Indeed, like adolescent Adams, they often bite into forbidden fruits—usually violent in nature—and find themselves stranded in lone and dreary worlds. Not only has Thayer written the novel in an incredibly teachable way—it employs traditional plot structure, a clear theme, and plenty of accessible symbolism—but he has also used it to address many of the basic doctrines i. Whatever the case may be, readers are unlikely to be distracted by any details that would betray the fact that it was published nearly thirty years ago.
Hooligan: A Mormon Boyhood by Douglas Thayer, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®
Summer Fire , in short, is an excellent novel that deserves recognition as a classic of Mormon fiction. All take place in the West: four are roughly contemporary, while one is a more traditional western, but all five render a harsh landscape where humans at best survive. Thayer is skillful at using place to develop character. Like the poet Robinson Jeffers, Thayer is interested primarily in hawks and rocks, and in how nature tests men and, occasionally, a woman. His book is notable on those terms. Eugene England, Western American Literature.
Thayer grew up in the Rockies, like some of his protagonists, as a deadly little white savage, killing whatever wildlife he could, running wild and swimming naked along the margins of Mormon villages. His conversion came through education and writing and the maturing of his own Mormon faith. He studied at Stanford under Yvor Winters, perhaps the most powerful modern voice against Romantic optimism—and blindness—about nature. In this topsy-turvy tale, it is the wealthy, religious, east-bench Provoans who enjoy the best that life can offer and share it with a less privileged, laid-back, So Cal teenager over one summer vacation.
At first, Jeff finds himself dazzled by east-bench affluence and faith. It made me feel like I might enjoy the summer more than I had thought I would. It is a tender and moving love song to spirituality and a Mormon world view. Todd Peterson, Dialogue. The beauty here is to be found in its pacing and textures. In fact, the slowness and indirection of this novel might put off readers who prefer books that are a little more skimmable. No trumpets, just life as it happens. He also makes a number of dead-on observations about Mormon culture.
Growing up in pre-industrial, impoverished, pre-Second World War simplicity, with fishing pole in one hand, a. But Hooligan is more than rich nostalgia about a bygone era although it is that ; it provides delicious insight into the mystery of growing up with its inevitable losses and gains; it is a front seat on the timeless journey of Innocence to Experience. Especially moving to me is the aching of this small boy for a father who would take him hunting.
Edward Geary, Dialogue He maintains a cool, rather detached, faintly ironic narrative tone throughout, with only oblique hints at something more deeply involved. Thayer expressed his pessimism for the future of Mormon literature. I write what I want to write, but then I have no desire to shock my readers. I like to think that what I write makes sense, is insightful, skillfully done, and perhaps even true, and entertaining. I write about somewhat ordinary, faithful Mormons living their contemporary lives, people who stay in the Church, whatever their inclinations otherwise.
Filled with self-importance and a need to suffer, they exaggerate their worth, as far as Mormonism is concerned, although they may be worth a great deal otherwise, maybe. Harris soon finds himself preaching the Mormon gospel as one of the first missionaries to West Germany following the devastation of World War II. Little does he know that his own war horrors await him upon his return home, when he is drafted into the Korean War.
Starting out in the same s-era Provo, Utah, that Thayer brought to life in his memoir Hooligan: A Mormon Boyhood, this novel deepens and darkens as Harris is drawn into his harrowing Korean ordeal. Will he survive the war, not only physically but also emotionally and spiritually? And if he does survive, what other trials does death hold in store? It is the single best example we have of Mormon missionary fiction.
There is not a shred of moralizing here, yet the book nourishes the soul from start to finish. He likes studying German and becomes fluent; he is a good missionary, working hard and patiently teaching the elders who are flaky or lazy.
But to dismiss the collection on those grounds would be to do the author and the reader a great disservice. This account of a young man victimized by post-WWII transients effortlessly carried me from the depths of violence implied, not described to the heights of redeeming love. It hurt to read, but it healed its own wounds. Publisher blurb: Weeks away from turning sixteen, Kyle Hooper longs to get his license and legally drive the old Suburban his Grandpa Hooper left him. Sardonic, light-hearted, a prankster, Kyle wants more freedom in his Colorado Mormon life, including the freedom to date any number of lovelies, as he calls them.
His mother, Lucille, a part-time trauma nurse and a devoted Mormon mom, wants Kyle to get serious about school and preparing for his mission. In vivid detail she often warns him about the consequences of a misspent youth—drug addiction, arrest and imprisonment, expulsion from school, early marriage to a pregnant girlfriend, poverty, STD, alcoholism, highway death.
Disobeying his mother one Saturday morning, Kyle, driving unlicensed, heads for the ski slopes. In Silver Canyon an avalanche sweeps his Suburban off the road. Trapped but getting air, grateful for the two roll bars Grandfather Hooper installed, Kyle knows he has to dig an escape shaft or die. Exhausted, starving, freezing, he begins to understand what his mother has been trying to teach him about the need for faith. Hinch Yourself Happy Mrs Hinch.
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Douglas Thayer and the Adolescent Adam: A Review of "Summer Fire"
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Douglas H. Thayer: Mormon Author
Rating details. Book ratings by Goodreads. Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X. Learn about new offers and get more deals by joining our newsletter. Sign up now. Dawning of a Brighter Day. Retrieved 6 March BYU Studies. Association for Mormon Letter Discussion Board. Association for Mormon Letters. Archived from the original on 17 May By Common Consent, a Mormon Blog.
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