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The Plover

by

The Plover Cover

ISBN13: 9781250062451
ISBN10: 1250062454
All Product Details

 

Staff Pick

The Plover is not exactly a sequel to Mink River — more of a companion piece — but fans of the latter will be thrilled to find out what happened to one of the most beloved characters. After sailing his little boat off the final pages of Mink River, the story of Declan O'Donnell continues in The Plover. Declan is a man of serious solitude, and he is pleased to be starting a journey of peace and quiet. But there is no quiet in Brian Doyle's head — it is full of magic, mutterings, and musings, and once these things are in motion, there is no stopping them.

Before Declan knows what has hit him, he has a boat full of bodies — both human and otherwise — along for the ride, "...ranging in size from [enormous] to an infinitesimal acorn barnacle, just born as this sentence began, and no bigger than the period which is about to arrive, here." No, there will be no solitude for Declan — and how lucky for us. The Plover is a rambling, charming sea voyage, full of thrills, danger, and narrow escapes.

It's also an excellent observation on the nature of things unseen: on what may be, on ideas, on imaginings, aspirations, and dreams. There is so much substance underneath Doyle's dazzling, rich language, I just wanted to read each sentence over and over until every whisper of nuance was absorbed, recognized, and experienced. Reading Doyle's writing is an enchanting discovery of how shattering and awe-inspiring language can be, and his literary contortions are both improbable and captivating at the same time. 

Remember the first book you loved as a child? Remember how you wished so hard you lived in that book? That feeling is Doyle's "normal," and we should all be so lucky to live in his world.
Recommended by Dianah, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Declan O'Donnell has sailed deep into the vast, wild ocean, having had just finally enough of other people and their problems. He will go it alone, he will be his own country, he will be beholden to and beloved of no one. But the galaxy soon presents him with a string of odd, entertaining, and dangerous passengers, who become companions of every sort and stripe. The Plover is the story of their adventures and misadventures in the immense blue country one of their company calls Pacifica. Hounded by a mysterious enemy, reluctantly acquiring one new resident after another, Declan O'Donnell's lonely boat is eventually crammed with humor, argument, tension, and a resident herring gull. Brian Doyle's The Plover is a sea novel, a maritime adventure, the story of a cold man melting, a compendium of small miracles, an elegy to Edmund Burke, a watery quest, a battle at sea — and a rapturous, heartfelt celebration of life's surprising paths, planned and unplanned.

Review:

The Plover is about beauty, loneliness, the mysteries of the sea, albatrosses, an unforgettable young girl, language, healing, and love. And plenty more. Brian Doyle writes with Melville's humor, Whitman's ecstasy, and Faulkner's run-on sentences; in this book he has somehow unified his considerable talents into an affirming, whimsical, exuberant, and pelagic wonder. Few contemporary novels shimmer like this one.” Anthony Doerr, author of The Shell Collector

Review:

“Brian Doyle has spun a great sea story, filled with apparitions, poetry, thrills, and wisdom. The sweet, buoyant joy under every sentence carried me along and had me cheering. I enjoyed this book enormously.” Ian Frazier, author of Travels in Siberia

Review:

"Doyle has written a novel in the adventurous style of Jack London and Robert Louis Stevenson but with a gentle mocking of their valorization of the individual as absolute. Readers will enjoy this bracing and euphoric ode to the vastness of the ocean and the unexpectedness of life." Library Journal

Review:

"A rare and unusual book and a brilliant, mystical exploration of the human spirit." Kirkus Reviews (starred)

About the Author

BRIAN DOYLE edits Portland Magazine at the University of Portland, in Oregon. He is the author of six collections of essays, two nonfiction books, two collections of "proems," the short story collection Bin Laden's Bald Spot, the novella Cat's Foot, and the novels Mink River, The Plover, and Martin Marten. He is also the editor of several anthologies, including Ho`olaule`a, a collection of writing about the Pacific islands. Doyle's books have seven times been finalists for the Oregon Book Award, and his essays have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Harper's, Orion, The American Scholar, The Sun, The Georgia Review, and in newspapers and magazines around the world, including The New York Times, The Times of London, and The Age (in Australia). His essays have also been reprinted in the annual Best American Essays, Best American Science & Nature Writing, and Best American Spiritual Writing anthologies. Among various honors for his work is a Catholic Book Award, three Pushcart Prizes, the John Burroughs Award for Nature Essays, Foreword Reviews' Novel of the Year award in 2011, and the Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2008 (previous recipients include Saul Bellow, Kurt Vonnegut, Flannery O'Connor, and Mary Oliver)

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Cheri P, April 22, 2015 (view all comments by Cheri P)
When I told my husband I'd finished The Plover, his first comment was, "I bet you're going to give The Plover a lot of stars."

