildering mass grave is found near town that must be excavated It s impossible to tell just how many bodies have been found, who they were, and how they got there Dr Lamar Hale, the town s all purpose general practitioner, surgeon, becomes the point of view character of this novel.We see small town rural life through Dr Hale s eyes We learn of his interactions with many of the town s residents, and we also learn of his personal life a [...]


  4. Let me start with a warning This is NOT a crime novel, this is NOT a mystery novel, and if that s what you want or expect, then you re sure to be disappointed.Now that that s out of the way, let me tell you what it is There are mysteries here, but most of them are the unsolvable ones of the human heart, and of life itself What is Willnot, and how did it get it s name We re never told Where is Willnot We re never told Is it even a real place Decide that one for yourself The people there are just [...]


  5. Willnot Classic SallisJames Sallis has once again written a classic, and to my mind one his best, Willnot will be as popular as all his other novels and stories Not quite a literary crime novel the story of a middle aged doctor, in small town America, who is trying to come to terms with his own mortality.Willnot is a small town that is full of eccentrics who are aware that they are just visiting and that life goes on Dr Lamar Hale is the local doctor, knows everyone s aches and pains The pace o [...]


  6. After reading this book, I want to rush out and get me a thriller, some magic, a real mystery anything with verve Because this just laid down and simpered philosophy at the same time Absolutely not my cuppa.It rambles And it is odd If you like odd, you might like it Odd both in tone and in its continuity There were pages I had to reread Conversations between characters just introduced or added in asides I feel I got to know Dickens, the cat, better than the wise protagonists of the story line No [...]


  7. From the blurb, I was expecting the usual cop drama What a pleasant surprise to find a gentler story with much character development instead I simply sat and read from beginning to end without stopping I suspect I will read it again in a year and find nuances that I missed on the first read.


  8. Sallis is one of the greats No question He doesn t do genre tropes and as a result Willnot is totally unique You think it s going to be a crime thriller, whatever that means, some kind of small town, back woods deal where harmless lil Tootsie the waitress turns out to be a stabby psycho because of that thing that happened all those years ago But what is it It feels new It is warm, sweet, quietly profound without being pretentious, mysterious without resorting to mystery cliches, and it is obviou [...]


  9. WILLNOT 2016 James Sallis 1 2.In my estimation, Sallis is one of the best American writers on the scene today His novels are usually grouped in the mystery genre, but display a tendency towards mainstream works that other mystery writers lack This novel introduces a new series hero, Dr Lamar Hale Hale is a doctor at a small town Willnot hospital who essentially knows most of the people in the town His relations with the residents goes far beyond his profession, and he is trusted and respected by [...]


  10. The best book I ve read this year, from one of the best American writers Subtle and beautiful writing, very real characters you understand and like after just a few pages, a well drawn setting Perfect




  11. I had to read about fifty pages before I had any idea of what was going on here nothing made sense and I had no idea who anyone was or what their relationships were to each other After that I kinda got it together and or less followed what was happening but it s the strangest paced novel I ve read in a while nothing is explained or resolved, and there is barely a plot The main character is a doctor, so there s just lots about his day to day life, his partner who is a teacher and their cat Dicke [...]


  12. This is the inscrutable new novel from James Sallis, one of my favorite writers Surgeon Dr Lamar Hale lives with his partner Richard in the small hamlet of Willnot Strange things start to happen that interrupt the routine, like a soldier named Bobby returning to town but staying in the shadows, living in the woods, as an enigmatic FBI tracks him One of Richard s students reads and writes so far above his twelve year old level that his treatise on philosophy ends up with him being taken for class [...]


  13. Willnot by James Sallis 5 5It s been awhile since I ve read any of Sallis s books sigh Silly me There is a wonderful, mellow flow to his writing that, in a way, reminds me of Nabokov Yes, but no Sallis has a dead center way of looking at life, and describing it in an off hand manner whose profundity just suddenly pops you in the back of the head The reader is forced to go back and reread the last page or two just for the immediate pleasure of reliving those thoughts The plot is deceptively simpl [...]


  14. I have been a fan of James Sallis since I found his Lew Griffin series I was thrilled to find a new book by him This one is a dandy It is set in a small town called Willnot filled with misfits, transits, oddities, etc Characters abound It is also sprinkled with many bon mots along the way.


