The Wooden Sea Audible –

From The Moment A Three Legged Dog Limps Into The Life Of Police Chief Frannie McCabe And Drops Dead At His Feet, McCabe Finds Himself In A New World Of Disturbing Miracles His Small Town Of Crane S View, New York Has Long Been A Haven Of Harmony And Comfort But Now He Finds Himself Afflicted By The Inexplicable, By Omens That Converge To Throw His Life Into Doubt And What He Does Over The Next Few Days May Have Consequences For The Whole World

10 thoughts on “The Wooden Sea

  1. says:

    It s rare these days that a book has me from hello to paraphrase a cheesy line from a urp Tom Cruise movie , but this one did Check out the first two paragraphs Never buy yellow clothes or cheap leather That s my credo and there are Know what I like to see People killing themselves Don t misunderstand I m not talking about the poor fucks who jump out windows or stick their sorry heads into plastic bags forever No Ultimate Fighting Championship either, which is only a bunch of rabid crewcuts biting each other I m talking about the guy on the street, face the color of wet lead, lighting up a Camel and coghing up his soul the minute he inhales Good for you, Sport Long live nicotine, stubbornness and self indulgence Let s have another round here, Jimmy croons King Cholesterol down at the end of the bar He with the rosy nose and enough high blood pressure to lauch him and his whole family tree to Pluto Gratification, mass, texture The heart attack that ll nuke him will last a few seconds The cold beer in thick mugs and perfume of grilling T bone steaks are forever until he dies It s worth the trade off I m with him I think I m in love This, of course, is from The Wooden Sea by Jonathan Carroll, an author who has been around for a while but somehow escaped my notice, something I m very happy to correct The book quickly gets very weird, something I very much approve of a reviewer described a point in his books when the floor turns to Vaseline and you re looking for a handhold My kind of book And the only thing I love than discovering a new author is finding out that they wrote 12 other books besides the one I m reading and loving Score another one for that Waterstone s list I m beginning to think they may really know what they re doing there.

  2. says:

    i am simultaneously amused and bemused by jonathan carroll s books they make so much sense and nonsense at the same time.they also remind me of one of my favourite poems, by stephen crane Many red devils ran from my heartAnd out upon the page,They were so tinyThe pen could mash them.And many struggled in the ink.It was strangeTo write in this red muckOf things from my heart.

  3. says:

    Well dang After being utterly and completely entranced with The Land of Laughs by Carroll I gave this one a spin, and it fell flat It was interesting enough to keep reading, but this is one that I won t remember the details to in just a few short months Nothing really caught my attention, nothing compelled me and dragged me along.I think the thing that put me off was that there were no rules to the madness he presented here The Land of Laughs might not have had many rules, but it also might not have had any rules The ambiguity though thin was delightful This book obviously has a setup that we are supposed to believe is happening has happened, but every time I turned the page Carroll had stuck another I dunno Not plot point Not twist Just in clarifying how things were working or what was truly going on, it just got murkier and murkier I was never personally given a reason to care at all Aliens God Both Neither Meh.I have now read two of his books and somewhere saw a brief synopsis of a third, and all of them involved a male protagonist and multiple love interests I m beginning to wonder if he has some John Irving thing going on where he is compelled to work out his therapy sessions in novel form.If someone recommends another specific Carroll book I ll gladly read it, but after this I m not going to go seeking out his works.

  4. says:

    An interesting story with a heart warming message to tell I use the air quotes there because the message felt somewhat forced to me, with the author basically spelling it out for the reader at the end of the book I think if it had been worked into the story effectively, it would have made for a much satisfying read Despite this, I thought the story and characters were interesting and well developed, and the intricacies of the plot and the jumps through time were easy to follow and well written.

  5. says:

    This is one of the rare books that causes you to pause and ask yourself What am I reading Not once, not twice, but a minimum of at least three times The Wooden Sea is not a book for everyone not even a book for most people.Carroll s writing is utterly shameless He writes for himself entirely, and what comes out is a set of characters incredibly well defined His setting, his characters, the surrealistic nature of his plot and universe itself all come off as incredibly reasonable He bumps the clich and then promptly subverts it he nears a piece where a lesser writer would falter, and hurdles it with ease.Jonathan Carroll, while not for everyone, seems to be for some people perfectly I feel quite lucky to be among that crowd.

  6. says:

    This is one strange book, strange like a dream In the literature of the fantastic strange happenings in a small town is a common theme, but in this one the strange is taken another step The entire book is like one continuous dream For example, there is an instance in which the protagonist gets out of bed and walks through his house in his underwear He is interupted on his way back to bed by a visitor and he never gets back to bed He also never gets a chance to get dressed He also ends up out and about in the town with no mention of his getting dressed and, in fact, never getting the time to get dressed, but no one comments on his being only in his underwear, so he is presumably dressed This could have been only an oversight on the part of the author, but soon afterwards he finds himself being chased by a vicious dog and climbs atop a car to get away On top of the car he wishes he could fly and then he jumps off and flies away That is just like a dream One outlandish situation suggests another and off we go into another outlandish situation which will be followed by another at the slightest suggestion This is only one example though Others include dogs that die and will not stay dead, meetting various versions of oneself at various stages of life, dead people who talk, time travel, space aliens with the powers of gods and so forth The entire book is weird from start to finish and it is amazing how nonchalantly the protagonist accepts all this wierdness which is mostly happening to him Do not be fooled though Even though it is like one long dream that does not mean their is no plot The plot is involved in the protagonist s trying to figure out what is going on and with a sense of urgency In the end the urgency does seem to turn out to be kind of moot, but the urgency is still there to keep the suspense and excitement going.