Yup, he knows me well.

This is, quite simply, a marvelous book - I loved it at least as much as I loved Mink River. That's saying quite a bit. Mink River is quite possibly in my top 5 books... ever.

Doyle clearly has a style. I can read a passage (say, an essay in a magazine) and know, within lines, that it's Doyle. The lyrical language, the lists, the asides, all written in this poetical prose that makes me want to read aloud. Reading Doyle's novels put me in a happy place.

What I loved about The Plover:

* The characters. Declan comes from Mink River, but otherwise they're new. None of them are simple - they're complex, and human, and, well... they're good. Nobody is all good or bad - they all have stories, and they've taken paths that have led them to where they are today... and they have choices ahead of them, and somehow, as the pages march on, I just know that even the most dastardly of the bunch has it in him to be good, and bright. That hope for humankind tickles my soul. Heck, in Mink River I didn't care much for Declan; he was a bit of an ass. But here? We see the whys and hows of Declan - more than he sees himself, I think. Oh, and Pipa... I can't stop thinking about Pipa. I especially loved how he wrote her in the first of the novel, all her fluttering and chirps and trills. He honored her shattered, wounded self in a way I've not read before.

* The magic. This is not a world of spells, or mantras, unless you count the odd Irish motto or the simple magic of the world. And in Doyle's world, things are not as simple as we humans see them. The birds speak, the fish have thoughts, gulls tell stories and get offended if we mock them. Warblers have joy and rats make plans. The most wonderful dog in the history of dogs has an island that he intends to thoroughly explore before he dies.

* The world. The world is a dangerous place. Murder, death, war, hate, kidnapping, violence, despair. And yet - magic miraculous things happen every moment. Each being is miraculous, and unique, and deserves to be sung.

* And, the language. I already waxed on about that.

I can't wait for Martin Marten to come out in paperback.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(2 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9781250062451
Author:
Doyle, Brian
Publisher:
Picador USA
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
General
Subject:
Sea stories
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20150331
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » General
Featured Titles » Literature
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » New Arrivals
Fiction and Poetry » Popular Fiction » Nautical Fiction
History and Social Science » Pacific Northwest » Literature Folklore and Memoirs

The Plover New Trade Paper
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$16.00 In Stock
Product details 336 pages Picador USA - English 9781250062451 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

The Plover is not exactly a sequel to Mink River — more of a companion piece — but fans of the latter will be thrilled to find out what happened to one of the most beloved characters. After sailing his little boat off the final pages of Mink River, the story of Declan O'Donnell continues in The Plover. Declan is a man of serious solitude, and he is pleased to be starting a journey of peace and quiet. But there is no quiet in Brian Doyle's head — it is full of magic, mutterings, and musings, and once these things are in motion, there is no stopping them.

Before Declan knows what has hit him, he has a boat full of bodies — both human and otherwise — along for the ride, "...ranging in size from [enormous] to an infinitesimal acorn barnacle, just born as this sentence began, and no bigger than the period which is about to arrive, here." No, there will be no solitude for Declan — and how lucky for us. The Plover is a rambling, charming sea voyage, full of thrills, danger, and narrow escapes.

It's also an excellent observation on the nature of things unseen: on what may be, on ideas, on imaginings, aspirations, and dreams. There is so much substance underneath Doyle's dazzling, rich language, I just wanted to read each sentence over and over until every whisper of nuance was absorbed, recognized, and experienced. Reading Doyle's writing is an enchanting discovery of how shattering and awe-inspiring language can be, and his literary contortions are both improbable and captivating at the same time. 

Remember the first book you loved as a child? Remember how you wished so hard you lived in that book? That feeling is Doyle's "normal," and we should all be so lucky to live in his world.

"Review" by , The Plover is about beauty, loneliness, the mysteries of the sea, albatrosses, an unforgettable young girl, language, healing, and love. And plenty more. Brian Doyle writes with Melville's humor, Whitman's ecstasy, and Faulkner's run-on sentences; in this book he has somehow unified his considerable talents into an affirming, whimsical, exuberant, and pelagic wonder. Few contemporary novels shimmer like this one.”
"Review" by , “Brian Doyle has spun a great sea story, filled with apparitions, poetry, thrills, and wisdom. The sweet, buoyant joy under every sentence carried me along and had me cheering. I enjoyed this book enormously.”
"Review" by , "Doyle has written a novel in the adventurous style of Jack London and Robert Louis Stevenson but with a gentle mocking of their valorization of the individual as absolute. Readers will enjoy this bracing and euphoric ode to the vastness of the ocean and the unexpectedness of life."
"Review" by , "A rare and unusual book and a brilliant, mystical exploration of the human spirit."
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