Monday, November 15, 2010

Work Song by Ivan Doig

Another blogger read Work Song and enjoyed it so I put it on my list to find at the library. I was encouraged to see they had several titles by Ivan Doig on the shelf. But it turns out this just isn't my cup of tea.

I must say Doig is excellent at characterization. The story is set in Butte, Montana in 1919, where Anaconda owns the copper mines and most of the jobs and therefore the town. There is union unrest, many accidents in the mines, and the threat of the IWW troublemakers (Wobblies if you remember your political history) coming to town to stir things up even more. Along comes Morris Morgan to settle in at a local boarding house and meet the oddest bunch of characters you ever saw. He takes a job as a cryer at Irish wakes but that means he stumbles home drunk every night, so he finds a job at the library, a much more sober and satisfying way to earn a living.

You will learn along the way that Morgan maybe isn't his real name and many other characters also have a "past." Meanwhile the dialogue carries you along quickly. It's a light, funny read, a good way to pass a dreary day without getting down about the weather.

Unfortunately, I like a story I can really sink my teeth into rather than a book I could easily read while I watched a football game too. You may like it as much as my friend Margot did though, so don't let my grumpiness turn you off of this book.

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