  7. says:

    Some quotes I bookmarked Over a lifetime our definitions of things change radically, but because it s so gradual we re blind to them As the years pass, our names for things no longer fit but we still keep using them We look as who we were, once upon a time, and see that person as stupid or amusing, but never essential Like flipping through old snapshots of ourselves wearing funny hats or big lapels How silly I was back then, how naive And how wrong to think that Because now when you are incapable of doing it, those yours still know how to fly, find the way into a forest or out of a library Only then can see the lizards and fill holes that need to be filled.

  8. says:

    A longtime lover of literature, I once asked a blind date if she was into books Books are alright, she said Although I prefer nonfiction And I definitely don t have time for magical realism That phrase I don t have time for magical realism became sort of a running gag among my book loving friends and I Maybe we re just mocking a world that brooks the supernatural less and less each day, or maybe we re just thumbing our noses at the idea that dream lives are only the domain of the asleep.Whatever the case, it s certainly true that Magical Realism as a genre doesn t have quite the profile of, say, Fantasy Even buffered by the brilliance of people like Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Toni Morrison, the genre seems to exist in the same misty half worlds as the characters it generates.Carroll s oeuvre makes a great case for the style, but not in any consistent fashion a flaw common for this kind of fiction His first book, The Land of Laughs, was a fun but mordant look at the nature of fate, fear, and the art of writing It was tightly plotted, but just as madcap as anything written by that other, notable, Carroll Since then, Jonathan Carroll has made a decent living tickling the imaginations of loyal readers everywhere.Like most of his books, THE WOODEN SEA offers the proposition that surrealism is than a quaint diversion or at worst a camping ground for antisocial obssessives In spite of its loopy plot and complete overhaul of common narrative conventions, it has a message to make In fact, its canon has much to do with the genre itself Don t forget how to dream Don t forget that anything is possible Don t throw away your youth when you finally grow up These are okay points for a book to make if not a little chewy sweet , and Carroll s story about a juvenile delinquent turned police chief named Frannie who awakens one day to a world of Spirit Dogs, Magical Feathers, time travel, prescient heroin addicts, and otherworldly beings doesn t let the goofiness goof up the touching spirit of the book There s a definite measure of heart and well phrased soul to the story.But there s also a lot of sloppy edges and unbridled bravado Carroll has a vivid imagination, but it seems as if that was the only thing he used to write this book Breaking rules isn t a bad thing, when you re talking about common conventions of Story or Plot, but this book reads painfully as if it were made up on the spot Themes other than those mentioned are taken up and discarded at a whim Story arcs dead end or are sometimes forgotten entirely And there are so many loose ends, the denoument reads like shag carpeting.In spite of its sweetness, the novel suffers from a lack of boundaries After all, even magic has its rules If you re interested in Carroll and you should be I d recommend his earlier works over this one although I haven t read everything he s written And if, unlike my blind date, you DO have time for magical realism, for my money you can t beat ANYTHING written by Jonathan Lethem.

  9. says:

    I really love Jonathan Carroll s writing, the way he sets up some great characters, makes you believe in them, and then hits them with something so leftfield that it pulls the carpet from underneath them and makes them re evaulate everything they previously thought to be true However, having come across Carroll s work about five years ago and reading on average one ot two of his books a year in no particular order, I m coming to the conclusion that he s a bit of a one trick pony Each book is or less the same Some interesting ideas underpin each one, but Carroll isn t too bothered about explaining them He just throws marbles up into the air and let s you work out the pattern Only, after a few books, you realise there isn t one What is left is just the journey And mostly that journey is interesting and page turning, whilst sometimes it s tiring.With Carroll s books you have to suspend your disbelief that his characters have suspended their disbelief They ll take anything that hits them in their stride In this book, the interwoven plot is rather slapdash The opening half was riveting, but then once Carroll set up his scenario I really got the feeling that he didn t know what to do with it He s not great at endings in fact, this book contains one of the better ones , but here the final half of the book isn t great at all The writing slacks off and it just rambles a bit Oh well, there ll always be another Carroll book to read which may or may not be better 2.5 stars, although I don t have that option, so I ll be generous and give it three.

  10. says:

    I slipped it under his collar Like an Egyptian king going to the hereafter surrounded by his worldly possessions, Old Vertue now had a beautiful feather to carry along It was getting late and I had other things to do Quickly filling the grave, I tamped it down as best I could, hoping another animal wouldn t catch the scent and dig it up.Frannie McCabe is chief of police in Crane s View, a small town in New York state He is generally happy with his lot, having outgrown his wild rebellious teenage years to become a respected member of the community, and is happily married with a teenage stepdaughter.But then a couple well known for their domestic disturbances disappear in the middle of a screaming row, a stray dog that died in his office won t stay buried, a dead girl talks to him and a mysterious multi coloured feather keeps appearing in the strangest places And his seventeen year old self pays him a visit to tell him that there is a puzzle that he has to solve.Confusing