Tuesday, October 31, 2006

King of the Mild Frontier: An Ill-Advised Autobiography by Chris Crutcher

Crutcher, Chris. 2003. King of the Mild Frontier: An Ill-Advised Autobiography. New York: Greenwillow Books.

The young adult author of books such as "Stotan" and "Whale Talk," Chris Crutcher, tells tales of growing up in his hometown of Cascade, Idaho and how events and people in his life shape his stories and him into becoming a writer.

If you are a Crutcher fan then this book explains all! Even if you aren't much of a Crutcher fan (which was me, I knew of him but hadn't really read him) or have never read any of his books, you can enjoy his poignant reminiscent stories of childhood. I like Crutcher's writing style, and how he doesn't worry about telling things in chronological order -- he just tells the story without a hidden agenda. The connections he makes between the characters in his stories and the people in his life is interesting, refreshing, and sort of a behind-the-scenes glimpse of writing (or at least his writing). As I was reading, I was wondering how he was going to pull it all together, but he does it well, leaving the reader with a sense of knowing him better and yet knowing that that wasn't everything about him, and pulling it back to his writing and drawing inspiration from the world, peopled with his characters, around him.

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