  15. Beautifully written with vivid and intriguing characters, Willnot is a look at the variety and intricacies of life through the eyes of a rural doctor With musings on mortality, military service, finding your place in the world and much this book, despite it s small size is thought provoking and impacting.


  16. I am writing this after receiving a copy of Willnot from RealReaders in return for an honest review.I previously read Drive by this author and really couldn t see what all the fuss was about not for me, James Sallis, I thought How wrong Willnot is a very short book, described as a Mystery, or a Crime, story for me, it is both and yet neither, it defies categorisation In truth, it is simply the musings of an elderly American small town doctor as he goes about his daily life.The story starts with [...]


  17. Willnot by James SallisNew to Sallis No better place to start than Willnot , his latest literary crime novel Difficult to categorise because it is a rich and complex study of middle America town life in the modern world and a noir thriller with a slow creeping burn Willnot town doctor Lamar Hale narrates and the story opens with the uncovering of a burial pit in the woods outside town the remains of several dead bodies Apparent stranger Brandon Bobby Lowndes turns up in Hale s office at the same [...]


  18. I was quite intrigued when I was sent another James Sallis book to review as I m still rather in two minds about the last one What can I say about this book What did I honestly think Well firstly I really couldn t get to grips with how the book was written It s quite loose and rambling in style and I found that at times, in fact quite often, I really had to think about what had just happened or what had been said, or even re read a section to actually get a handle on it It s not really a crime m [...]


  19. Once again Real Readers have provided another book by yet another new author for me to read and review.Yes I am ashamed to admit never having previously read a James Sallis book.The Willnot of the title is a small backwoods, slightly gone to seed American town, where our hero and main character is General Practitioner, Surgeon, counsellor, confident and collector of all types of waifs and strays.It s impossible not too like, no love the main character, every small town should have this kind of D [...]


  20. The truth is, I am only giving this book three and a half stars but I rounded up because the writing is so wonderful and the characters feel so real The prose is crisp, even daring to the point of experimental at times Like a really spicy meal, I both loved that quality and felt irritated by it Ultimately, Willnot lost half a star because the ending didn t have much of a payoff for me It loses another star for metaphors and dialogue that I could not follow I didn t understand whole paragraphs in [...]


  21. I ve noticed before this that poets, if and when they turn their attention to writing novels, often do an extremely good job Take James Dickey s Deliverance, for example If I was going to criticise this novel at all and I m not it would be in saying that the plot is meandering But, then, life is meandering too Sallis writes as well as I can envision anyone doing and with the economy of a poet His slim novel is the equal and better of many three times the length He gets bonus points for mentionin [...]


  22. I have no idea what this book was about, but I loved it How s that for a review Seriously, many things happen and few of them are resolved Meanwhile, you re falling in love with the characters, who seem like real people, and the writing, which speaks to your emotions I began to read this short novel as a break from The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters More than halfway through its almost 600 pages, I was drowning in detail and overwrought emotion This is its complete opposite and by far the superio [...]


  23. I really like this author Writes quality books in a really understated enjoyable way Full of perceptive observations about the human condition This book is promoted by his publisher as an example of Sallis s thriller crime output Not a good description is an essay describing life in rural America with great characterisation and insight The publisher also throughs in a MAJOR spoiler for anyone who reads the synopsis on the back of the book Not good Read Sallis s you will not be disappointed.


  24. Falsely advertised as a mystery but that s ok This is a tiny under 200 pages gem of novel Beautifully done an probably unforgettable I had never heard of Sallis before but that will be corrected immediately.


  25. I started this book knowing nothing about it I was trying to listen to the audio, but eventually had to pull out the written book and reread parts at several times during the audio just to keep straight what was happening The conclusion is nothing




  26. The thing about ratings on this site is I often feel less antipathy towards a one star book than towards a two star With a few exceptions Catcher in the Rye is bad and should feel bad most of my one stars were books I didn t bother to finish, boring or confusing, in a couple instances objectively important works that I was never going to be able to properly appreciate, myself Only Revolutions,for one When you drop a boring book halfway through you throw up the one star, sell the book for five ce [...]


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *